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Missing MacBook Pro Confirms Laptop’s Lost Reputation

At the start of October, Apple was riding high following the launch of the iPhone, new online services were opening for business, and a number of new products were hiding in plain sight ready for a launch before Christmas. There was also every expectation that these products would be boosted by a second event in October. Well, it’s the end of October, and there hasn’t been an event.

It looks like Apple has decided that October’s second-line product launches are not going to get the exposure and the oxygen of a staged event. AirTags are still waiting to be activated, the AirPods Pro were launched by press release yesterday, and the iPad Pro has been deemed ‘good enough’ to get through the holiday season before a potential update in March 2020.

And a triumphant return of a large-screened MacBook Pro in front of the gathered excitement of the geekerati has been denied. Once it was a powerful statement of computing power and prestige, now it’s a tool to help sell more iPhones and subscriptions.

The update to the 16-inch MacBook Pro has been trailed throughout the year. Expectations have been rising from reports at the start of the year on Apple’s portfolio, through movement in the supply chain,  to the leaks that suggested production had started on the units earlier this month.

There is even evidence of the new laptop tucked away in a beta of MacOS Catalina with a nod towards the 16-inch form factor in the system icons. And let’s not forget the AirPods Pro. They require MacOS 10.15.1, and the eagle eyed will note that, as the digital presses roll on this editorial, MacOS 10.15.1 is to yet available to the public.

The new laptop would fill the void left behind by the loss of the 17-inch MacBook Pro in 2012, would reinvigorate Apple’s laptop range, bring back a physical escape key, and fix the embarrassment of the butterfly keyboard once and for all.

Tim Cook, chief executive officer of Apple Inc., speaks during an event at the Steve Jobs Theater in... [+] Cupertino, California (Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg)

© 2019 Bloomberg Finance LP

Everything was there for a launch, everything was there for an event that would allow Apple to explain its new strategy of a Mac ecosystem tightly tied to the iPhone, iPad, and online services. Everything was there for Apple to return to the ‘large screened laptop’ with the 16-inch MacBook Pro that was effectively the same size as the 15-inch model.

Everything was there except the drive and determination to push the Mac as a platform in general and the MacBook Pro specifically.

So yes, dear faithful geekerati. Go and buy the new MacBook Pro when it arrives. Go and develop your apps for iOS and iPadOS on it. Go and edit the films and TV series for Apple TV+, the games for Apple Arcade , the podcasts for (er) Podcasts… but don’t expect the genre-defining MacBook Pro to get any public recognition from Tim Cook.

Now read more about the first release of MacOS Catalina, and if you should upgrade…

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Check out my website.

I am known for my strong views on mobile technology, online media, and the effect this has on the public conscious and existing businesses. I’ve been following this space for over fifteen years, working with a number of publishers, publications and media companies. As Scotland’s first podcaster, I continue to be a prominent voice in the rise of podcasting and new media online, and received a British Academy (BAFTA) nomination for my annual coverage of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. You’ll find me on Twitter (@Ewan), Facebook, and at my own site.

Source: Missing MacBook Pro Confirms Laptop’s Lost Reputation

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After many years using MacBook variants I’ve made the switch to Windows. I’ve used every version of MacBook Pro and MacBook Air that have been released. My current laptop of choice is the Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon / Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Extreme.Turns out switching from Mac to Windows isn’t as painful as I expected. FOLLOW ME IN THESE PLACES FOR UPDATES Twitter – http://twitter.com/unboxtherapy Facebook – http://facebook.com/lewis.hilsenteger Instagram – http://instagram.com/unboxtherapy

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The 7 Biggest Technology Trends In 2020 Everyone Must Get Ready For Now

We are amidst the 4th Industrial Revolution, and technology is evolving faster than ever. Companies and individuals that don’t keep up with some of the major tech trends run the risk of being left behind. Understanding the key trends will allow people and businesses to prepare and grasp the opportunities. As a business and technology futurist, it is my job to look ahead and identify the most important trends. In this article, I share with you the seven most imminent trends everyone should get ready for in 2020.

AI-as-a-service

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is one of the most transformative tech evolutions of our times. As I highlighted in my book ‘Artificial Intelligence in Practice’, most companies have started to explore how they can use AI to improve the customer experience and to streamline their business operations. This will continue in 2020, and while people will increasingly become used to working alongside AIs, designing and deploying our own AI-based systems will remain an expensive proposition for most businesses.

For this reason, much of the AI applications will continue to be done through providers of as-a-service platforms, which allow us to simply feed in our own data and pay for the algorithms or compute resources as we use them.

Currently, these platforms, provided by the likes of Amazon, Google, and Microsoft, tend to be somewhat broad in scope, with (often expensive) custom-engineering required to apply them to the specific tasks an organization may require. During 2020, we will see wider adoption and a growing pool of providers that are likely to start offering more tailored applications and services for specific or specialized tasks. This will mean no company will have any excuses left not to use AI.

Today In: Innovation

5G data networks

The 5th generation of mobile internet connectivity is going to give us super-fast download and upload speeds as well as more stable connections. While 5G mobile data networks became available for the first time in 2019, they were mostly still expensive and limited to functioning in confined areas or major cities. 2020 is likely to be the year when 5G really starts to fly, with more affordable data plans as well as greatly improved coverage, meaning that everyone can join in the fun.

Super-fast data networks will not only give us the ability to stream movies and music at higher quality when we’re on the move. The greatly increased speeds mean that mobile networks will become more usable even than the wired networks running into our homes and businesses. Companies must consider the business implications of having super-fast and stable internet access anywhere. The increased bandwidth will enable machines, robots, and autonomous vehicles to collect and transfer more data than ever, leading to advances in the area of the Internet of Things (IoT) and smart machinery. Smart cities

Autonomous Driving

While we still aren’t at the stage where we can expect to routinely travel in, or even see, autonomous vehicles in 2020, they will undoubtedly continue to generate a significant amount of excitement.

Tesla chief Elon Musk has said he expects his company to create a truly “complete” autonomous vehicle by this year, and the number of vehicles capable of operating with a lesser degree of autonomy – such as automated braking and lane-changing – will become an increasingly common sight. In addition to this, other in-car systems not directly connected to driving, such as security and entertainment functions – will become increasingly automated and reliant on data capture and analytics. Google’s sister-company Waymo has just completed a trial of autonomous taxis in California, where it transported more than Xk people.

It won’t just be cars, of course – trucking and shipping are becoming more autonomous, and breakthroughs in this space are likely to continue to hit the headlines throughout 2020.

With the maturing of autonomous driving technology, we will also increasingly hear about the measures that will be taken by regulators, legislators, and authorities. Changes to laws, existing infrastructure, and social attitudes are all likely to be required before autonomous driving becomes a practical reality for most of us. During 2020, it’s likely we will start to see the debate around autonomous driving spread outside of the tech world, as more and more people come round to the idea that the question is not “if,” but “when,” it will become a reality.

Personalized and predictive medicine

Technology is currently transforming healthcare at an unprecedented rate. Our ability to capture data from wearable devices such as smartwatches will give us the ability to increasingly predict and treat health issues in people even before they experience any symptoms.

When it comes to treatment, we will see much more personalized approaches. This is also referred to as precision medicine which allows doctors to more precisely prescribe medicines and apply treatments, thanks to a data-driven understanding of how effective they are likely to be for a specific patient.

Although not a new idea, thanks to recent breakthroughs in technology, especially in the fields of genomics and AI, it is giving us a greater understanding of how different people’s bodies are better or worse equipped to fight off specific diseases, as well as how they are likely to react to different types of medication or treatment.

Throughout 2020 we will see new applications of predictive healthcare and the introduction of more personalized and effective treatments to ensure better outcomes for individual patients.

Computer Vision

In computer terms, “vision” involves systems that are able to identify items, places, objects or people from visual images – those collected by a camera or sensor. It’s this technology that allows your smartphone camera to recognize which part of the image it’s capturing is a face, and powers technology such as Google Image Search.

As we move through 2020, we’re going to see computer vision equipped tools and technology rolled out for an ever-increasing number of uses. It’s fundamental to the way autonomous cars will “see” and navigate their way around danger. Production lines will employ computer vision cameras to watch for defective products or equipment failures, and security cameras will be able to alert us to anything out of the ordinary, without requiring 24/7 monitoring.

Computer vision is also enabling face recognition, which we will hear a lot about in 2020. We have already seen how useful the technology is in controlling access to our smartphones in the case of Apple’s FaceID and how Dubai airport uses it to provide a smoother customer journey [add link]. However, as the use cases will grow in 2020, we will also have more debates about limiting the use of this technology because of its potential to erode privacy and enable ‘Big Brother’-like state control.

Extended Reality

Extended Reality (XR) is a catch-all term that covers several new and emerging technologies being used to create more immersive digital experiences. More specifically, it refers to virtual, augmented, and mixed reality. Virtual reality (VR) provides a fully digitally immersive experience where you enter a computer-generated world using headsets that blend out the real world. Augmented reality (AR) overlays digital objects onto the real world via smartphone screens or displays (think Snapchat filters). Mixed reality (MR) is an extension of AR, that means users can interact with digital objects placed in the real world (think playing a holographic piano that you have placed into your room via an AR headset).

These technologies have been around for a few years now but have largely been confined to the world of entertainment – with Oculus Rift and Vive headsets providing the current state-of-the-art in videogames, and smartphone features such as camera filters and Pokemon Go-style games providing the most visible examples of AR.

From 2020 expect all of that to change, as businesses get to grips with the wealth of exciting possibilities offered by both current forms of XR. Virtual and augmented reality will become increasingly prevalent for training and simulation, as well as offering new ways to interact with customers.

Blockchain Technology

Blockchain is a technology trend that I have covered extensively this year, and yet you’re still likely to get blank looks if you mention in non-tech-savvy company. 2020 could finally be the year when that changes, though. Blockchain is essentially a digital ledger used to record transactions but secured due to its encrypted and decentralized nature. During 2019 some commentators began to argue that the technology was over-hyped and perhaps not as useful as first thought. However, continued investment by the likes of FedEx, IBM, Walmart and Mastercard during 2019 is likely to start to show real-world results, and if they manage to prove its case, could quickly lead to an increase in adoption by smaller players.

And if things are going to plan, 2020 will also see the launch of Facebook’s own blockchain-based crypto currently Libra, which is going to create quite a stir.

If you would like to keep track of these technologies, simply follow me on YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram, or head to my website for many more in-depth articles on these topics.

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Check out my website.

Bernard Marr is an internationally best-selling author, popular keynote speaker, futurist, and a strategic business & technology advisor to governments and companies. He helps organisations improve their business performance, use data more intelligently, and understand the implications of new technologies such as artificial intelligence, big data, blockchains, and the Internet of Things. Why don’t you connect with Bernard on Twitter (@bernardmarr), LinkedIn (https://uk.linkedin.com/in/bernardmarr) or instagram (bernard.marr)?

Source: The 7 Biggest Technology Trends In 2020 Everyone Must Get Ready For Now

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In this Intellipaat’s top 10 technologies to learn in 2019 video, you will learn all the trending technologies in the market in 2019. The end goal of this video is to educate you about the latest technologies to learn and all the top 10 trending technologies you can watch for in order to make a fantastic career in IT technologies in 2019. Do subscribe to Intellipaat channel to get regular updates on them: https://goo.gl/hhsGWb Intellipaat Online Training: https://goo.gl/LeiW5S AI & Deep Learning Training: https://goo.gl/amnqEK Blockchain Training: https://goo.gl/CgDPyu Cloud Computing Training: https://goo.gl/PY2nbX Big Data Hadoop Training: https://goo.gl/NJaDuf BI Tools Training: https://goo.gl/SbkRXT DevOps Training: https://goo.gl/zz15qn Salesforce Training: https://goo.gl/zN3tLj SAP HANA Training: https://goo.gl/x2Jiu7 Python Programming Training: https://goo.gl/8urtdD Oracle DBA Training: https://goo.gl/LhYLTS Are you interested to learn any of the trending technology 2019 mentioned in the video? Enroll in our Intellipaat courses & become a certified Professional (https://goo.gl/LeiW5S). All Intellipaat trainings are provided by Industry experts and is completely aligned with industry standards and certification bodies. If you’ve enjoyed this top technologies to learn video, Like us and Subscribe to our channel for more trending technologies of 2019 tutorials. Got any questions about the top technologies to learn in 2019? Ask us in the comment section below. —————————- Intellipaat Edge 1. 24*7 Life time Access & Support 2. Flexible Class Schedule 3. Job Assistance 4. Mentors with +14 yrs 5. Industry Oriented Course ware 6. Life time free Course Upgrade #Top10TechnologiesToLearnIn2019 #TrendingTechnologies2019 #Top10ITTechnologiesIn2019 —————————— For more Information: Please write us to sales@intellipaat.com, or call us at: +91- 7847955955 Website: https://goo.gl/LeiW5S Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/intellipaato… LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/intellipaat/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/Intellipaat

5 Best Budget Monitors Of 2019

We buy our own products and put them under the same testing methodology so that you can easily compare them. Unlike most websites, we do not get our products directly from the manufacturers, which means our units aren’t handpicked and actually represent what you would buy yourself. We spend a lot of time comparing the products side-by-side to validate our results and we keep them until they are discontinued so we can continually go back and make sure our reviews are always accurate.

You don’t have to spend a small fortune to get a decent monitor. Whether you’ll be using it for schoolwork, the office, or gaming, there are budget monitors that can fit any need. Cheaper monitors are usually smaller, though, and most of them have 1080p resolutions, which isn’t ideal for everyone.

We’ve reviewed 71 monitors, and below you’ll find our picks for the top 5 budget models that are available for purchase in 2019.

Dell P2417H: The best cheap monitor

Dell P2417H

Dell P2417H – RTINGS.com

RTINGS.com

Type: IPS

Resolution: 1920×1080

The Dell P2417H is the best budget monitor that we’ve tested so far. This 24”, 1080p monitor delivers decent picture quality, and has a great response time and low input lag, perfect for casual gaming. This is also a good monitor for office use, as it has great ergonomics, so it’s easy to place in an ideal viewing position and it looks great when viewed at an angle, thanks to the IPS panel.

This is a pretty bare-bones monitor, with very few additional features. There is a built-in USB hub, with two ports on the back, and two ports on the side, which can be very convenient. It doesn’t have any extra gaming features, like FreeSync, but it has low input lag and a great response time, so it’s still a good choice for casual gamers.

Unfortunately, like most IPS monitors, the Dell P2417H doesn’t look as good in a dark room, and it can’t get very bright, which might be an issue if you’re in a bright room.

Shop Now

Dell P2217H: The best compact budget monitor

Dell P2217H

Dell P2217H – RTINGS.com

RTINGS.com

Type: IPS

Resolution: 1920×1080

Variable Refresh Rate: No

Size: 22″

If you like the Dell P2417H but want something even smaller and more portable, check out the Dell P2217H. This monitor is a slightly smaller variant of the other Dell, and it offers nearly identical performance.

The small size of this monitor is great for mobile professionals, as it’s relatively compact and easy to carry. There’s no quick release on the stand, though, which isn’t ideal. This monitor has the same inputs as the larger model, including the useful built-in USB hub.

Unfortunately, it has slightly worse black uniformity than the P2417H, which isn’t great for dark room viewing. Otherwise, this is a decent monitor for most uses.

Shop Now

ViewSonic XG2402: The best cheap gaming monitor

ViewSonic XG2402

ViewSonic XG2402 – RTINGS.com

RTINGS.com

Type: TN

Resolution: 1920×1080

Variable Refresh Rate: FreeSync

Size: 24″

If you want better gaming performance than the Dell P2417H and Dell P2217H offer, the ViewSonic XG2402 is the best cheap gaming monitor that we’ve tested so far. This monitor delivers decent overall picture quality, and it has excellent motion handling and low input lag. This monitor also has a great selection of inputs, and has a built-in USB hub on the back, similar to the two Dells.

This monitor delivers a great gaming experience. It has an excellent 144Hz refresh rate, and it has an impressive response time, so your favorite games have very little blur behind fast-moving objects. This monitor also supports FreeSync variable refresh rate technology, even when connected to a recent NVIDIA graphics card.

Unfortunately, this monitor’s TN panel isn’t great for dark room viewing, and the image degrades when viewed at an angle. Overall, though, this is a great budget gaming monitor that should please most gamers.

Shop Now

Samsung C27F398: The best budget gaming monitor for a dark room

Samsung C27F398

Samsung C27F398 – RTINGS.com

RTINGS.com

Type: VA

Resolution: 1920×1080

Variable Refresh Rate: FreeSync

Size: 27″

If you want a larger monitor with good dark room performance on a budget, check out the Samsung C27F398. This 27”, 1080p monitor delivers decent overall picture quality, with very good motion handling and great low input lag. The VA panel on this monitor delivers much better dark room viewing than the ViewSonic XG2402, as it produces deep, uniform blacks.

This monitor delivers a good overall gaming experience. It supports AMD’s FreeSync variable refresh rate technology, even when connected via DisplayPort to a recent NVIDIA graphics card. This monitor is limited to a 60Hz refresh rate, though, which might disappoint some gamers.

Unfortunately, like the ViewSonic, the image on this monitor degrades when viewed at an angle, which isn’t ideal for some uses. Overall, though, it’s a good budget gaming monitor.

Shop Now

Dell U2415: The best budget office monitor

Dell U2415

Dell U2415 – RTINGS.com

RTINGS.com

Type: IPS

Resolution: 1920×1200

Variable Refresh Rate: No

Size: 24″

The Dell U2415 is the best budget office monitor that we’ve tested so far. It delivers decent picture quality, okay motion handling, and low input lag. The 1920×1200 screen is a bit better for multitasking, and the stand has great ergonomics, so it’s easy to place the screen in the ideal viewing position.

Like most IPS monitors, this one has great wide viewing angles. This is great for sharing your screen with someone else, like clients or coworkers. This monitor gets decently bright and has good reflection handling, so there shouldn’t be any issues seeing the screen in a bright room.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t look as good when viewed in a dark room, as it has mediocre contrast and bad black uniformity. Overall, though, it’s a good office monitor for most people.

Shop Now

This guide may have been updated. To see all measurements and the current recommendations for budget monitors, please go here.

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RTINGS.com RTINGS.com

We purchase our own products and put them under the same test bench so that you can compare the results easily. No cherry-picked units sent by brands. If you buy somethi…

 

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Source: 5 Best Budget Monitors Of 2019

 

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Microsoft Confirms Change To Windows 10 Passwords That Nobody Saw Coming

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Ask a bunch of security professionals what makes a secure password and you’ll get a bunch of different answers. Some will argue that it’s all about length, others that randomness and complexity are king while everyone will agree that password reuse is never acceptable.

Some will still argue that giving passwords an expiry date, after which they must be changed, is an essential part of the business security policy picture. It would appear that, with the arrival of the Windows 10 May update, Microsoft is finally no longer going to be amongst that latter group. According to Aaron Margosis, a principal consultant with Microsoft, Windows 10 will no longer recommend “ancient and obsolete” periodic password expiration in the security baseline settings starting with the May update.

While being most welcome, it has to be said nobody I have spoken to in the information security business saw that coming. Not least as the arguments for password expiration have been comprehensively dismantled for some years now yet Microsoft has not shown any inclination to jump from this particular sinking security ship.

The security baseline configuration has been part of the Windows staple diet for organizations wanting secure operating system settings out of the box for many years. It is actually a whole set of system policies that make good sense as a starting point for secure postures for many and as the default positioning for some. Things become problematic for organizations when they undergo an audit which uses the Microsoft security baseline and penalizes them for non-compliance if they have something other than the current 60 day Windows password expiration default maximum.

Yet, as Margosis writes “recent scientific research calls into question the value of many long-standing password-security practices such as password expiration policies, and points instead to better alternatives such as enforcing banned-password lists and multi-factor authentication.”

The United States National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) has been recommending password expiration is dropped from security policy since 2016. Now it seems that Microsoft has finally caught up and will be dropping the requirement starting from Windows 10 (1903) and Windows Server (1903) onward. This makes perfect sense to me as someone who has been following information security trends for the best part of three decades.

Things have changed over those years, not least the technology that now enables threat actors to crack simplistic passwords in the blink of an eye. Forcing users to change passwords over relatively short timeframes inevitably leads to those users choosing the simplest, and therefore most memorable, passwords possible. Stand up everyone who has never seen incremental numbering of short passwords in a corporate environment. I’m guessing everyone is still sitting down.

The days of simplistic passwords changed often are long gone, replaced by longer and more complex ones which don’t expire but rather are reinforced with those banned password lists and multifactor authentication for example. “While we recommend these alternatives, they cannot be expressed or enforced with our recommended security configuration baselines,” Margosis says “which are built on Windows’ built-in Group Policy settings and cannot include customer-specific values.” What Microsoft isn’t doing is changing baseline requirements for minimum password length, history, or complexity.

It also isn’t stopping organizations from configuring password expiration if they must, for regulatory compliance reasons for example. “The password-expiration security option is still in Windows and will remain there,” Margosis says, adding “by removing it from our baseline rather than recommending a particular value or no expiration, organizations can choose whatever best suits their perceived needs without contradicting our guidance.”

Please follow me on Twitter or connect with me on LinkedIn, you can find more of my stories at happygeek.com

I have been covering the information security beat for three decades and Contributing Editor at PC Pro Magazine since the first issue way back in 1994.

Source: Microsoft Confirms Change To Windows 10 Passwords That Nobody Saw Coming

Asus Just Gave You 1 Million Reasons To Switch From Windows To Linux

Cyber-security and antivirus company Kaspersky dropped a bomb on Asus laptop users this week, revealing that malware was distributed through the Asus Live Update utility. It masqueraded as a legitimate security update, and even boasted a “verified” certificate — hosted on Asus servers — to make it appear valid. Kaspersky has deemed this attack “one of the biggest supply-chain incidents ever.” Such attacks spiked 78% between 2017 and 2018. This shouldn’t raise alarms for just Asus users. It should prompt you to seriously consider whether you want Windows on your PC. Because the possibility of this ever happening on a desktop Linux OS like Ubuntu is minuscule.

My own Asus Republic of Gamers laptop — now running Linux

Jason Evangelho

How Serious Is ShadowHammer?

In the long tradition of scary codenames for such attacks, Kaspersky has labeled the attack “ShadowHammer.” The company says that according to its statistics, more than 57,000 users of Kaspersky Lab products (such as Kaspersky Anti-Virus) have already installed it. However, they estimate that its true reach extends to 1 million Asus computers.

To my knowledge this is only eclipsed by the infamous CCleaner attack, which was distributed to 2.7 million Windows PCs.

The motivations for the malware attack are unclear, but it apparently targeted only 600 specific MAC addresses. Once found, the attack would escalate to install more software to further compromise the system. There doesn’t seem to be a reason that the attackers couldn’t have activated this on every single computer affected.

For an informative and detailed discussion on this attack, listen to TechSnap Episode 400.

What’s even more frightening is that Kaspersky discovered the same type of technique used against the Asus Live Update software was also leveraged against three other vendors. The company promised to reveal more substantial information at an upcoming Security Analyst Summit in Singapore.

When contacted by Kaspersky, The Verge reports that Asus evidently denied the attack originated from its servers. In a follow-up press release, however, Asus did acknowledge that this was a “sophisticated attack” on its Live Update servers.

No apology was issued. This is not how you build trust. (Especially since this is far from being the first security blunder Asus has made.)

Asus has since patched the Live Update software and issued a tool for users to determine if they owned one of the specific computers targeted. Given the circumstances, I’m not even going to link to it, but it’s available via this press release page.

An FAQ posted alongside the press release has a stinging piece of advice for users who were affected by the malware attack: “Immediately run a backup of your files and restore your operating system to factory settings,” it states. “This will completely remove the malware from your computer. In order to ensure the security of your information, ASUS recommends that you regularly update your passwords.”

What really rattles my cage about this situation is the fact that Kaspersky uses the word “teaser” in the URL associated with its ShadowHammer post, as if this is some kind of movie trailer. Then the company warns that three other Asia-based software vendors were attacked using the same method without revealing who they are.

But all of this information is just background for the real point I’m trying to make.

Why Ubuntu (And Linux In General) Is Safer

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Dell put forth considerable effort into making the popular XPS 13 the perfect Ubuntu laptop

Jason Evangelho

Consider how many companies have independent control over the software and hardware inside your Windows PC. Intel, AMD, Dell, Nvidia, Realtek among several others. The vast majority of the code they use running on your computer is not open source. That means it’s not subject to inspection by the hundreds of millions of people using it. The code can’t be independently verified. The code comes from multiple locations across multiple update utilities.

On Ubuntu and other Linux distributions, my firmware updates, software updates and security updates come from a single source: the operating system’s built-in software center.

This next part is important: only a select few individuals at Asus are responsible for ensuring the software and firmware being sent through the Asus Live Update utility is safe. And it’s almost certain no one at Microsoft saw the code before it before it went out to those 1 million Asus laptop users.

Rather than base my entire argument about Linux being safer on personal experience or subjective opinions, I reached out to Alex Murray at Canonical. Murray is the Security Tech Lead for Ubuntu, a Linux distribution used by hundreds of millions. It powers everything from IoT devices to home desktops; supercomputers to the web servers delivering the majority of your experiences on the internet. Netflix is powered by Ubuntu, as is Amazon Web Services. Outside your home, Lyft and Uber are powered by Ubuntu.

My question for Murray was straightforward. Can something like ShadowHammer happen on Linux?

Murray admits that while this sort of attack is a possibility on Linux, it would be a lot harder to pull off.

Ubuntu is based on Debian, one of the the largest and most mature Linux distributions available. “Many of our source packages originate from Debian where we add Ubuntu-specific patches on top,” Murray says.

As such, Murray explains that there are “many, many people who can detect any possible malicious changes to a software package.” That’s the beauty of open source. Changes are submitted publicly, and every line of code can be scrutinized.

Of course, there needs to be a more elaborate system of checks and balances that doesn’t rely solely on community.

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Alex Murray, Ubuntu Tech Lead at Canonical Ltd.

Alex Murray

“Various teams of Canonical employees are responsible for maintaining the packages in the ‘main’ section of the Ubuntu software archive, and as such we provide further review and oversight of the source code in these packages,” Murray says. “Importantly, only trusted individuals are allowed to publish software package updates, which again raises the bar to prevent this kind of attack. Finally, we have a strong and dedicated community of developers and users who help to provide an even further level of ‘community’ oversight as well – which gives us a good defense in depth approach to detecting this kind of attack.”

In a nutshell, this means even if a trusted developer is compromised, there are various other individuals who will likely take notice.

But even that isn’t enough, so Canonical takes things a step further.

“From an end-user point of view, Ubuntu uses a signed archive approach where each package is cryptographically hashed and the list of hashes signed in such a manner that our package manager will not install packages which fail the signature and integrity checks,” Murray explains.

This means that even if an Ubuntu mirror (an external software source not directly managed by Canonical) was compromised and someone uploaded malicious copies of packages there, it would fail the signature check and would not be installed.

“We offer digital signatures to verify the integrity of the installation ISO images as well,” Murray says. “So together with the repository signatures, users can be confident that the software they are downloading and installing is what is published by Ubuntu, and with all the various reviews outlined above, we have many opportunities to detect any possible malicious changes to the software packages being published.”

Beyond these methods of ensuring security for its users, I’d recommend this article which explains in detail how Ubuntu delivers system updates and why it’s a more elegant and less frustrating experience than on Windows.

Securing Firmware Through The Blockchain

Firmware updates are an often overlooked — but easily manipulated — potential attack source. One of my favorite Linux distributions, Pop!_OS, uses the power of blockchain to ensure that the firmware updates being delivered to its users have no possible way of being manipulated. And they take an amazing approach to their server setup.

“Firmware updates are delivered using a build server, which contains the new firmware, and a signing server, which verifies that the new firmware came from inside the company,” writes parent company System76. “The two servers are only connected via a serial cable. The lack of a network between the two means that one server cannot be accessed if entry is achieved through the other server.”

System76 sets up multiple build servers alongside that primary one. For a firmware update to be verified, it must be identical on all servers. “If even one build server contains a compromised firmware update, this update cannot proceed to signing and will not be delivered to our customers,” System76 says.

This is very similar to how cryptocurrency mining works, and is arguably a more useful and forward-thinking implementation of blockchain.

Choose Linux

The bottom line is that Windows has too many potential attack points, most of which are not directly overseen by the very company who develops the operating system. The vast majority of the code cannot be audited by the community. There are less checks and balances in place to ensure that these attacks are prevented. After seeing how Ubuntu and various other Linux distributions ensure the security of their users, the Microsoft Windows approach starts to seem a lot less sane.

And if you’re wary of Linux because you think its archaic and not user-friendly, here are some articles that may change your mind, including one to help find the perfect OS to suit your needs:

Talk to me on Twitter | Listen to my Linux Podcast

Since joining Forbes in 2012, I’ve contributed to gaming and technology features on PCWorld and Computer Shopper. You can also find me on Jupiter Broadcasting where I h…

Source: Asus Just Gave You 1 Million Reasons To Switch From Windows To Linux

Meet The Taiwanese Tech Giant That’s Due To Make The Next iPad Mini

https://www.pivot.one/share/post/5c7cf9041d57e710cc4091ef?uid=5bd49f297d5fe7538e6111b6&invite_code=JTOJYV

Business Does Not Need the Humanities But Humans Do – Gianpiero Petriglieri

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Sometimes a simple story is all it takes to capture complex issues, or so it seems. Take this one. A few years ago, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg lost a game of Scrabble to a friend’s teenage daughter. “Before they played a second game, he wrote a simple computer program that would look up his letters in the dictionary so that he could choose from all possible words,” wrote New Yorker reporter Evan Osnos. As the girl told it to Osnos, “During the game in which I was playing the program, everyone around us was taking sides: Team Human and Team Machine………..

Read more: https://hbr.org/2018/11/business-does-not-need-the-humanities-but-humans-do

 

 

 

 

 

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6 Skills Every Developer Should Have Besides Coding Skills – Barri Sambaris

 

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A programmer’s life, contrary to public beliefs and movies does not just involve sitting and staring all day at the computer with a headphone. It is not about how fast they can type rapidly on a keyboard while chewing a burger. Developers are more than cavemen and nerds. They are not loners in the basement. Developers have to deal with clients, bosses, management, investors, shareholders, fellow colleagues and themselves. It is therefore imperative that a developer is well rounded and armed with other skills other than coding skills…….

Read more: https://hackernoon.com/6-skills-every-developer-should-have-besides-coding-skills-35ab2891a1e4

 

 

 

 

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Wi-Fi 6 Is Coming Here’s Why You Should Care – David Nield

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Get ready for the next generation of wifi technology: Wi-fi 6 (for so it is named) is going to be appearing on devices from next year. But will you have to throw out your old router and get a new one? And is this going to make your Netflix run faster? Here’s everything you need to know about the new standard. Those of you of a certain age will remember when home internet access was very much wired—only one computer could get online, a single MP3 took half an hour to download, and you couldn’t use the landline phone at the same time…….

Read more: https://gizmodo.com/wi-fi-6-is-coming-and-heres-why-you-should-care-1829516258

 

 

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Why An In-Car PC Is An Essential Tool For Your Business Success

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While vehicle-based electronic devices are hardly a new concept, only an in-car PC can match the function and performance of a full-fledge computer. You can easily browse the web, receive e-mail while on the go, and have real-time access to data and programs stored on your work PC.

You can also run any programs that run on the Windows platform. If you are looking for the perfect mobile IT solution, these are some reasons why getting car computers should be on top of your list.

Secure

You may be wondering about how secure is to have car computer installed on your vehicle. Fact of the matter is, the PC, where the data will reside, will be completely out of sight. Rest assured that onlookers will not be able to spot a huge desktop-like computer inside the vehicle. For added security, however, it can be bolted to the chassis of the vehicle using anti-theft bolts. This gives ample protection for both the hardware and the data. As for the screen, it will be heavily integrated to the interior – making it look like part of the vehicle. The screen, of course, can be easily removed when leaving the vehicle.

Robust

The PC part of car computer will not be handled directly by the user. This significantly reduces the risk of accidental damage. The only parts that the users will use are the screen and wireless keyboard. If somehow these fail to work, which is very unlikely, replacements will be provided swiftly.

Screen size

There are a wide range of display sizes to choose from. You can get the screen from 6.5-inches to 15-inches – and even beyond. It is recommended to get the screens that are designed specifically for the car computer, such that allows to be used even under sunlight. There are plenty of models to choose from and the screens can be easily upgraded as your company grows.

Screen Placement

As for the placement of the touch screens, they can actually be mounted anywhere within the vehicle. It is, however, recommended to get the in-dash model, which can be neatly integrated into the dashboard. This means you are not required to remove the screen while leaving the car for safety purposes. Some screen models can also be integrated to the sun-visor, the headrest or roof mounted. Whichever placement you choose for the screen, rest assured that it will be done to look as professional as possible, while taking into consideration the practicality.

Data Input and communication

The in-car PC can handle a range of data input methods depending on your need or circumstance. These include wireless QWERTY keyboards, touch screens and voice input and recognition systems. Data can also be communicated to the PC via Bluetooth or using a 3G modem which will allow internet connectivity.

Performance and customisation

You can expect top notch performance from the in-car computer. The standard specs include the use of Intel Core 2 Duo and hard drives with storage of up to 500 GB. If you need more power and storage, it is possible to build a more powerful system from scratch to meet your company’s needs.

Professional Installation

If required the in-car pc can be professionally installed thus proving you with a a full service from manufacture to end use.

By getting an in-car computer, you can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of your staff, especially those who must spend a good amount of their time being on the road.

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