MIT's DAWG Mitigates Spectre and Meltdown

Researchers at MIT have built a new security measure on top of Intel’s Cache Allocation Technology. Dynamically Allocated Way Guard, or DAWG, is built to isolate programs from each other without the performance overhead of Intel’s CAT. The technology only requires “minor modifications to the underlying operating system to implement,” but unfortunately, it won’t protect against all known attacks. The developers say it will mitigate most of them with more development, and hope to see integration of similar systems into future software. The full research paper can be downloaded here.



‘We think this is an important step forward in giving computer architects, cloud providers and other IT professionals a better way to efficiently and dynamically allocate resources,’ claims lead author Vladimir Kiriansky. ‘It establishes clear boundaries for where sharing should and should not happen, so that programs with sensitive information can keep that data reasonably secure.’

Discussion

Source: [H]ardOCP – MIT’s DAWG Mitigates Spectre and Meltdown

Motion Smoothing Feature in SteamVR Allows Lower-End GPUs to Become VR Ready

Valve Software has added a new feature to SteamVR that has the potential to allow many lower-end GPUs to become VR ready, while improving performance on higher end GPUs. Motion Smoothing senses when a VR application isn’t going to make framerate and synthesizes the missing frame by looking at the last two delivered frames to estimate motion and animation. From that information a new frame is extrapolated. These synthesized frames allow the application to run at a full frame rate, eliminates judder, and keeps motion moving forward.

The reward is that the GPU only needs to render 1 out of 2 frames which lowers system performance requirements. If the system still can’t keep up, Motion Smoothing can even synthesize 2 or 3 frames for every 1 frame delivered. It can even allow high-end GPUs to run at a higher resolution. Motion Smoothing is currently only available for systems running Windows 10 and an NVIDIA GPU. Valve Software’s Alex Vlachos had this to say about AMD cards “We have this mostly working on AMD. We just have a few issues to sort out. AMD support is coming. Sorry I can’t provide an exact timeline, but we are working on it.”



What it means for you
From the player’s perspective, what was previously a game that would hitch and drop frames producing judder is now a game that constantly runs smoothly at 90 Hz. SteamVR Motion Smoothing improves upon the previously released Asynchronous Reprojection to enhance the overall experience for customers across a wide variety of VR systems. Not only can lower-end GPUs now produce smooth frames in applications that were previously too expensive, higher-end GPUs can now render at an even higher resolution increasing the fidelity of all experiences on all VR systems.

Discussion

Source: [H]ardOCP – Motion Smoothing Feature in SteamVR Allows Lower-End GPUs to Become VR Ready

Ticketmaster buys a blockchain company to guard against ticket fraud

Ticketmaster will soon have another way to fight bogus ticket sales: by hopping on one of the biggest tech bandwagons of 2018. It’s acquiring Upgraded, a company that melds blockchain’s distributed trust with encrypted barcodes to minimize the fraud…

Source: Engadget – Ticketmaster buys a blockchain company to guard against ticket fraud

The Rate at Which the World is Getting Online Has Fallen Sharply Since 2015, New Report Suggests

Ian Sample, writing for The Guardian: The growth of internet access around the world has slowed dramatically, according to new data, suggesting the digital revolution will remain a distant dream for billions of the poorest and most isolated people on the planet. The striking trend, described in an unpublished report shared with the Guardian, shows the rate at which the world is getting online has fallen sharply since 2015, with women and the rural poor substantially excluded from education, business and other opportunities the internet can provide. The slowdown is described in an analysis of UN data that will be published next month by the Web Foundation, an organisation set up by the inventor of the world wide web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee. The data shows that growth in global internet access dropped from 19% in 2007 to less than 6% last year. “We underestimated the slowdown and the growth rate is now really worrying,” said Dhanaraj Thakur, research director at the Web Foundation. “The problem with having some people online and others not is that you increase the existing inequalities. If you’re not part of it, you tend to lose out.”

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



Source: Slashdot – The Rate at Which the World is Getting Online Has Fallen Sharply Since 2015, New Report Suggests

Inside Facebook's 'war room' is a battle for public trust

The internet has a misinformation problem. Symptoms include fake news, election interference, hate speech, trolling — it goes by many names. It’s become increasingly clear over the past few years that social media platforms should bear some responsi…

Source: Engadget – Inside Facebook’s ‘war room’ is a battle for public trust

Google Details How Its Titan M Security Chip Locks Down And Encrypts Pixel 3 Phones

Google Details How Its Titan M Security Chip Locks Down And Encrypts Pixel 3 Phones
One aspect of smartphones that largely gets overlooked is security. For many consumers, the technical details surrounding stronger encryption just isn’t as interesting as advancements in camera technology and other prominent features. For those who do care to know more, however, Google wrote a blog post describing its Titan M chip that is

Source: Hot Hardware – Google Details How Its Titan M Security Chip Locks Down And Encrypts Pixel 3 Phones

Carving up London on the monster Mate X electric bike

Most electric-bike companies are pursuing designs nearly indistinguishable from their purely pedal-powered brethren. They’re hiding batteries in slightly thicker frames or attaching them where a rider would normally store a water bottle. While the ex…

Source: Engadget – Carving up London on the monster Mate X electric bike

How to Demand Action on Climate Change

Last week, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a report—a klaxon, really—warning of the catastrophic consequences of climate change if global political leaders don’t take action right now. For people who’ve been sounding the alarm for decades now, this report is depressing but not surprising; for…

Read more…



Source: LifeHacker – How to Demand Action on Climate Change

HP Announces Z Club Device-as-a-Service Program: Hardware Bundles at $108+ per Month

In addition to launching “Boosted” versions of its ZBook notebooks, HP has also introduced its Z Club device-as-a-service (DaaS) program. Under the terms of the program, select HP customers will be able to lend certain hardware bundles at a fixed monthly payment, and get a special Z Concierge service. The Z Club will be initially available only to select HP customers, if the company finds it successful enough, it may expand it in the future.


The Z Club DaaS program is aimed at creative professionals, such as artists, graphics designers, photographers, and video editors. For each group HP will offer a special hardware bundle. Furthermore, it will offer a choice of components and accessories that users may install themselves and find out how certain hardware affects their workflow. Select customers of HP that will be offered membership in the Z Club will be able to tryout HP’s hardware and components bundle for free for 90 days and in that period,  they will be able to configure systems however they see viable. In addition, Z Club members will be offered Z Concierge service available 24/7. The latter will provide recommendations concerning usage of hardware and software to simplify transition to HP Z workstations.



Initially, HP will offer six hardware packages for different workflows:


The Artist’s Bundle will include HP’s ZBook x2 with Pen, HP’s 24-inch DreamColor 24x display, a 1 TB external drive, wireless keyboard & mouse, collaboration software, as well as Z Concierge and next-day business service. Montly cost of this package will be at $156, exact specs are listed in the table below.


The Graphics Designer’s Bundle will include the HP ZBook x360 with Pen, HP’s DreamColor 24x monitor, a 1 TB external storage device, wireless keyboard & mouse, and the aforementioned software and services. This package will cost $167 a month.


The Video Editor’s Bundle will consist of either HP Z2 Tower or HP Z4 Tower desktop PCs, an HP Z38C curved display, or two 24-inch monitors (see the table for details). Depending on exact configuration, the package will cost from $183 to $210.


The Photographer’s Bundle will feature the HP Z mini workstation or HP ZBook x360 with Pen, a 24-inch display, and a printer. The package will be available for $108 to $180 a month, depending on exact hardware specs.



Keeping in mind that HP intends to offer its customers a choice of hardware to install themselves, actual monthly payments will differ from those of canonical bundles. Meanwhile, a quick analysis of hardware packages and their prices indicate that montly payments are about 27-34 times lower than the current cost of hardware. That said, it makes a great financial sense to rent the workstations when using them for less than 27 – 34 months. At the same time, it will be cheaper to buy hardware if you plan to use it for three years or more.











HP Z Club Hardware Bundles
  Configuration Approximate* Price of Hardware at HP.com Monthly Cost
Artists’s Bundle HP ZBook x2 with Pen

14-inch 4K IPS LCD

Intel Core i7-8650U

32 GB of DDR4-2133 RAM

1 TB PCIe SSD

NVIDIA Quadro M620 2 GB

+

HP DreamColor Z24x

+

Wireless Keyboard & Mouse

+

1 TB external drive

+

Services
$5362 $156
Graphics Designer’s Bundle HP ZBook Studio x360 with Pen

15.6-inch 4K LCD

Intel Core i7-8750H

32 GB of DDR4-2667 RAM

2×512 GB PCIe SSD

NVIDIA Quadro P1000 4 GB

+

HP DreamColor Z24x

+

Wireless Keyboard & Mouse

+

1 TB external drive

+

Services
$5738 $167
Video Editor’s Bundle 1 HP Z2 Tower

Intel Core i7-8700K

64 GB of DDR4-2667 RAM

Z Turbo 512 GB PCIe SSD

4 TB 3.5-inch 7200 RPM HDD

NVIDIA Quadro P5000 16 GB

+

HP DreamColor Z24x+ HP Z 24-inch LCD

+

1 TB external drive

+

Wireless Keyboard & Mouse

+

Services
$5374 $183
Video Editor’s Bundle 2 HP Z4 Tower

Intel Core i7-7820X

64 GB of DDR4-2667 RAM

Z Turbo 512 GB PCIe SSD

4 TB 3.5-inch 7200 RPM HDD

NVIDIA Quadro P5000 16 GB

+

HP DreamColor Z38C Curved LCD

+

1 TB external drive

+

Wireless Keyboard & Mouse

+

Services
$7090 $210
Photographer’s Bundle 1 HP Z2 Mini

Intel Core i7-8700

32 GB of DDR4-2400 RAM

Z Turbo 256 GB PCIe SSD

1 TB 3.5-inch 7200 RPM HDD

+

HP DreamColor 24x LCD

+

1 TB external drive

+

HP Photosmart Printer

+

Wireless Keyboard & Mouse

+

Services
$2937 $108
Photographer’s Bundle 2 HP ZBook x360 with Pen

15.6-inch 4K LCD

Intel Core i7-8750H

32 GB of DDR4-2667 RAM

2×512 GB PCIe SSD

NVIDIA Quadro P1000 4 GB

+

HP 24-inch

+

1 TB external drive

+

Wireless Keyboard & Mouse

+

HP Sprocket Printer

+

Services
$5479 $180
Note *Since we do not know exact configuration, actual prices may be different than the ones we picked at HP.com on 10/15/2018.


Related Reading:




Source: AnandTech – HP Announces Z Club Device-as-a-Service Program: Hardware Bundles at 8+ per Month

Scientists Release Result from 'Astonishing' Feat of Creating and Testing Quantum Gas in Space

Last year, graduate student Dennis Becker watched from a safehouse as the MAIUS-1’s sounding rocket took off from a launch facility in the Swedish Arctic. But even after repeated delays from snow and wind, he wouldn’t know for a few days whether the rocket’s payload survived. When the ambitious experiment dropped back…

Read more…



Source: Gizmodo – Scientists Release Result from ‘Astonishing’ Feat of Creating and Testing Quantum Gas in Space

Updates From Titans, Godzilla vs Kong, and More

Jon Favreau offers a look at the voices behind his Lion King remake. Star Trek producer Heather Kadin promises Discovery and Picard will feel different from each other. The DC/CW superhero crossover teases both Lois Lane and a familiar Superman location. Plus, what’s to come on Supernatural, and a clever new Daredevil

Read more…



Source: Gizmodo – Updates From Titans, Godzilla vs Kong, and More

Samsung Begins 7nm EUV Production

Samsung announced their 7nm EUV process some time ago, and it looks like production came right on schedule. In a press release, Samsung announced that it finished development of its 7nm LPP EUV process, and is starting wafer production. The new process uses extreme ultraviolet radiation with a wavelength of 13.5 nm, as opposed to the 193nm wavelength used in previous processes. According to Samsung, chips produced on the new process will have a 40% area efficiency advantage over previous 10nm FinFET chips, as well as 20% higher performance or 50% lower power consumption. Like TSMC, Samsung is also offering advanced packaging services with the process, including support for HBM2/2e memory interfaces and 112G SerDes interfaces. Initial production takes place at Samsung’s S3 Fab in Hwaseong, Korea, but the company hopes to get more factories up and running in 2020.



“With the introduction of its EUV process node, Samsung has led a quiet revolution in the semiconductor industry,” said Charlie Bae, executive vice president of foundry sales and marketing team at Samsung Electronics. “This fundamental shift in how wafers are manufactured gives our customers the opportunity to significantly improve their products’ time to market with superior throughput, reduced layers, and better yields. We’re confident that 7LPP will be an optimal choice not only for mobile and HPC, but also for a wide range of cutting-edge applications.”

Discussion

Source: [H]ardOCP – Samsung Begins 7nm EUV Production

Heads Roll At Intel Over Manufacturing Missteps In Major Division Shake-Up

Heads Roll At Intel Over Manufacturing Missteps In Major Division Shake-Up
Intel this week announced a major shakeup in its manufacturing division amid continuing delays in rolling out its 10nm processors. Intel has been building chips on its 14nm process since 2014 and the company has indicated that its 10nm CPUs won’t be ready for volume production until 2019. In order to get its house in order, Intel is splitting

Source: Hot Hardware – Heads Roll At Intel Over Manufacturing Missteps In Major Division Shake-Up