Subject: General Tech | April 14, 2015 - 08:08 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: mozilla, http, https, firefox
On the Mozilla Dev-Platform Newsgroup, hosted at Google Groups, a proposal to deprecate insecure HTTP is being discussed. The idea is that HTTPS needs to be adopted and organizations will not do it without being pushed. The plan is to get browser vendors to refuse activating new features, and eventually disable old features, unless the site is loaded as a “privileged context”.
This has sparked a debate, which was the whole point of course, about how secure do we want the Web to be. What features should we retroactively disable unless it is done through HTTPS? Things that access your webcam and microphone? Things that write to your hard drive? Then there is the question of how to handle self-signed certificates to get encryption without verification, and so forth.
Note: Websites cannot access or create files on your hard drive, but standards like localStorage and IndexedDB allow websites to have their own spaces for persistence. This is to allow, for instance, a 3D game to cache textures (and so forth) so you don't need to download them every time.
Personally, this concerns me greatly. I started helping Mozilla a couple of years ago, a few weeks after I saw Microsoft's Windows 8 developer certification program. I do not like the thought of someone being able to stifle creation and expression, and the web was looking like it might be the last bastion of unrestricted development for the general public.
In the original Windows Store requirements, no browser could exist unless it was a skin of Trident. This meant that, if a site didn't work in Internet Explorer, it didn't exist. If you didn't want to play by their rules? Your app didn't get signed and your developer certificate could even be revoked by Microsoft, or someone with authority over them. You could imagine the problems a LGBT-focused developer might have in certain countries, even if Microsoft likes their creations.
This is obviously not as bad as that. In the Windows Store case, there was one authority whereas HTTPS can be authenticated by numerous providers. Also, if self-signed certificates are deemed “secure enough”, it would likely avoid the problem. You would not need to ask one of a list of authorities permission to exist; you could secure the connection yourself. Of course, that is a barrier of skill for many, and that is its own concern.
So we'll see, but I hope that Mozilla will take these concerns as a top priority in their decisions.
Subject: General Tech | April 14, 2015 - 01:42 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: ssd, benchmarking, synthetic
[H]ard|OCP will be resuming their benchmarking of SSDs in the near future and wanted to introduce both their new contributor and his thoughts on benchmarking SSDs. These drives offer several challenges when comparing performance that are not present when benchmarking spinning rust. For instance some controllers use compression to increase IOPS whenever possible but slow down when incompressible data is passed through the drive, providing a challenge to properly show performance comparisons to similar drives with difference or no compression whatsoever. Read through the article to see which synthetic benchmarks will remain as well as Chris' thoughts on new tests to accurately contrast the performance of SSDs.
"Many of our readers embrace our "real world" approach with hardware reviews. We have not published an SSD review for almost 2 years while we have been looking to revamp our SSD evaluation program. Today we wanted to give you some insight as to how we learned to stop worrying and love the real world SSD benchmark."
Here are some more Storage reviews from around the web:
- OCZ Vector 180 480GB SSD @ eTeknix
- Crucial MX200 250GB SSD @ Hardware Canucks
- Kingston HyperX Predator M.2 PCIe SSDs in RAID 0 @ The SSD Review
- Intel SSD 750 Series 1.2TB @ Legion Hardware
- 8 Facts You Never Knew About Western Digital's Hardware Encryption @ Tech ARP
- Western Digital My Passport Ultra Metal / Anniversary Edition (2 TB) @ Tech ARP
- QNAP TS-431+ @ Legion Hardware
- RaidSonic ICY BOX IB-RD3680SU3 External RAID Enclosure Review @ NikKTech
- QNAP TVS-863+ AMD Turbo vNAS Review @ Madshrimps
Subject: General Tech | April 16, 2015 - 02:36 PM | Ken Addison
Tagged: x99-soc, video, Skylake, Samsung, podcast, nvidia, msi, motorola, Moto E, Intel, GTAV, gs30, gigabyte, Broadwell, amd, 840 evo
PC Perspective Podcast #345 - 04/16/2015
Join us this week as we discuss the MSI GS30 Shadow, Gigabyte X99-SOC, Skylake Leaks and more!
The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!
- iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the Store
- RSS - Subscribe through your regular RSS reader
- MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file
Hosts: Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath, Allyn Malventano, and Sebastian Peak
Program length: 1:20:07
Subject: Mobile | April 14, 2015 - 03:33 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Samsung, galaxy s6, Android 5.0
Samsung's new Galaxy S6 is unique in that it has metal sides and Gorilla Glass on both the back and front of the phone. The body is 143x71x6.8mm and it weighs a total of 138g, compared the the iPhone 6 at 138x67x6.9mm and 129g. The screen is 2560x1440, a density of 577PPI which compares favourably to the iPhone's 1334x750 at 326 PPI. The Inquirer was impressed by the quality of the screen as well as the colour calibration that they felt was significantly better than on the S5. As far as performance, the phone was tested by playing three hours of XCOM and it did so without stuttering or becoming uncomfortably warm. They tested the non-removable battery by looping a video, which the phone could manage for just over eight hours, slightly better than the competition though they lose the benefit of battery swapping thanks to the new design. Check out the images taken with the new camera and answers to other specific questions in their full review.
"Aware of customers' and reviewers' complaints, Samsung made a sweep of reforms in its smartphone division and "went back to the drawing board" with the 2015 Galaxy S6."
Here are some more Mobile articles from around the web:
- Asus ZenFone 5 LTE @ Kitguru
- Blackview Omega Smartphone Review @ Madshrimps
- Adam Elements Bella Power 6000mAh Portable Power Bank Review @ NikKTech
- XMG A505 Gaming Laptop @ HardwareHeaven
- Razer Blade Pro @ Kitguru
Subject: General Tech | April 17, 2015 - 07:00 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: windows xp, windows, microsoft, google, EoL, chrome
It has been a year since Microsoft cut off extended support for Windows XP including Internet Explorer security updates for the platform. Yeah, I know, it doesn't feel like it. Other browser vendors announced that they would continue to target the retired OS after Microsoft washed their hands of it. At the time, Google said they would give at least 12 months support, which brings us to yesterday.
Now Google is extending their commitment to the end of the year. They did not say that it was a hard deadline for their customers, but they also did not add an “at least” qualifier this time. The browser vendor wants people to upgrade and admits that they cannot genuinely provide a secure experience if a known issue bites everyone at the OS level. You can keep training the guard at the door, but if your window falls out, mind the pun, then it is still dangerous to be inside.
Granted, we have not seen a major attack on XP over the last year. You would have to think that, even if the attacks are sophisticated, some of the victims would have noticed and reported it to someone. Still, I wonder how it keeps surviving, especially since I would have thought that at least one vulnerability in the last twelve Patch Tuesdays could be ported back to it.
Maybe it is too small of a target?
Subject: General Tech | April 13, 2015 - 01:39 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: ocelote, input, gaming mouse
Carlos “Ocelote” Rodriguez was a competitive LoL player who recently retired from competition but is using his fame to promote a gaming mouse and mat from Ozone. You will recognize the shell of the mouse from previous links to reviews of the Argon, with a new colour scheme and logo. It uses an ADNS 9800 laser sensor that can be adjusted from 800 to 8200 DPI and sports 128kb of memory onboard to help you program those 9 OMRON buttons in different profiles. The weight is adjustable thanks to the four 4.5g weights which ship with the mouse and lefties will be glad to know this mouse goes both ways. Also make sure to check out the rather unique aluminium mouse mat in KitGuru's review found here.
"Even though a lot of pro-gamers are endorsing gaming peripherals these days, it is rare that you see one named after a particular player. Still, that is exactly what has happened with Ozone’s latest hardware, which is named after one of the highest earning eSports gamers in the world: Carlos “Ocelote” Rodriguez."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Logitech G402 Hyperion Fury Gaming Mouse Review @ NikKTech
- Cougar 200M @ Kitguru
- Cooler Master Octane M35 and MB7C @ Kitguru
- Steelseries Apex M800 mechanical keyboard @ Kitguru
- Tesoro Excalibur RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard Review @ NikKTech
Subject: Cases and Cooling | April 15, 2015 - 02:01 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: mid-tower, In Win 503, in win, enclosure, case
In Win has announced an affordable new mid-tower option with the 503, and there is no shortage of the company's trademark style even at this low price point.
A steel enclosure is to be expected for the $49.99 asking price, and though the company is known for its aluminum construction there is enough tempered glass to keep In Win fans happy. In fact, not only is the front of the In Win 503 made from glass, but it slides down to reveal a 5.25" optical drive bay. To say this is unexpected in a $50 case is a severe understatement.
In Win has posted a short product video which touches on the basic features of the 503:
Drive bays are toolless, and there seems to be a lot of room inside the case. The enclosure will be available in both black/red and white/black color schemes. I personally can't wait to get my hands on one of these and see if it lives up to the lofty standards of prior In Win cases, or if more was compromised than just material selection to meet the low price target.
Subject: General Tech | April 15, 2015 - 01:43 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: gaming, The Witcher 3, CD Projekt RED
Every trailer of the Witcher 3 so far has made the game look larger and more complex and the latest trailer continues along that vein. Some scenes will be familiar, such as a certain griffin's head but others are completely new, especially the in town scenes. The voiceover implies a much greater breadth of choice in how you play the story than the binary elves or humans choice of Witcher 2 but we have been disappointed by other franchises in the past. Hopefully this game will not disappoint, it has a very devoted team who are not afraid to include uncomfortable choices or nasty dialogue in the world they have created. It will also be interesting to see how the size of the open world translates into interesting gameplay, especially once you have cleared an area and civilians move in to settle it. Check out the trailer below and catch additional coverage at Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN ... and maybe even here, you never know.
"Hi, you. That’s The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. Watch this new trailer, it’ll explain. This shiny new five-minute trailer’s a broad overview of the game, its basic premise, the lay of its land, a few japes, and the sort of larks you’ll get up to."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Is Deus Ex Still The Best Game Ever? Part One: Memories And Hardware Renderers @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Bundle Me Up: GOG Sale Starts With RPGs & Adventures @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Grand Theft Auto V Performance Analysis @ techPowerUp
- Humble Origin Bundle 2 launched @ HEXUS
- Hands On: StarCraft II – Legacy Of The Void @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Bang: Arma 3 Fires Big Update Alongside Marksmen DLC @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
Subject: General Tech | April 15, 2015 - 12:35 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: drone, linux, 3DRobotics, Cortex A9, solo
The 3DR Solo drone is powered by a Cortex A9 processor running at 1GHz which gives the Pixhawk 2 autopilot feature some power to work with, a good thing as some pilots will be too busy watching the HD video stream. If you buy the model with the GoPro gimbal or knock one up yourself, the Solo is capable of wireless streaming 720p video up to a distance of 1.2 miles (1.9km) with a delay of about 180ms. You will have a flight time of 25 minutes unladen, 20 minutes if you are hauling a GoPro or any other equivalent payload. It will not be cheap, it is being released on May 29th at a price of $1000 or $1400 with a GoPro gimbal, but you can check out more of the stats at Linux.com if you are still interested.
"3DRobotics today announced its first Linux-based drone, a Solo quadcopter touted as the first Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) to support full control of GoPro cameras and deliver live-streaming HD video to mobile devices."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Huawei Ascend P8 arrives with full-metal case and octa-core chip @ The Inquirer
- Chrome version 42 will pour your Java coffee down the drain: Plugin blocked by default @ The Register
- Microsoft points at Skype, Lync: You two, in my office – right now @ The Register
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