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Intel firmware contains serious Management Engine vulnerabilities, affecting millions of systems

Security researchers have discovered critical issues with the hidden firmware used in some Intel chips. Security firm Positive Technologies discovered a series of serious vulnerabilities in Intel's Management Engine (ME), Server Platform Services (SPS) and Trusted Execution Engine (TXE).

The security flaw could allow an attacker to run code that would be invisible to the operating system, opening up the possibility of invisible rootkit or malware infections, as well as the risk of exposing valuable data. The problem is believed to affect millions of computers and servers.

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Uber pulls yet another boner by failing to disclose hack

The concept of taking a cab is hardly new. Any person in a major city can hold out their arm and hail a ride. In smaller communities, you simply call a cab company and schedule a car. You can pay cash for the trip and even be anonymous -- the driver doesn't have to know who you are. No private information to get stolen. Easy peasy.

But OK, many consumers got "app fever" over the last decade, and as a result Uber was born. If you aren't familiar, it is a ride-sharing service where you summon a car using your smartphone. Instead of professional drivers, however, you are transported by amateurs. Even worse, you can only pay digitally -- no privacy. The company has a horrible overall track record too -- negative workplace culture, sexual harassment, and a lack of respect for user privacy. Today, you can add another scandal to the list, as Uber pulls yet another boner. You see, last year -- in 2016 -- the company experienced a data breach and failed to disclose it -- until today, that is. Sigh. Maybe we should all go back to taking yellow cabs...

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Logitech launches 'Red Edition' of Spotlight Presentation Remote

If you work in an office, you have undoubtedly sat through a boring PowerPoint presentation. Yeah, it is easy to criticize the people doing the presenting for being deficient, but quite often, it isn’t their fault. After all, giving a successful presentation is a skill that must be learned. True, some folks are naturally social, but overall, you need to work on it. It is wrong to just thrust an employee into the fire without training.

Practice aside, hardware can help you better present too. A good remote/wireless presenter can improve your presentations dramatically. Not only will it give you the ability to move about the room, but a good model will add functionality too. For instance, the Logitech Spotlight remote can help you to focus on specific aspects of slides by highlighting only what you want. It can even vibrate at timed intervals so you can better keep track of how long you have been speaking. Starting today, the Spotlight gets a new red color option for the holidays.

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FCC could repeal net neutrality rules in December

net-neutrality-graffiti

It is fair to say that many people want the net neutrality rules implemented during the Obama administration to stay in place. Even major tech companies support them. But not everyone feels the same -- just ask telecommunications companies what they think about it.

The Trump administration is among the main opponents, with FCC Chairman Ajit Pai spearheading the efforts to repeal the rules. Today, the federal agency announces it's shared a draft, called Restoring Internet Freedom Order, that aims to do just that.

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Amazon is becoming the new Microsoft

My last column was about the recent tipping point signifying that cloud computing is guaranteed to replace personal computing over the next three years. This column is about the slugfest to determine what company’s public cloud is most likely to prevail. I reckon it is Amazon’s and I’ll go further to claim that Amazon will shortly be the new Microsoft.

What I mean by The New Microsoft is that Amazon is starting to act a lot like the old Microsoft of the 1990s. You remember -- the Bad Microsoft.

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Kodi boxes: UK government explains why you MUST stop using them now

Kodi boxes, and other so-called illicit streaming devices (ISDs), are the big-target for anti-piracy organizations at the moment. It’s a war being fought on many fronts. While bulling third-party add-on developers into retiring using legal threats is one of the most high-profile approaches, it’s far from the only tactic being used.

Governments and anti-piracy organizations are also using heavy doses of FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) to persuade Kodi lovers to seek other -- legal -- methods for streaming content.

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Adwind remote access Trojan makes a comeback and it's got smarter

Trojan horse

The Adwind cross-platform, malware-as-a-service Trojan has been around since 2012. Spread by phishing emails claiming to be invoices, purchase orders, and requests for quotations, it's aimed at high value targets like finance departments.

While it never completely disappeared in recent years the number of attacks did die down. However, security awareness training company KnowBe4 has noted an upsurge in Adwind emails during October of this year.

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diskAshur DT2: A super-secure PIN-protected desktop drive [Review]

There are many ways to secure your personal data, but if you have a lot of files and folders you want to keep completely private, then you really need to be looking at a hardware solution.

iStorage sells a range of external OS and platform independent USB drives that use hardware-level, real-time military grade AES-XTS 256-bit encryption to secure your content, with access via a built-in PIN pad.

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New platform helps companies gain value from data

Data analytics

Data is the lifeblood of businesses and many companies are now turning to DataOps methodology to create an agile, self-service workflow that fosters collaboration and boosts creativity, while respecting data governance policies.

Data platform specialist MapR Technologies is launching its latest Converged Data Platform 6.0, offering new advancements to help organizations achieve greater value from all of their data through DataOps teams.

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CBS blocks its network from DISH subscribers

While many people opt for cable there are also a fair amount who go against that grain, subscribing to a satellite provider for various reasons -- maybe it's location, perhaps it's NFL Sunday Ticket. There are two major players in that market -- DirecTV and DISH.

All sorts of problems can interrupt service, both to an entire system, or just certain provided networks. One of the biggest reasons for providers and customers alike is contract disputes. That's something we see all too often. The mess is generally sorted out, but it sometimes drags out for too long.

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Privacy: Use of session replay scripts means many websites essentially have built in keyloggers

The idea that what you do online is not a secret is something that we have all -- just about -- come to terms with. That said, most people still expect a modicum of privacy, and they certainly don’t expect literally every keystroke they type to be logged by the websites they visit.

But, say researchers at Princeton University, this is exactly what is happening. Hundreds of the most popular websites are using "session replay scripts" that record every single thing a visitor does. They are designed to monitor how visitors interact with a site to help gather information that could improve page design, and the incredibly extensive data that is collected is sent off to a third party for analysis.

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Scrivener 3 unveils major UI update and improvements alongside new features

Literature and Latte has released Scrivener 3.0 for OS X, a major new version of its writer-centric tool. The app combines traditional word-processing features with project management and organization tools to provide a one-stop shop for any writing project.

Version 3.0 unveils a number of new and enhanced features, alongside an updated user interface, Touch Bar support and rewritten codebase for 64-bit.

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Kodi Linux distro LibreELEC gets final Krypton update

LibreELEC is a fantastic open source Linux-based operating system designed to run Kodi. It is particularly well suited for devices like Raspberry Pi. If you want to build your own Kodi box, it's ideal.

Today, the LibreELEC team releases a new build that it expects will be the last from the current branch -- going forward the focus will be firmly on LibreELEC (Leia) 9.0 development.

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DoJ seeks to block Time Warner/AT&T merger

The Department of Justice has filed a lawsuit as it tries to block the acquisition of Time Warner by AT&T. The DoJ says that the merger would cause bills to rise and stifle choice for consumers.

There is concern about the level of control such a merger would give the company over programming and distribution, but AT&T says that it will fight the lawsuit, saying that there is no reason for the merger to be blocked.

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How Black Friday conquered the UK

There are various stories surrounding the origins of Black Friday, the most common being that it was the day retailers turned the corner from loss to profit and the figures in the ledger changed from red to black.

Whatever its roots, Black Friday was a purely American phenomenon. That is until 2010 when Amazon first brought Black Friday deals on more than 500 products across to the UK. Since then it's caught on in a big way on that side of the pond.

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