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Category: Hardware (page 1 of 2)

What is an HDR monitor? High dynamic range explained

Custom PC magazine out of the UK has a wonderful, easily understood, explanation of the current high dynamic range (HDR) monitors that are all the rage.

EU to introduce ‘right to repair’ legislation that will force electronics manufacturers to create products that last longer, include as many recycled materials as possible, and are easier to reuse, repair, and recycle

Jennifer Rankin, The Guardian »

The European commission wants to drastically increase recycling of electronic goods, which are often difficult to repair, replace batteries or upgrade. Less than 40% of electronic waste in the EU is thought to be recycled.

Billed as “the right to repair”, the European commission will extend an eco-design law to cover phones, tablets and laptops, setting technical standards so these goods consist of changeable and repairable parts. The current eco-design directive sets energy efficiency standards for computers, TVs, dishwashers and washing machines.

Virginijus Sinkevičius, European commissioner for the environment, said the “circular economy” plan was a new economic model for the continent.

“The linear growth model of ‘take, make, use discard’ has reached its limits,” he told reporters. “With the growth of the world population and consumption, this linear model pushes us closer and closer to a resource crisis. The only way ahead is decoupling economic growth from extraction of primary resources and their environmental impacts.”

More » Engadget, TechCrunch, The Verge, XDA-Developers

Demand for smartphones halves in China in February 2020 due to Coronavirus

Reuters »

In total, mobile phone brands sold a total of 6.34 million devices in February in China, down 54.7% from 14 million in the same month last year, data from the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology showed (CAICT).

It was also the lowest level for February since at least 2012, when CAICT started publishing data.

[…]

Android brands, which include devices made by Huawei Technologies and Xiaomi accounted for most of the drop, as they collectively saw shipments decline from 12.72 million units in February 2019 to 5.85 million, the data showed.

Shipments of Apple devices slumped to 494,000, from 1.27 million in February 2019. In January, its shipments had held steady at just over 2 million.

More » Apple Insider

Intel CPUs and chipsets have a serious hardware flaw that’s not fixable

Dan Goodin, Ars Technica »

Virtually all Intel chips released in the past five years contain an unfixable flaw that may allow sophisticated attackers to defeat a host of security measures built into the silicon. While Intel has issued patches to lessen the damage of exploits and make them harder, security firm Positive Technologies said the mitigations may not be enough to fully protect systems.

The flaw resides in the Converged Security and Management Engine, a subsystem inside Intel CPUs and chipsets that’s roughly analogous to AMD’s Platform Security Processor. Often abbreviated as CSME, this feature implements the firmware-based Trusted Platform Module used for silicon-based encryption, authentication of UEFI BIOS firmware, Microsoft System Guard and BitLocker, and other security features. The bug stems from the failure of the input-output memory management unit—which provides protection preventing the malicious modification of static random-access memory—to implement early enough in the firmware boot process. That failure creates a window of opportunity for other chip components, such as the Integrated Sensor Hub, to execute malicious code that runs very early in the boot process with the highest of system privileges.

More » Positive Technologies, The Register, ZDNet, Thurrott

On it’s 8th anniversary, the Raspberry Pi 4 gets a RAM upgrade

For the same $50 CDN ($35 USD), you now have the very popular Raspberry Pi 4 with either 1GB or 2GM of memory. The 4GB version remains at $75 CDN ($55 USD)

The cost of memory has come down and the Raspberry Pi Foundation can now offer more memory for the same price.

More » TechRadar, HackadayArs Technica, SlashGear

Researchers at Mysk show how any and all apps on your iOS devices have free and unrestricted access to everything that goes onto the clipboard

Developers at Mysk created a simple app with the sole purpose of displaying information gleaned from the clipboard, without user knowledge or consent.

When users copy images onto their clipboard, for example, the app can immediately read the content, including metadata that often includes the location of where the photo was taken.

The video demo below goes onto show that even the installed widgets can silently collect all data copied to the clipboard, without user knowledge.

Here’s a detailed explanation.

Former Conservative leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith is asking the British government to rethink its decision to allow Huawei to play a role in the UK’s 5G network

There appear to be legitimate national security concerns about allowing Chinese firm Huawei to bid on and install 5G mobile networking equipment. Boris Johnson’s government announced they will allow the firm to install it’s equipment, however, they have not addressed those concerns or stated why they will allow this added risk, when there are other highly reputable alternatives.

The decision appears to be a political one, and not one based on facts. To be clear, Huawei should not be banned based on what is being asked for by the Trump Administration. National security should be top priority.

BBC »

In a letter, the group – which includes four ex-cabinet ministers – said there were alternatives to the Chinese firm.

They want “high-risk” vendors to be ruled out now, or phased out over time.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the decision followed a “rigorous” review by security experts and that Huawei’s involvement would be restricted.

More » The Independent

Amazon’s Ring doorbell sends customer’s personal data to Facebook and Google

BBC »

The Electronic Frontier Foundation found the Ring app was “packed” with third-party tracking, sending out customers’ personally identifiable information.

Five companies were receiving a range of information, including names, IP addresses and mobile networks, it said.

Ring said it limited the amount of data it shared.

The company told Gizmodo: “Like many companies, Ring uses third-party service providers to evaluate the use of our mobile app, which helps us improve features, optimise the customer experience and evaluate the effectiveness of our marketing.”

But the EFF said Ring was failing to protect users’ privacy, noting only one of the trackers it had found was mentioned in the company’s privacy policy.

US Army bans soldiers from using TikTok » The app is considered a “cyber threat”

 Justine Calma, The Verge »

United States Army soldiers can no longer use TikTok on government-owned phones following a decision to ban the app. The move comes amidst ongoing worries that the video app owned by Beijing-based company ByteDance could compromise national security or be used to influence or surveil Americans.

“It is considered a cyber threat,” Army spokeswoman Lt. Col. Robin Ochoa told Military.com, which broke the news on December 30th. The army reportedly used TikTok to recruit members prior to the ban.

Both the Navy and Defense Department sounded alarms on TikTok earlier this month. The Navy previously told its members not to add the app, and to delete it from government-issued devices if it was already installed. The Defense Department also instructed employees to “be wary of applications you download, monitor your phones for unusual and unsolicited texts etc., and delete them immediately and uninstall TikTok to circumvent any exposure of personal information,” according to military.com.

More » CNN

Related » US Navy Bans TikTok From Military Devices » Security Boulevard (Dec 27, 2019)

More » BoingBoing, The Next Web, SecurityAngle

Related » TikTok eyes global headquarters outside of China as US scrutiny mounts – Tech in Asia (Dec 24, 2019)

More » WSJ

NY Times journalists answer » What’s the worst that could happen to your smartphone data?

NY Times »

None of us really has a choice to participate in tracking or not — the system just serves up location data, usually without us noticing. So for people who do want a bit of privacy — worshipers, young people visiting Planned Parenthood, those visiting a queer space, survivors hiding from an abuser — they no longer have a real choice about their privacy. Because the tracking touches everyone, can we really give up after concluding it’s fine for us? When we participate in this system, we’re tacitly endorsing it.

[…]

Your imagination can run wild with possibilities. It runs from tracking kids to tracking the nation’s top security officials and using the intelligence for some kind of blackmail.

For us, it was talking to one group that was so concerned they didn’t want to be named. We expected them to be worried, but in conversations with them, they were downright scared. When we showed them all the device pings collected in the center of their building during a gathering, they were horrified that people could know exactly who and how many people were in the building and when. The idea that their community members were followed in the data and we could figure out where they all lived — it wasn’t an abstract threat anymore. It was real and personal for them, especially since they felt like a target already.

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