Firefox 12 will be able to bypass UAC and possibly corporate security settings

Subject: General Tech | April 24, 2012 - 05:01 PM |
Tagged: UAC, security, firefox

One of the causes of the adoption of Google's Chrome browser in the workplace is that for the most part, since it installs under your user directory it can bypass the limited permissions on most business computers, letting the user install something without consulting IT.  This is a minor security concern as Chrome runs with limited permissions and is certainly not more inherently vulnerable than the old corporate standby, IE6.

According to The Inquirer Firefox will be starting to do something similar but with larger repercussions.  FireFox 12 will be whitelisted on UAC, allowing system level access to the program.  While this does mean that if they are successful users will be running up to date software and not require IT resources to upgrade FireFox every month or so, it also introduces a powerful attack vector for infections.  A silent FireFox update might not be from Mozilla and could instead be from malware online, creating a system vulnerability that the user is completely unaware of until obvious symptoms start to show, by which time it could be too late to stop the spread of an infection to the network or to clients machines.  The update is due out today, so keep a close eye on your FireFox installation for now.

 

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"SOFTWARE DEVELOPER Mozilla will bypass Windows' user account control (UAC) to implement silent updating in its Firefox 12 web browser.

Mozilla's Firefox 12 is expected to be released today, and the outfit claims it will bypass Windows UAC in order to enable silent updating. Since Mozilla put Firefox on its rapid release schedule, it has put out new versions of the web browser every six weeks, leading some users to complain about the number of releases."

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Source: The Inquirer

VIA Labs Announces Third Generation Low-Power USB 3.0 Hub Controller

Subject: General Tech | April 24, 2012 - 03:41 PM |
Tagged: VIA Labs VL812, usb 3.0

Taipei, Taiwan, April 24, 2012 - VIA Labs, Inc., a leading supplier of USB 3.0 integrated circuit controllers, today announced its 3rd generation USB 3.0 hub controller, the VIA Labs VL812. The VL812 USB 3.0 Hub Controller utilizes a new low-power design and features an industry-first integrated 5V DC-DC switching regulator, offering a single-chip solution that achieves both high power efficiency and greater system integration for further reduced BOM.

The VIA Labs VL812 USB 3.0 hub controller offers high performance, high power efficiency, and reduced overall system BOM, making it an ideal choice for mobile and other low-power applications. Shown here with coin.

VIA_VL812.jpg

In typical configurations, the VIA Labs VL812 USB 3.0 Hub Controller consumes less than 0.5w under load, making it one of the market's low-power leaders. The low operational power consumption of the new VIA Labs VL812 USB 3.0 Hub allows users to attach an external 2.5" USB 3.0 hard drive, USB 2.0 Flash drive, and a USB Mouse simultaneously without the need for an AC adapter, when connected to a regular USB 3.0 port.

"The VIA Labs VL812 USB 3.0 hub is a perfect expansion companion for the growing Ultrabook market, which have a sleek form factor but few external ports," said Terrance Shih, Product Manager, VIA Labs, Inc. "It provides Ultrabook users with a wide range of USB connectivity options for peripheral devices without necessitating the need for an additional power adapter for the hub."

"We are excited to partner with VIA Labs and integrate the VL812 USB 3.0 Hub Controller into our next generation of USB 3.0 Hubs," said Steven Lu, Vice President of Actionstar. "The high level of integration and low-power design enables Actionstar to create exciting new, highly portable companion products for the growing Ultrabook market."

The VIA Labs VL812 is a 4-port USB 3.0 hub controller that supports the higher transfer rates of the USB 3.0 specification, while remaining fully backwards compatible with USB 2.0 and 1.1 hosts, hubs, and devices. In addition to rapid transfers, the VIA Labs VL812 integrates battery charging controller logic, enabling Dedicated Charging Port (DCP) and Charging Downstream Port (CDP) functionality as described in the USB Battery Charging 1.2 specification, in addition to supporting the YD/T 1591-2009 specification and other vendor-specific modes.

Employing an advanced CMOS process, VL812's integrated in-house USB PHY features adaptive equalization, offering improved signal integrity over a variety of topologies and channel conditions, making VL812 well suited not only for stand-alone hubs, but also USB Docking, integrated motherboard, and compound device applications.

Source: VIA Labs

The First Slice Of Raspberry Pi Gets Taste Tested

Subject: General Tech | April 24, 2012 - 12:28 PM |
Tagged: Raspberry Pi, hardware, embedded systems, arm

We’ve been covering the Raspberry Pi computer for quite some time now, and after a slew of delays the boards are finally shipping. UK based hardware site Bit-Tech has managed to snag one of the Model B Raspberry Pi boards and recently posted a review of the small ARM computer.

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They do note that the ARM11 processor leaves a lot of performance to be desired, but no other boards offer the same features for the price. Once software matures to the point that hardware accelerated drivers are available out of the box, the user experience should improve. Also, the relatively powerful Videocore IV GPU will really start to shine.

Head on over to see how they tested the board, what sort of overclocking headroom the SoC has, and what their final verdict is!

Further Raspberry Pi coverage:

Anyone else still waiting on their slice of Pi to arrive in the mail?

Source: Bit-Tech

How many mechanical switches before a mouse starts becoming a keybaord?

Subject: General Tech | April 23, 2012 - 08:20 PM |
Tagged: input, mouse, gaming mouse, razer, Naga Hex Expert, mechanical keyboard

Not content with simply having 11 programmable buttons, the 6 removable thumb buttons on the Razer Naga Hex Expert gaming mouse use mechanical switches.  That is not just a marketing ploy however, this will allow very quick response from the buttons as well as giving them a longer life than less rugged choices.  Also included with this mouse is support for Synapse 2.0, the updated Razer mouse driver which Mad Shrimps found quite easy to use

If you prefer your mechanical keys on a keyboard then check out what Scott has been up to.

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"The new mouse from the Naga family is Hex and Razer has built it for MOBA and Action RPGs; it comes with 6 extra buttons on the thumb side and 3 different rubber thumb rests are also provided, to suit our needs. The customization of the mouse functions can be realized by using the powerful Razer Synapse 2.0 software, which can be downloaded freely from the manufacturers’ website."

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Source: Mad Shrimps

Bad news upgraders; Intel's 22nm is suffering 28nm woes as well

Subject: General Tech | April 23, 2012 - 03:41 PM |
Tagged: Ivy Bridge, Intel, 28nm, 22nm

There is bad news out of DigiTimes today for those hoping to upgrade to an Ivy Bridge CPU when they first become available, the availability will not be good.  The thirteen desktop processors that are slated to be released any time now are predicted to suffer the same short supply that plagued AMD when they first released their 28nm parts and is still preventing those who can afford a GTX 680 from being able to buy one.  Hopefully this issue has been part of the core reason as to why the Ivy Bridge release date has been so well suppressed, even with the leaks that have appeared over the past quarter.  Perhaps Intel is planning to have enough good 22nm silicon stockpiled that the availability will be a bit better than the GTX 680 and perhaps even enough to see first adopters through until the production levels can be increased.

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"Although Intel is ready to launch and sell its upcoming Ivy Bridge-based processors soon, shipments of the processor are estimated to be lower than expected with the possible driver being either low capacity or yield rates, and the situation is forcing Intel to adjust its processor shipment proportions for notebook and desktop platforms, according to sources from PC players, which added that Nvidia and AMD are also facing shortage issues for their 28nm graphics cards."

Here is some more Tech News from around the web:

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Source: DigiTimes

NVIDIA continues to tease, sends us a crowbar

Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Graphics Cards | April 23, 2012 - 01:58 PM |
Tagged: nvidia, crowbar, kepler

Remember when NVIDIA updated their Facebook page with "It's Coming..." and a picture that you had little chance of learning its origin?  Well the marketing team is at again, this time sending over a crowbar.  No, seriously.

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"For Use in Case of Zombies Or...<NVIDIA LOGO>".  So either something BIG is coming later that I am going to need to open with said crowbar or maybe NVIDIA is partnering with Valve to announce Half-Life 3.  That second guess is just wishful thinking, sorry.

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If nothing else I guess we'll thank NVIDIA for the additional weapon for the eventual zombie apocalypse until such time as they sit fit to clue me in on the joke.

Happy Monday!

Just Delivered: Corsair K60 & K90 Vengeance Mech Keyboards Type Hard, Type Harder, Type Hard: With a Vengeance

Subject: General Tech, Cases and Cooling, Systems | April 21, 2012 - 05:24 AM |
Tagged: mechanical keyboard, corsair

Just Delivered is a class of articles at PC Perspective where we share what crosses into our offices, labs, houses, or pseudo-classified locations with crummy internet. Today we look at the Corsair Vengeance line of mechanical keyboards. We have received both the K60 FPS keyboard as well as the K90 MMO keyboard.

Some people say that when you try a mechanical keyboard, something just clicks.

That is not really the case for the Corsair Vengeance line of keyboards which use the linear Cherry MX Red switches. The key gives a light constant resistence until it hits bottom. Check out our explanation of the various type of switches from a few months ago to see the differences between Cherry MX switches.

corsairkeyboard.jpg

Seems quite odd, grammatically, to enter a market of new competitors with a Vengeance...

Just saying...

First impressions are that Corsair really put some thought and effort into these keyboards. Wrist rests snap into place and, in the K90's case, get screwed in for total stability. The brushed metal top is a great touch and gives the feeling of quality.

Each keyboard has a few non-mechanical keys which slightly take away from that feeling -- but that will be discussed in a more formal review setting.

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Just for irony... I might play Wing Commander: Privateer as part of the Corsair review.

While Corsair to some extent markets these keyboards at different audiences -- it really does seem at first glance like the K90 is a direct upgrade to the K60, rather than a sidegrade. Apart from the custom shaped WSAD keys and the wrist rest, I cannot see much reason to go for the K60 over the K90 except for price.

That said, we shall find out for sure in the full review to be started shortly.

Source: PCPer

Could it be true, or do you want us to pull the other one?

Subject: General Tech | April 20, 2012 - 11:29 PM |
Tagged: kidding, not kidding, uncertain

It is nice to see a mix of topics in the General Tech Forum, there is proof that the RMA process does sometimes bring joy instead of pain to someone trying to keep their cool in the (soon to be) summer heat.  There are the usual suspects trying to track down the most cost effective upgrades as well as those who may have spotted a prebuilt PC that might be cheaper that a DIY machine.  The CPU forum on the other hand is currently very focused on a single topic ... when is Ivy Bridge coming out and should they wait until it does to even consider upgrading ... unless they're in China?

If you hit the Cases'n'Cooling Forum you can read one members long list of PSUs and how they generally rate against the competetion, see if you agree and if there are any other models you can add to the list.  In the storage Forum you can add your opinion to this thread that wonders if the VelociRaptor is still relevant in a solid state market.  On the other hand if you prefer gnomes to raptors then the Linux Forum is the place for you.

Podcast #198 is available and next week #199 will be appearing, but after that who knows?   Maybe if everyone clicks the ads long enough and truly believes we might live to #200  ... though you can count on our sick senses of humour surviving.

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Podcast #198 - Maingear Shift with 3x7970s, Galaxy GTX 680, Intel PCIe SSD and more!

Subject: General Tech | April 19, 2012 - 06:17 PM |
Tagged: ssd, podcast, pcie, nvidia, maingear, Intel, amd, 910, 7970, 680

PC Perspective Podcast #198 - 04/19/2012

Join us this week as we talk about a Maingear Shift with 3x7970s, a Galaxy GTX 680, an Intel PCIe SSD and more!

You can subscribe to us through iTunes and you can still access it directly through the RSS page HERE.

The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!

  • iTunes - Subscribe to the podcast directly through the iTunes Store
  • RSS - Subscribe through your regular RSS reader
  • MP3 - Direct download link to the MP3 file

Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath, and Allyn Malvantano

This Podcast is brought to you by MSI Computer, and their all new Sandy Bridge Motherboards!

Program length: 1:15:40

Program Schedule:

  1. Introduction
  2. 1-888-38-PCPER or podcast@pcper.com
  3. http://pcper.com/podcast
  4. http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
  5. MAINGEAR Shift System Review - Triple HD 7970s and Sandy Bridge-E
  6. Western Digital VelociRaptor 1TB Review - 10K RPM Hits a Larger Capacity
  7. Galaxy GeForce GTX 680 2GB Graphics Card Review
  8. This Podcast is brought to you by MSI Computer, and their all new Sandy Bridge Motherboards!
  9. Intel Releases 910 Series Enterprise PCIe SSD
  10. Valve, tired of rumors, announces wearable computing
  11. AMD Three for Free promo: HD 7900 Price drop & free games
  12. Intel Announces Intel Solid-State Drive 330 Series
  13. PC Perspective Live Review Recap: ASUS Z77 Motherboards
  14. New Fusion ioFX Will Accelerate Professional Workloads
  15. Microsoft Details Four Windows 8 SKUs, Seems Reasonable
  16. The never ending story of TSMC's 28nm process
  17. NVIDIA Teases Another Graphics Card
  18. Hardware / Software Pick of the Week
    1. Ryan: Linksys power line networking...sucks.
    2. Jeremy: Something to do with that old walkman you haven't thrown out
    3. Josh: Finally! Down in price!
    4. Allyn: Stable Internet
  19. 1-888-38-PCPER or podcast@pcper.com
  20. http://pcper.com/podcast   
  21. http://twitter.com/ryanshrout and http://twitter.com/pcper
  22. Closing

Source:

Intel Medfield powered cellphone appears ... in the Orient

Subject: General Tech, Mobile | April 19, 2012 - 03:50 PM |
Tagged: atom, Medfield

The new Atom processor, named Medfield, has appeared in a market far, far away.  The chip powering Lava's Xolo X900 runs at 1.6GHz and supports hyperthreading, the graphics core is clocked at 400MHz which Intel believes should be enough to allow it to output 1080p video via its HDMI plug.  The power efficiency of the new architecture has yet to be tested but the claim by the manufacturer is eight hours of talk time and five hours of 3G web browsing.  There are no available benchmarks yet but you can get an idea of the overall capabilities of this phone at The Inquirer.

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"Intel and Indian handset maker Lava announced their intention to ship an Atom smartphone at Mobile World Congress in January. However Lenovo's K800 received all the attention, so Lava's Xolo X900 slipped under the radar to become the first shipping smartphone to feature Intel's Medfield Atom processor."

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Source: The Inquirer