IT/Enterprise

When Microsoft said on Wednesday that the next Windows 10 preview build would be available "within the week", I'm not sure anyone actually expected it to land before the weekend. But, it has, and I'd have to say that it's worth getting excited for. Why? Because it includes not only the feature-rich Cortana AI assistant, it also includes Continuum, the technology that will allow you to switch between tablet and laptop mode seamlessly. Notably, and unfortunately, this current build, which is numbered 9926, doesn't include Microsoft's much-anticipated Spartan Web browser. It's expected that a new... Read more...
Well... this is a little disappointing. Despite the fact that the importance of our security is at an all time high, and it's a subject battled every single day, it seems most people have fallen into a funk of not caring that much about it. That's if the most popular passwords leaked over the course of 2014 are any indication. You see, for the fourth time in a row since SplashData began tracking the most-used weak passwords, "123456" remains the most popular weak password. In second place is "password", while third place goes to “12345.” It doesn't get much better from there,... Read more...
It's as if Google is looking to start a digital war -- or at least get back at Microsoft for using its minor patents to battle Android. Earlier this month, we reported on a significant Windows bug that Google, through its Project Zero site, exposed to the world after Microsoft failed to patch it up within Google's strict 90-day window. That led to some cheers for Google from some, and sympathy for Microsoft from others. Well, Google balks at that sympathy. This week, it released two more Windows bugs through Project Zero, as they also exceeded their 90-day windows.... Read more...
Dell's SecureWorks Counter Threat Unit (CTU) has just discovered a new piece of malware that it dubs "Skeleton Key". Besides being one of the coolest-named pieces of malware ever, Skeleton Key provides access to any user account on an Active Directory controller without regard to supplying the correct password. As in-memory malware, Skeleton Key is extremely difficult to detect, and it'd be totally invisible to the affected users. And while it requires admin access to the AD controller to deploy, once it is, the exploiter could wreak whatever havoc they like while disguised as an innocent user.... Read more...
As we’ve stated on numerous occasions, SSDs were big at this year’s CES, and OCZ was on hand to deliver its own brand of solid-state delight. The company took the opportunity to shows us its brand new JetExpress SSD Controller, the Vector 180 SSD, and the enterprise-level Z-Drive 6000. For starters, let’s talk about the JetExpress SSD Controller, which has been designed for use in both consumer- and enterprise-grade products. The controller natively supports SATA and PCIe/NVMe and will work with M.2, 2.5” SATA, and SFF-8639 form-factors. The 10-channel JetExpress controller also supports both LDPC... Read more...
HP announced two new updates to its ZBook Mobile Workstation line at CES today. The PC maker’s new ZBook 14 G2 and ZBook 15u G2 are both workstation ultrabooks that support 3D graphics and undergo HP’s heavy testing process for enterprise devices. The HP ZBook 14 G2 runs on Core i5 or i7 processors with 16GB of memory, as well as AMD FirePro 3D graphics. Storage space is even more important for workstations than consumer systems, so the ZBook includes 1.25TB, through a combination of hard drives and SSDs. Business laptops have been getting classier in recent years, and the ZBook 14 G2 sticks to... Read more...
Earlier today, Barron's published an article speculating that GlobalFoundries would delay its 14nm product ramp by several quarters as it struggled with unspecified production problems. GlobalFoundries has denied any such issues in a statement to Hot Hardware, and has specifically told us that its 14nm ramp plans remain on-track. The state of GlobalFoundries 14nm ramp is important for multiple reasons. Earlier this year, the company announced that it would drop its own plans for a hybrid 14nm/20nm hybrid node (14nm XM) and would instead adopt Samsung's 14nm process technology. At least some of... Read more...
One of the more interesting stops on our recent trip to Amsterdam was at The Hague Security Delta. For those of you who might not be aware, The Hague is the name of the government seat of the Netherlands (and yes, the article is capitalized). The Hague Security Delta (HSD) is the official title of a collaborative effort between Netherlands businesses, the government, and multiple research institutions to identify emerging security threats, share best practices, and foster collaboration between industry, governments, and universities. One of the most interesting topics that came up during our visit... Read more...
The hard drive market has become a lot less sexy in the past few years thanks to SSDs. What we used to consider "fast" for a hard drive is relatively slow compared to even the cheapest of today's solid state drives. But there are two areas where hard drives still rule the roost, and that's in terms of overall capacity and cost per gigabyte. Right now you can buy a 4TB hard drive for the same cost as a 256GB SSD, so the two are in separate universes in that regard. We love SSDs and think just about everyone should run their OS on one, but most aren't large enough to hold all user data over a long... Read more...
Both Sony and Microsoft have been reportedly hacked today, with numerous disruptions to both Xbox Live and Sony's PlayStation Network. both services have been partially or totally offline all day, with Microsoft's official Twitter campaign chiming in to note that the service had been disrupted and that the company was working to bring it back online -- but didn't have an ETA on when that would happen. A group called Lizard Squad is currently claiming responsibility for the attack on Twitter, which likely involves spamming both networks with huge amounts of data to jam servers and make it impossible... Read more...
Ever since Microsoft announced that its Xbox One would have some sort of unspecified cloud streaming capability that would allow it to offload game processing into the cloud, speculation has run rampant over precisely what that capability would look like, or what form it would take. The announcement of yet another cloud streaming project at the company has partially answered the question: Microsoft still isn't sure.  According to a new job posting, Microsoft is looking for a "self-motivated, driven, collaborative, and flexible" candidate to seek "the simplest and most elegant" solutions to... Read more...
Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to tour Carnival's CSMART facility in Almere, the Netherlands. This facility is one of a handful in the world that can provide both extensive training and certification on cruise ships as well as a comprehensive simulation of what it's like to command one. Simulating the operation of a Carnival cruise ship is anything but simple. Let's start with a ship that's at least passingly familiar to most people -- the RMS Titanic. At roughly 46,000 tons and 882 feet long, she was, briefly, the largest vessel afloat. Compared to a modern cruise ship, however, Titanic... Read more...
By this point, everyone and their dog should know that the oddly-named Windows 10 is en route. Months ago, Microsoft released a developer preview that anyone could download, and surprisingly enough, it happens to be very, very good. I've personally been running it on and off and have been quite pleased with it. The only reason I go back to my Windows 8 install is because I don't feel like spending the time to install all of my apps on an OS that's essentially a beta. Given the fact that we know so much about Windows 10 already, it might seem a little odd that Microsoft, according to The Verge,... Read more...
Comcast is one of two companies to have earned Consumerist's "Worst Company in America" title on more than one occasion (once in 2010 and again this year, 2014), and it looks like the company is lobbying for a third title. That is, unless there's another explanation as to how the cable giant can claim (seemingly with straight face) that it's in agreement with President Barack Obama for a free and open Internet. In case you missed it, Obama issued an open letter to the FCC urging it to enact strong net neutrality rules and to reclassify Internet service as a utility, all in support of a free and... Read more...
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