H/t reader kevin a.
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I was just in Target where I saw I could buy a 1 TERABYTE XBox 1 for $300. $300!
This is the beauty of innovation, and competition, and capitalism. Do you think the Soviet Union would ever have come up with a 1 terabyte personal computer? Never mind at a cost that most middle class families can manage? No, ahem, way.
You socialists are nuts (I say respectfully.) Now, if you’ll excuse me I’m going to go spend some time in my custom holodeck.
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– Microsoft intensifies data collection on Windows 7 and 8 systems (ghacks, Aug 26, 2015):
– Obama’s New Executive Order Says the US Must Build an Exascale Supercomputer (Vice/Motherboard, July 29, 2015):
President Obama has established a new initiative across multiple government agencies that will focus entirely on creating the fastest supercomputers ever devised. The National Strategic Computing Initiative will attempt to build the first ever exascale computer, which would be more than 30 times faster than today’s fastest supercomputer, according to an executive order issued Wednesday.
The initiative will primarily be a partnership between the Department of Energy, Department of Defense, and National Science Foundation, which will be designing supercomputers primarily for use by NASA, the FBI, the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Homeland Security, and NOAA. Each of those agencies will be allowed to provide input during the early stages of the development of these new computers.
The primary task of the initiative is “accelerating delivery of a capable exascale computing system,” the order said. For context, it is believed that an exascale computer might be capable of mimicking the human brain, something impossible with current technology.
As of June, the fastest supercomputer in the world is China’s Tianhe-2, a computer that runs at 33.86 petaflops, which means it can perform 33.86 quadrillion floating point operations per second. The US has the second fastest supercomputer, a machine at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory that runs at 17.6 petaflops. Earlier this year, Intel and Cray won a $200 million contract from the federal government to build a 180-petaflops computer by 2018.
– “We Messed Up Badly” Lenovo Admits Putting Tracking Software On Your PC (ZeroHedge, Feb 20, 2015):
Meet SuperFish – Lenovo’s, the world’s largest computer manufacturer, pre-installed, image recognizing tracking software that monitors everything you do, and breaches web security… all for the purpose of pushing more ads in your face. After its initial approach of being completely unapologetic and dismissal, Lenovo is now groveling for forgiveness. The company’s Chief Technology Officer now says, “We messed up badly here,” and “We made a mistake.”…
– Russian researchers expose breakthrough U.S. spying program (Reuters, Feb 16, 2015):
The U.S. National Security Agency has figured out how to hide spying software deep within hard drives made by Western Digital, Seagate, Toshiba and other top manufacturers, giving the agency the means to eavesdrop on the majority of the world’s computers, according to cyber researchers and former operatives.
That long-sought and closely guarded ability was part of a cluster of spying programs discovered by Kaspersky Lab, the Moscow-based security software maker that has exposed a series of Western cyberespionage operations.
Kaspersky said it found personal computers in 30 countries infected with one or more of the spying programs, with the most infections seen in Iran, followed by Russia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, China, Mali, Syria, Yemen and Algeria. The targets included government and military institutions, telecommunication companies, banks, energy companies, nuclear researchers, media, and Islamic activists, Kaspersky said. (reut.rs/1L5knm0)
– Microsoft finally fixes 19-year-old ‘rare, unicorn like’ bug (RT, Nov 12, 2014):
The Microsoft Corporation has finally sorted out a bug that has plagued its Windows operating system undetected for the last 19 years.
The bug was present in every version of Microsoft Windows from Windows 95 onwards, and allows a remote user to take over and control a computer.
– New ‘Bash’ software bug may pose bigger threat than ‘Heartbleed’ (Reuters, Sep 24, 2014):
A newly discovered security bug in a widely used piece of Linux software, known as “Bash,” could pose a bigger threat to computer users than the “Heartbleed” bug that surfaced in April, cyber experts warned on Wednesday.
Bash is the software used to control the command prompt on many Unix computers. Hackers can exploit a bug in Bash to take complete control of a targeted system, security experts said.
– “Hello, Computer” – Intel’s New Mobile Chips Are Always Listening (MIT Technology Review, Sep 5, 2014):
Tablets and laptops coming later this year will be able to constantly listen for voice commands thanks to new chips from Intel.
A new line of mobile chips unveiled by Intel today makes it possible to wake up a laptop or tablet simply by saying “Hello, computer.” Once it has been awoken, the computer can operate as a voice-controlled virtual assistant. You might call out “Hello, computer, what is the weather forecast today?” while getting out of bed.
Tablets and lightweight laptops based on the new Core M line of chips will go on sale at the end of this year. They can constantly listen for voice instructions thanks to a component known as a digital signal processor core that’s dedicated to processing audio with high efficiency and minimal power use.
– China may unveil homegrown OS rivals to Windows, Google and Apple (RT, Aug 25, 2014):
Following revelations of America’s National Security Agency’s global internet surveillance system, combined with a desire to enhance domestic production, China is beating a path towards unveiling its own operating systems in October.
The Chinese-made substitutes would first be introduced on desktop devices, later expanding to include smartphones and other hand-held devices, Ni Guangnan heads an official operating system development alliance established in March, Xinhau reported at the weekend.
“We hope to launch a Chinese-made desktop operating system by October supporting app stores,” Ni told the trade paper.
– NSA BIOS Backdoor a.k.a. God Mode Malware Part (Infosec Institute):
This article is the first part of a series on NSA BIOS backdoor internals. Before we begin, I’d like to point out why these malwares are classified as “god mode.” First, most of the malware uses an internal (NSA) codename in the realms of “gods,” such as DEITYBOUNCE, GODSURGE, etc. Second, these malwares have capabilities similar to “god mode” cheats in video games, which make the player using it close to being invincible. This is the case with this type of malware because it is very hard to detect and remove, even with the most sophisticated anti-malware tools, during its possible deployment timeframe.
Image: The NSA is not an independent agency nor does it merely answer to those in Washington. It is a manifestation of an overreaching corporatocracy that will stop at nothing to expand its various monopolies.
The key to defeating the NSA is not attacking it directly but by undermining and replacing the corporate interests that created it and direct it in the first place.
– Russia to Swap Intel-AMD Processors For Local Technology (Activist Post, June 22, 2014):
Russia’s ITAR-TASS News Agency reported in an article titled, “Russia wants to replace US computer chips with local processors,” that:
Russia’s Industry and Trade Ministry plans to replace US microchips Intel and AMD, used in government’s computers, with domestically-produced micro processor Baikal in a project worth dozens of millions of dollars, business daily Kommersant reported Thursday.
It also stated:
The Baikal chips will be installed on computers of government bodies and in state-run firms, which purchase some 700,000 personal computers annually worth $500 million and 300,000 servers worth $800 million. The total volume of the market amounts to about 5 million devices worth $3.5 billion.
In addition to the obvious financial benefits for Russia of locally manufacturing processors, there are several other dimensions within which the move will be beneficial, including in terms of national security.
– First Cisco And Microsoft, Now IBM: China Orders Banks To Remove High-End IBM Servers (ZeroHedge, May 27, 2014):
A week ago, in retaliation to the inane charges lobbed by the US accusing 5 Chinese army officials of spying on US companies (when the NSA spying scandal on, well, everyone refuses to leave the front pages), China announced it would ban the use of Windows 8 on government computers (considering the quality of Windows 8, this is likely a decision government computers would have taken on their own regardless). Today, China has expanded its list of sanctioned companies from Microsoft to include IBM as well, following a Bloomberg report that the Chinese government is pushing domestic banks to “remove high-end servers made by International Business Machines Corp. and replace them with a local brand.”
Why is MSFT and now IBM sowing the seeds of the US government’s stupidity and failed attempts to distract from its own spying scandals? We don’t know. Here is what we do know:
– China Publishes Data Claiming US Is World’s Largest Cyber Attacker (ZeroHedge, May 20, 2014):
Well that didn’t take long. Having already responded angrily to the US charging 5 military officers with cyber espionage, China has published details of the US cyber attacks:
- *CHINA CALLS U.S. THE BIGGEST ATTACKER OF CYBER SPACE: XINHUA
From 3/19 to 5/18, they claim to have found 135 host computers in the US carrying 563 phishing pages targeting Chinese sites that directly controlled 1.18 million computers. But Jay Carney said earlier that “the US does not engage in economic espionage.”
As Xinhua reports,
– China “Sanctions” US, Bans Use Of Windows 8 On Government Computers (ZeroHedge, May 20, 2014):
Considering the epic production and sales flop that Windows 8 has been, one probably does not need an actual sales ban from preventing anyone sane from using it let alone buying it, however in yet another symbolic step, banning its government employees from using the latest Windows operating system is precisely what China did in retaliation to yesterday’s DOJ announcement it was charging five PLA members with hacking offenses against the US. According to Reuters, this latest blow to Microsoft came when the Central Government Procurement Center issued the ban as part of a notice on the use of energy-saving products. So Windows 8 lead to global warming? Who knew…
– NSA embedded surveillance tools within exported US computer hardware (RT, May 12, 2014):
While the United States has warned against buying Chinese routers due to surveillance concerns, a new book about the Edward Snowden revelations states America has been intercepting and tinkering with routers intended for foreign customers.
According to Glenn Greenwald – one of the journalists entrusted with Snowden’s leaked documents – the National Security Agency has been implanting devices into routers headed overseas since at least 2010.
In an extract from Greenwald’s new book, titled “No Place to Hide,” the journalist states the NSA “routinely receives – or intercepts – routers, servers, and other computer network devices being exported from the US before they are delivered to the international customers.”
– Microsoft includes XP users in Internet Explorer fix (BBC News, May 2, 2014):
Microsoft has said users of its Windows XP operating system will also get the security update it has issued to fix a flaw in the Internet Explorer browser.
It issued the update on Thursday to fix a bug that let hackers gain access and user rights to computers.
– Hackers find first post-retirement Windows XP-related vulnerability (Computerworld, April 27, 2014):
Internet Explorer 6, 7 and 8 arent being exploited yet, but harbor a critical flaw
Computerworld – Microsoft on Saturday told customers that cyber-criminals are exploiting an unpatched and critical vulnerability in Internet Explorer (IE) using “drive-by” attacks.
“Microsoft is aware of limited, targeted attacks that attempt to exploit a vulnerability in Internet Explorer 6, Internet Explorer 7, Internet Explorer 8, Internet Explorer 9, Internet Explorer 10, and Internet Explorer 11,” the company said in a security advisory.