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More Lawsuits Filed Against AMD for Handling of Meltdown and Spectre Vulnerabilities

23 February 2018 - 05:20 PM

Last month multiple lawsuits were filed against AMD and Intel for both companies' responses to the news of the Meltdown and Spectre flaws, and the number of suits is still growing. As The Register reports, AMD has now had some more lawsuits filed against it, claiming securities fraud, breach of warranty, unfair competition, and negligence. Three of the lawsuits are similar and claim that while AMD knew about the vulnerability of its processors to Spectre (only Intel CPUs are vulnerable to Meltdown) it continued to sell its CPUs without informing customers or attempting to mitigate the issues. It continues to claim customers paid more than they would have, had they known about the vulnerabilities and the performance impact fixes could cause, because of how deep-rooted the issues are. The other lawsuit complains AMD has breached implied warranty, express warranty, the Magnusson-Moss Warranty Act, negligence, strict liability, unjust enrichment, and that there are violations of unfair competition and consumer protection laws in California and Ohio.

It may become interesting to see what happens with these and all of the Meltdown and Spectre related lawsuits. Given how long it takes for some lawsuits to be dealt with, I wonder if we might see processors with architectures hardened to these vulnerabilities released first.

Source: The Register

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Intel Offers Some Explanation for Not Informing US Government About Meltdown and Spectre

23 February 2018 - 03:44 PM

At the end of last month, there was reporting that Intel had informed a number of companies, including Chinese companies about the Meltdown and Spectre securities flaws, but did not inform the US Government's Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT). It is CERT that issues warnings for cyber security issues. Oregon Representative Greg Walden reached out to a number of companies about when information on the vulnerabilities were disclosed, and Reuters got a look at the responding letters, including the one Intel sent with its explanation.

According to the letter, the reason Intel did not inform CERT is that there was "no indication that any of these vulnerabilities had been exploited by malicious actors." The letter also states that the company did not perform an analysis to determine if the flaws could harm critical infrastructure, because it believed industrial control systems would not be affected. Intel did inform a number of other companies prior to the flaws' public disclosure, giving them time to ready responses to the issues.

Intel was not the only company to return letters to the Representative's questions. Microsoft stated it informed antivirus software makers of the flaws weeks before the public disclosure, to avoid compatibility issues, while AMD said Alphabet, the parent company of Google, extended the usual 90 disclosure deadline twice; first to January 3 and then to January 9. (Ironically, it was January 3 when The Register first reported on and publicly exposed the issues.) Alphabet also stated it left informing government officials about the security flaws up to the effected chipmakers, which is its standard practice.

Source: Reuters

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Corsair Adds 500D Case to Obsidian Series

22 February 2018 - 12:53 PM

Looks can be important for many things, and this is no less true for computers where the case is what everyone will see your choice of components and cable-routing skills. Corsair has launched the new Obsidian Series 500D case that provides an elegant and minimalist design with smoked tempered glass side panels and curved aluminum. The aluminum is black and brushed for the front panel, top panel, and the curved handles for the sides that can swing open to show off your internals, or be removed when you need to change components.

Of course function is important as well, and the 500D does deliver. While it is a mid-size case, it supports up to a 272 mm E-ATX motherboard, up to a 360 mm radiator in the front fan tray, and up to a 280 mm radiator in the top fan tray. The fan trays in the top and front will make installing fans and these large radiators much easier, and there are also dust filters for every intake, to help you keep things clean. For storage there are mounts for up to two 3.5 in drives and three 2.5 in drives behind the right side panel, keeping them and the heat they produce out of the main volume of the case. If you are still using a 5.25 in drive, there are no slots for one but the front port, along with the two USB 3.0 Type-A ports and usual buttons and audio jacks, also has a USB 3.1 Type-C port for those newer devices that use the reversible plug.

The Obsidian Series 500D is available immediately and is backed by a two-year warranty. A quick look at the Corsair webstore shows a price of $149.99, for any of you who are interested.



Source: Corsair

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RUINER Gets Final Update, Annihilation

21 February 2018 - 12:10 PM

If you have been enjoying the game RUINER, it just got its final update; the Annihilation Update. It is a free update that brings a new Arena Mode with online leaderboard, along with finishing moves, outfits, and gameplay updates. You can see some of these in the trailer below. The console versions will also be receiving previously PC-only features from the Savage Update, including New Game+ Mode, Speedrun Mode, and new weapons, outfits, and finishing moves.

To mark the occasion, the game is on sale at 50% off on PC and PlayStation 4. The 50% discount for Xbox One will arrive in March.



Source: Press Release

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February Dev Diary Released for Star Control: Origins

21 February 2018 - 12:08 PM

Today the latest dev diary for Star Control: Origins has been released, providing more information about the design for the game and what players can expect when it launches. Some of this information is particularly relevant for those who are looking forward to a return to some of the classic Star Control titles, but I want to quickly touch on a couple other notes. If you are someone who looked at the earlier images of the game and felt the ships looked too cartoony, the reason has been explained as the material system had not been implemented yet. This was intentional as the game was so far from release, but the developers have begun adding it in, so you can get a better idea of what it will look like in the end. Also scavenging is something the devs are working on, along with having wormholes and ion storms in arena, and the goal is to have these added to the Fleet Battles beta ahead of the Game Developer's Conference.

Now to the revelations about the place Star Control: Origins holds within the franchise, which is as an alternate universe. In this universe, Star Control was formed to discover what happened to the Lexites, a strong-AI created by humanity that freely chose to leave Earth, believing they could do more good "out there" than remaining on the planet. Before the mission to find them could begin though, more pressing events take place forcing you to take command of Earth's lone ship of any relevance. This means Star Control: Origins is not a prequel to the other games, but something different and none of the aliens from the Ur-Quan universe will be present, except possibly ships in the Super-Melee mode of Fleet Battles.

The design of the game has also been further explained, including that there will be no 4X elements as this is an adventure-RPG game, but it will not be a traditional RPG at that. The game will exist as a "state machine," which means it can offer a strong story and good narrative experience within a simulated universe, instead of one purely based on scripts. This is part of the reason the game requires a quad-core CPU and 64-bit operating season, as state machines require a lot of CPU and memory to implement (not necessarily a lot by the standards of modern hardware, but based on past games and computers). Something else to note about the universe is it is completely deterministic and not based on a random number generator. If you and a friend do exactly the same things, you will get the same outcome, and this is intentional. The developers want players to be able to work together to solve challenges in this massively single player game. Missions can still be completed in multiple ways and there will not be any breadcrumbs to lead you on your way.

Source: Stardock

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