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PCWorld
2/3/2014 12:46:31 PM
1 - AMD releases game-changing Mantle support in new Catalyst beta driver
2 - 
EU copyright consultation extended for another month
3 - 
German federal prosecutor considers formal NSA investigation
4 - 
Prominent cryptographers targeted by malware attacks
5 - 
Windows XP gained market share in January (or did it?)
6 - 
Hackers use a trick to deliver Zeus banking malware
7 - 
Violin Memory names replacement for fired CEO
8 - 
AT&T adds cheaper family plans for full-price phones
9 - 
What to do if you absolutely can’t, or won’t, give up XP
10 - 
Windows 8.1 Update 1 leak: More changes for Start screen, desktop
11 - 
Former NSA employee looks to make email more secure
12 - 
Why a health-focused iWatch won't kill smartwatches like the iPod killed audio players
13 - 
India tries to sell wireless spectrum again
14 - 
Lenovo ThinkPad X240 review: A no-nonsense business laptop 
15 - 
9 free tools that make Windows much better
16 - 
Which tech companies scored on Super Bowl Sunday?
17 - 
Super Bowl gear got its start as a design on a 3D printer
18 - 
Russian man pleads guilty in SpyEye malware case
19 - 
Windows XP users reluctant to part, or to adopt Windows 8
20 - 
Could your TV really spam you?
21 - 
Bitcoin accepted as valid currency by Australian lawyers
22 - 
How to stream the Super Bowl to your computer, tablet, or smartphone
23 - 
Websites busted for pushing counterfeit Super Bowl gear
24 - 
Mobile purchases reportedly hit 20% of all transactions
25 - 
By ditching Motorola, Google shifts its focus to gadgets
26 - 
Samsung eyes Apple Stores, teams on its own in Europe
27 - 
Expansion urged for the Web's upcoming 25th year
28 - 
Malicious Java app infects Mac, Linux systems with DDoS bot
29 - 
Global smartphone sales passed one billion in 2013
30 - 
Verizon to stream Super Bowl over LTE Multicast for a lucky few



AMD has released the latest beta driver of its Catalyst software, making its Mantle API a reality for those with supported graphics cards.

AMD’s Catalyst 14.1 beta driver was expected last week, although a few glitches delayed the release. Over the weekend, AMD published the beta driver to its Web site. Note that you’ll need to uninstall the current driver before installing the beta.

AMD is positioning Mantle as a low-level API optimized for its own hardware, offering significantly better performance than the generic DirectX API that powers both AMD and Nvidia graphics cards and integrated CPU/GPU chips, known as APUs. (For more, see our earlier deep dive into Mantle technology.)

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

2/3/2014 12:39:00 PM

2 - EU copyright consultation extended for another month

The planned overhaul of the European Union’s copyright laws has been set back by a month as a public consultation was extended.

The European Commission had asked for feedback by Feb. 5, but following strong lobbying from all sides, has decided to extend that to March 5. The internal market department said that some interested parties had asked for more time to finalize and submit their contributions.

The E.U. faces problems with the cross-border provision of services. Not all online services are available to consumers in all member states. In some instances, even if the “same” service is available in all E.U. countries, consumers can’t access the service across borders. “They can only access their ‘national’ service, and if they try to access the ‘same’ service in another member state they are redirected to the one designated for their country of residence,” reads a Commission document.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

2/3/2014 12:15:08 PM

3 - German federal prosecutor considers formal NSA investigation

Germany’s federal prosecutor is considering if there is enough evidence to warrant a formal, criminal investigation into the German government’s alleged involvement in the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) data collection program, a spokeswoman said Monday.

Privacy and human rights campaigners including the Chaos Computer Club (CCC), the International League for Human Rights (ILMR) and Digitalcourage on Monday filed a criminal complaint against the German federal government and the presidents of the German secret services for their alleged involvement in illegal and prohibited covert intelligence activities, they said in a news release.

The complaint also targeted German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the German Minister of the Interior as well as U.S., British and German secret agents who are all accused of violating the right to privacy and obstruction of justice by cooperating with the NSA and its British counterpart GCHQ to electronically spy on German citizens, they said.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

2/3/2014 12:10:00 PM


4 - 
Prominent cryptographers targeted by malware attacks

Belgian cryptographer Jean-Jacques Quisquater had his personal computer infected with malware as the result of a targeted attack that’s believed to be related to a security breach discovered last year at Belgian telecommunications group Belgacom. According to him, other cryptographers have also been targeted by the same attackers.

Belgacom, whose customers include the European Commission, the European Parliament and the European Council, announced in September that it had discovered sophisticated malware on some of its internal systems.

German news magazine Der Spiegel reported at the time, based on documents leaked by former U.S. National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, that British intelligence agency Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) was responsible for the attack on Belgacom as part of a project code-named Operation Socialist.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

2/3/2014 12:08:00 PM

5 - 
Windows XP gained market share in January (or did it?)

Microsoft is almost ready to put Windows XP out to pasture, but the popular operating system refuses to die. The latest worldwide numbers from Net Applications show Windows XP market share actually grew by 0.25 percentage points in January, compared to the month previous.

This is the first time Windows XP has gained in market share based on Net Applications’ freely available data, which reaches back to 2009.

We’ve dropped a line to Net Applications to see if the company has any explanation about why Windows XP might have bounced back in January, and we’ll update this story accordingly.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

2/3/2014 12:03:00 PM

6 - 
Hackers use a trick to deliver Zeus banking malware

Hackers found a new way to slip past security software and deliver Zeus, a long-known malicious software program that steals online banking details.

Security company Malcovery Security, based in Georgia, alerted security analysts after finding that none of 50 security programs on Google’s online virus scanning service VirusTotal were catching it as of early Sunday.

Gary Warner, Malcovery’s chief technologist, posted on his blog an assortment of spam messages, which spoofed brands and organizations such as the payment processor ADP, the Better Business Bureau and the British tax authority HMRC.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

2/3/2014 10:06:00 AM

7 - 
Violin Memory names replacement for fired CEO

Violin Memory has named Kevin A. DeNuccio as CEO after a seven-week search to replace Donald Basile, who was fired in mid-December.

The flash memory arrays manufacturer pushed Basile out as its stock price plummeted following its IPO in September and the announcement of poor quarterly results.

Board chairman Howard A. Bain III took over as interim CEO following Basile’s departure. Bain, who will remain as chairman, praised DeNuccio’s business transformation experience in a statement released Monday. He highlighted his skills in developing relationships with clients and sales channels, in cultivating talent and in rapidly scaling operations.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

2/3/2014 10:05:09 AM

8 - 
AT&T adds cheaper family plans for full-price phones

Mobile Share Family Value plans now start at $130 per month for two lines and 10GB of data, but you'll have to pay full price for each smartphone upfront or in monthly installments.

2/3/2014 10:04:00 AM

9 - 
What to do if you absolutely can’t, or won’t, give up XP

Greg Salone doesn’t want to give up Windows XP. He asked for advice on what could “keep me from being vulnerable” after support ends on April 8.

You’ve heard this from me and pretty much every other tech journalist: You need to stop using Windows XP. It will gradually--or maybe not so gradually--become less secure after Microsoft stops updating the OS. I won’t go into the details, since I covered them in Should you keep using Windows XP?

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

2/3/2014 9:11:00 AM

10 - 
Windows 8.1 Update 1 leak: More changes for Start screen, desktop

Following weeks of speculation and rumors, a purported early build of Update 1 for Windows 8.1 has leaked online and available on a number of file sharing sites. The download reveals a lot of the features we’ve been hearing about since Update 1 screenshots started appearing. The update itself is expected in March or April.

Before diving into the details the usual caveats apply: Microsoft could cancel any of these features or hold them for a later update. So what we’re seeing here is more of a work in progress than a finished feature set for the next Windows update.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

2/3/2014 8:50:00 AM

11 - 
Former NSA employee looks to make email more secure

Email, perhaps still the most widely used Internet application, has about the same level of security as a postcard. But unlike postcards, it’s widely depended on by businesses.

It wasn’t designed with security in mind. It was just designed to work. But following disclosures of large-scale spying by the U.S. as well as other nations over the last several years, a variety of companies, including Wickr and Silent Circle, see commercial opportunities in making encrypted messaging products that are easier to use.

Joining those companies is Washington, D.C.-based Virtru, co-founded by the Ackerly brothers. John, 38, has a background in private equity, and his younger brother Will, 34, joined the National Security Agency out of college in 2004.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

2/3/2014 8:00:00 AM

12 - 
Why a health-focused iWatch won't kill smartwatches like the iPod killed audio players

Nothing about current sensor technology or the wearables space in general tells us that Apple can roll in and dominate.

2/3/2014 6:00:00 AM


13 - 
India tries to sell wireless spectrum again

India is auctioning spectrum for mobile wireless services for the third time starting Monday, after reducing the minimum price for access to the airwaves.

The government’s previous attempts since 2012 to raise money through the auction had few takers as some potential bidders were deterred by the high floor prices set by the government.

The response of bidders this time is likely to be “measured,” said Kamlesh Bhatia, research director at Gartner, as the Indian market for mobile voice services has reached a plateau while the market for data services has proven to be very price sensitive. Some operators have large debts which makes it unlikely that they will invest a lot on spectrum at this point, he added.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

2/3/2014 5:55:06 AM

14 - 
Lenovo ThinkPad X240 review: A no-nonsense business laptop

If Lenovo’s spendy ThinkPad X1 Carbon is the laptop every corporate drone craves, Lenovo’s thrifty ThinkPad X240 is the laptop their employer is more apt to spring for (assuming, of course, that the company’s IT department has standardized on Lenovo and not Dell, HP, Toshiba, or some other commercial laptop builder).

You might think the ThinkPad X240 is too thick and too heavy to qualify for Ultrabook designation, but it’s only 0.79 inches thick and it weighs just 3 pounds. And there’s a very good reason why the X240 doesn’t taper to a knife edge like the X1 Carbon does: The X240 is outfitted with two batteries and a battery bridge that enables you to swap a depleted battery for one that’s fully charged without turning the machine off. That’s slick.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

2/3/2014 5:30:00 AM

15 - 
9 free tools that make Windows much better

Windows is packed to the rafters with features, many of them great—and others, just meh. Luckily, there are free alternatives that are more powerful, more efficient, and take only minutes to install. Read on, and we’ll show you 9 built-in features of Windows that aren’t up to snuff, and the free software you can use to replace them.

Search

The search functionality in Windows 8 is fast and well-integrated with the new Start Screen. Still, the Start Screen search isn’t perfect: It can’t find files that aren’t executables or documents. If you want to search through every file on your system, you have to use the excruciatingly slow File Explorer search. Or, you can use Everything.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

2/3/2014 5:00:00 AM

16 - 
Which tech companies scored on Super Bowl Sunday?

Intuit, Microsoft, Beats Electronics, and more bought up air time during Sunday's Super Bowl. But which ads made it to the end zone and which ones fumbled?

2/3/2014 1:50:00 AM

17 - 
Super Bowl gear got its start as a design on a 3D printer

When football players hit the field for the Super Bowl this Sunday, the cleats on their shoes will have been designed for the first time on a 3D printer.

Nike announced that its Vapor Laser Talon bottom plate weighs just 5.6 ounces and was specifically designed on a 3D printer to provide optimal traction on football turf and to help athletes maintain their “drive stance” longer.

According to Performance Director Lance Walker, an athlete’s “Zero Step” is a pivotal point that can make or break an athlete’s 40-yard dash time. In the moments before that first step hits the turf, his propulsion and acceleration speed are determined. At that point, it’s all about geometry, Nike said.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

2/2/2014 2:10:00 PM

18 - 
Russian man pleads guilty in SpyEye malware case

Russian Aleksandr Andreevich Panin has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire and bank fraud for his role as primary developer and distributor of the SpyEye bank fraud Trojan, the U.S. Department of Justice said last week.

Panin, known as Gribodemon and Harderman, was primary developer of SpyEye, a sophisticated, malicious computer Trojan designed to automate the theft of confidential personal and financial information, including online banking credentials, credit card information, user names, and passwords, the DOJ said in a press release. The virus has infected an estimated 1.4 million computers worldwide since 2009.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

2/2/2014 1:11:00 PM

19 - 
Windows XP users reluctant to part, or to adopt Windows 8

Windows XP’s disappearance and Windows 8’s march toward some kind of success were both put on hold in January, after a December when XP’s user share plunged and Windows 8’s swelled, a Web analytics company said Saturday.

Neither are good signs for Microsoft, which has bet the future on Windows 8 and is coming close to begging customers to abandon the creaky Windows XP.

According to Aliso Viejo, California company Net Applications, Windows XP increased its share by a quarter of a percentage point in January, ending the month at 29.2 percent of all desktop and notebook computers worldwide, the first time it had meaningful growth since March 2012.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

2/2/2014 12:45:00 PM

20 - 
Could your TV really spam you?

Refrigerators might hold spam to keep it cold in the meat bin. But in the Internet of Things world, can fridges connected to the Web blast malicious email as part of a botnet? And how about TVs or other smart devices? In the stranger side of the Internet of Things, Proofpoint said it uncovered a cyberattack in which compromised refrigerators and TVs sent out malicious email. But Symantec, says it saw no evidence of such an attack.

The phrase “Internet of Things” describes how a variety of household or industrial devices can be connected to the Internet for remote management. Proofpoint “has uncovered what may be the first proven Internet of Things-based cyberattack involving conventional household smart’ appliances,” the security firm said. It was described as “a global attack campaign involving more than 750,000 malicious email communications coming from more than 100,000 everyday consumer gadgets such as home-networking routers, connected multi-media centers, televisions and at least one refrigerator that has been compromised and used as a platform to launch attacks.”

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

2/2/2014 11:52:00 AM

21 - 
Bitcoin accepted as valid currency by Australian lawyers

The legal fraternity has made it first foray into the use of Bitcoin as payments for services rendered.

LegalVision, an Australian legal service provider, is the first to allow its customers to pay for legal services with Bitcoin.

Bitcoin is a decentralized digital currency and allows users to transfer money on the Internet without using a bank. It also allows users to transact with each other directly.

LegalVision installed Bitcoin support on January 21.

LegalVision chief executive Lachlan McKnight said he was interested in using the crypto-currency because it fitted with the online firm’s emphasis on efficiency and innovation.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

2/2/2014 10:30:00 AM

22 - 
How to stream the Super Bowl to your computer, tablet, or smartphone

Can't be in front of a TV for Sunday's big game? Fox and Verizon have you covered.

2/2/2014 9:44:00 AM

23 - 
Websites busted for pushing counterfeit Super Bowl gear

As they have for the past few years the U.S. Customs department teamed with the National Football League to cut into the lucrative counterfeit sports gear market.

In what the feds called “Operation Team Player,” special agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and officers from Customs and Border Protection worked with the National Football League (NFL) and other sports leagues along with law enforcement agencies to identify illegal shipments imported into the U.S., as well as stores and vendors selling counterfeit trademarked items.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

2/1/2014 2:48:00 PM

24 - 
Mobile purchases reportedly hit 20% of all transactions

Payments made with mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets rose 55 percent over last year, reaching a total of 19.5 percent of all transactions processed worldwide in December by Amsterdam’s Adyen.

Apple iPads and iPhones were the most used devices for mobile payments, according to Adyen’s tally, with the iPad accounting for 41 percent of mobile transactions during the busy September to December holiday shopping period. The Apple iPhone took the second spot with 31.6 percent of mobile-payment transactions, while Android smartphones stood at 20 percent and Android tablets at just 6.6 percent. Microsoft Windows Mobile and BlackBerry devices each accounted for less than 1 percent.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

2/1/2014 1:25:00 PM

25 - 
By ditching Motorola, Google shifts its focus to gadgets

Now that Google has gotten rid of Motorola Mobility, the company can focus on its newest projects, like the smart home, wearable computers, and robotics.

“Selling off Motorola frees Google to focus on new areas of growth and they are focused on quite a few,” said Jeff Kagan, an independent industry analyst. “GoogleX is the part of the company that focuses on the future. Some of the most recent ideas range from the Nest system for home automation to robotics, driverless cars, elevators to space, pharmaceuticals, cancer treatments and other medical and health-related business.”

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

2/1/2014 12:43:00 PM

26 - 
Samsung eyes Apple Stores, teams on its own in Europe

Samsung Electronics is joining forces with retailer Carphone Warehouse to create 60 dedicated Samsung stores in Europe, hoping that will help keep the growing competition in the Android smartphone market at bay.

The stores will be opened in the next three months across the U.K., Ireland, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Sweden, and the Netherlands. The 60 stores will be a mixture of new locations and of existing Carphone Warehouse locations that will be converted to sell Samsung products, according to a Carphone Warehouse spokeswoman. About a third of the stores will be in the U.K. making it the largest market, she said.

The stores will sell smartphones, tablets, laptops and wearables, according to Samsung. With the European economy improving, the company sees an opportunity to increase sales with this push. Also, while consumers knows its smartphones and tablets, the dedicated stores will draw more attention to its laptops and the Galaxy Gear smartwatch, Samsung said.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

2/1/2014 11:30:00 AM

27 - 
Expansion urged for the Web's upcoming 25th year

A vision of digital services nationwide in Britain, home of the World Wide Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee, should be a priority as the web approaches its 25th year, an official told her countrymen last week. Baroness Martha Lane Fox urged the government to fulfil Berners-Lee’s vision for the World Wide Web, but has warned that this may be a bumpy year for the government’s digital service (GDS).

It is approaching the 25th year since Berners-Lee first created the World Wide Web and Lane Fox told delegates at a digital government event this week that if GDS is successful in transforming services for citizens, this would be a good way to honour the British inventor.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

2/1/2014 10:28:00 AM

28 - 
Malicious Java app infects Mac, Linux systems with DDoS bot

Criminals are once again using Java’s cross-platform design to add Linux and Mac users to their usual Windows target list, Kaspersky Labs researchers have discovered.

The malicious Java application recently unearthed by the firm, HEUR:Backdoor.Java.Agent.a, is only the latest example of the opportunistic trend to use the huge potential of Java to get a malware three-for-one in the cause of turning systems into Distribued Denial of Service bots.

Once on the target system after hitting Java flaw CVE-2013-2465 (SE 7 Update 21 and earlier), patched last June, the malware sets up its command and control using IRC. According to Kaspersky, one of the targets on the receiving end of a DDoS attack might be an unnamed bulk email service.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

2/1/2014 9:45:00 AM

29 - 
Global smartphone sales passed one billion in 2013

If you had any doubts about the popularity of smartphones, new numbers suggest they’ve notched a significant milestone. The global smartphone market topped 1 billion shipments for the first time in 2013, covering about one-seventh of the world’s population, according to research by IDC.

Smartphone shipments were up 38.4 percent in 2013 from 725 million units in the previous year, according to data from IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker.

In 2013, there were 1.82 billion mobile phones shipped, which includes smartphones, an increase of 4.8 percent from 1.73 billion in 2012.

Samsung continued its dominance in 2013 with 31.3 percnt market share in smartphones compared to Apple’s 15.3 percent. The top two vendors were followed by Huawei at 4.9 percent, LG at 4.8 percent, and Lenovo at 4.5 percent, according to IDC.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

2/1/2014 8:13:00 AM

30 - 
Verizon to stream Super Bowl over LTE Multicast for a lucky few

The low-latency, high-efficiency technology will be available at a private event in New York

1/31/2014 7:55:00 PM

















































 
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