Logitech finally finds a good use for wireless charging: A mouse pad

With a Powerplay mouse pad, never again will your wireless mouse run out of power.

Guys… guys. Put down your morning coffee. Loosen any tight clothing. Say a quick prayer to your favoured deity. Logitech has done it. Logitech has found a legitimate use for wireless charging: the Powerplay mouse pad, which constantly charges your wireless mouse. Your wireless mouse will never again run out of battery.

The Powerplay bundle ($100 in the US, probably £90 in the UK) consists of a wireless charging base, two mousing surfaces (soft and hard) that you can switch between, and a powercore module. (Did Logitech hire the Nvidia marketing guru who came up with “Forceware” or something?)

The powercore is a little puck that plugs into Powerplay-compatible wireless mice. At launch there will be two of them: the G903 (a tweaked G900) and the G703 (which is similar to the G403). Both mice are available later this month, but UK pricing is still TBC (probably £140 and £90 respectively). Theoretically, future wireless Logitech mice will support the powercore, so you can keep using the same Powerplay charging mat.

Sadly, Powerplay doesn’t use a standardised wireless charging tech like Qi; rather, Logitech has apparently spent the last few years developing something proprietary. Technical details are scant, though we know it’s based on magnetic resonance wireless power transfer—a fairly well-known technique. Basically, there’s a coil of wire (an antenna) in the powercore. In the charging mat, there’s another antenna tuned to the same frequency as the powercore. When power is flowing through one of the coils, it makes the other coil resonate, which can then be turned into electricity.

The difficulty of magnetic resonance wireless power transfer is that the transmitter and receiver need to be fairly well aligned. That’s why most wireless charging solutions require you to place one object (your phone) on top of another object (a charging plate), which obviates most of the advantages of wireless charging. Logitech says it has overcome this issue: your mouse will recharge anywhere on the pad. My guess is that there are lots of small antennas embedded in the charging base, with enough overlap to ensure there aren’t any charging black spots.The Powerplay bundle will be available from August 20 in both the UK and US. The G903 and G703 mice will be available later in June.

Source: ArsTechnica

Intel’s Core i9 Extreme Edition CPU is an 18-core beast

It’s the flagship model among Intel’s new X-Series chips.

Last year at Computex, Intel unveiled its first 10-core consumer CPU, the company’s move into the world of a “megatasking.” It was a pricey chip, launching at around $1,700, but it satisfied users who needed to juggle several intensive tasks at once. Now, Intel is upping the ante with a new family of processors for enthusiasts, the Core X-series, and it’s anchored by the company’s first 18-core CPU, the i9-7980XE.

Priced at $1,999, the 7980XE is clearly not a chip you’ll see in an average desktop. Instead, it’s more of a statement from Intel. It beats out AMD’s 16-core Threadripper CPU, which was slated to be that company’s most powerful consumer processor for 2017. And it gives Intel yet another way to satisfy the demands of power-hungry users who might want to do things like play games in 4K while broadcasting them in HD over Twitch. And, as if its massive core count wasn’t enough, the i9-7980XE is also the first Intel consumer chip that packs in over a teraflop’s worth of computing power.

If 18 cores is a bit too rich for you, Intel also has other Core i9 Extreme Edition chips in 10-, 12-, 14- and 16-core variants. Perhaps the best news for hardware geeks: The 10 core i9-7900X will retail for $999, a significant discount from last year’s version.

All of the i9 chips feature base clock speeds of 3.3GHz, reaching up to 4.3GHz dual-core speeds with Turbo Boost 2.0 and 4.5GHz with Turbo Boost 3.0. And speaking of Turbo Boost 3.0, its performance has also been improved in the new Extreme Edition chips to increase both single and dual-core speeds. Rounding out the X-Series family are the quad-core i5-7640X and i7 models in 4-, 6- and 8-core models.

While it might all seem like overkill, Intel says its Core i9 lineup was driven by the surprising demand for last year’s 10-core chip. “Broadwell-E was kind of an experiment,” an Intel spokesperson told Engadget. “It sold … proving that our enthusiast community will go after the best of the best… Yes, we’re adding higher core count, but we’re also introducing lower core counts. Scalability on both ends are what we went after.”

As you can imagine, stuffing more cores into a processor leads to some significant heat issues. For that reason, Intel developed its own liquid cooling solution, which will work across these new chips, as well as some previous generations. All of the new Core i9 processors, along with the 6- and 8-core i7 chips, feature scorching hot 140W thermal design points (TDPs), the maximum amount of power that they’ll draw. That’s the same as last year’s 10-core CPU, but it’s still well above the 91W TDP from Intel’s more affordable i7-7700K.

Over the past few years, Intel’s laptop chips have been far more interesting than its desktop CPUs. Partially, that’s because the rise of ultraportables and convertible laptops have shifted its focus away from delivering as much computing power as possible, to offering a reasonable amount of processing power efficiently. The new Core i9 X-series processors might not be feasible for most consumers, but for the hardware geeks who treat their rigs like hot rods, they’re a dream come true.

Click here to catch up on the latest news from Computex 2017!

Source: Engadget

There’s a Massive Ransomware Attack Spreading Globally Right Now [Updated]

Screenshot: MalwareHunterTeam

A ransomware attack is quickly spreading across the globe rendering vital systems inaccessible.

Friday morning, the Twitter account MalwareHunterTeam reported ransomware known as WanaCrypt0r (a WannaCry variant) spreading at an alarming rate. “In less than 3 hours (even can say less than 2 hours if we count it from the explosion), they got victims already from 11 countries.”

Approximately 6 hours later, at 1pm ET, Kaspersky Lab reported more than 45,000 attacks in 74 countries. “Number still growing fast,” tweeted Costin Raiu, director of global research for the Moscow-based security firm.

Update: There is a patch for this exploit—see the bottom of the post for instructions.

Russia, Taiwan and Spain appear to be those initially hit the hardest, but a map of the infections generated by MalwareTech show the ransomware spreading to all populated continents, and numerous reports from security researchers indicate that WanaCrypt0r has also found its way into the US.


An initial report from UK-based MalwareTech researcher indicate that the ransomware was spreading peer-to-peer and may have been weaponized using a leaked Microsoft Windows exploit (EternalBlue) stolen from the U.S. National Security Agency.

Among those to first report infections publicly are 16 hospitals in England and the Spanish telecom Telefonica. The infected systems rendered files encrypted and inaccessible and a warning flashed across the screens. “You only have 3 days to submit the payment. After that the price will be doubled,” it reads. “Also if you don’t pay in 7 days, you won’t be able to recover your files forever.”

Update 5/12/17 2:34p EDT: FedEx confirmed to the BBC that it is experiencing “interference” with some of Windows-based systems “caused by malware.” The company said it was “implementing remediation steps as quickly as possible.”

According to SwiftOnSecurity, after FedEx detected WannaCry infections at its UK offices, the company ordered its US partners to shut down all non-critical networked Windows-based systems.

Update 5/12/17 3:04p EDT: Click here for information about the Windows versions or editions affected and for details on how to patch (MS17-010) the EternalBlue exploit. Or click here for instructions on how to review and install high-priorities updates on your Windows laptop or PC.

Original Article: http://gizmodo.com/theres-a-massive-ransomware-attack-spreading-globally-r-1795168952

Yahoo confirms 500 million email accounts hacked in 2014

Users who haven’t changed passwords since breach encouraged to do so

Hackers accessed half a billion Yahoo email accounts as far back as two years ago, Yahoo admitted Thursday.

Hackers accessed half a billion Yahoo email accounts as far back as two years ago, Yahoo admitted Thursday. (Bebeto Matthews/Associated Press)

A “state-sponsored” hacker managed to steal access to half a billion Yahoo email accounts in 2014, the company admitted Thursday.

The data stolen may have included names, email addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth and hashed passwords but may not have included unprotected passwords, payment card data or bank account information, the company said.

The size of the breach makes the hack the largest ever recorded in terms of the number of accounts accessed.

Yahoo said it only recently discovered the hack as part of an internal investigation.

“The investigation has found no evidence that the state-sponsored actor is currently in Yahoo’s network,” the company said, adding that it is working with law enforcement on the matter.

The tech site Motherboard reported in August that a hacker who uses the name “Peace” boasted that he had account information belonging to 200 million Yahoo users and was trying to sell the data on the web.

In July, Verizon announced it planned to buy Yahoo’s digital operations for $4.8 billion US. It’s not immediately clear if the breach, or the cost of cleaning it up, will affect that deal in any way.

“We understand that Yahoo is conducting an active investigation of this matter, but otherwise we have limited information and understanding of the impact,” Verizon said in a statement.

The Verizon-Yahoo deal isn’t slated to close until early in 2017, leaving Verizon with some time if it possibly wants to back out or push for a lower purchase price.

Yahoo is encouraging Yahoo email users who haven’t changed their passwords since 2014 to do so.

Source: CBC.ca

Microsoft will ‘solve’ cancer within 10 years by ‘reprogramming’ diseased cells

Microsoft has vowed to “solve the problem of cancer” within a decade by using ground-breaking computer science to crack the code of diseased cells so they can be reprogrammed back to a healthy state.

In a dramatic change of direction for the technology giant, the company has assembled a “small army” of the world’s best biologists, programmers and engineers who are tackling cancer as if it were a bug in a computer system.

This summer Microsoft opened its first wet laboratory where it will test out the findings of its computer scientists who are creating huge maps of the internal workings of cell networks.

Microsoft opened its first wet laboratory this summer
Microsoft opened its first ‘wet’ laboratory this summer

The researchers are even working on a computer made from DNA which could live inside cells and look for faults in bodily networks, like cancer. If it spotted cancerous chances it would reboot the system and clear out the diseased cells.

Chris Bishop, laboratory director at Microsoft Research, said: “I think it’s a very natural thing for Microsoft to be looking at because we have tremendous expertise in computer science and what is going on in cancer is a computational problem.

“It’s not just an analogy, it’s a deep mathematical insight. Biology and computing are disciplines which seem like chalk and cheese but which have very deep connections on the most fundamental level.”

Andrew Philips, head of the group, said: “It’s long term, but… I think it will be technically possible in five to 10 years time to put in a smart molecular system that can detect disease.”

Andrew Philips, head of the group
Andrew Philips, head of the group CREDIT: ED MILLER

The programming principles and tools group has already developed software that mimics the healthy behavior of a cell, so that it can be compared to that of a diseased cell, to work out where the problem occurred and how it can be fixed.

The Bio Model Analyser software is already being used to help researchers understand how to treat leukemia more effectively.

Dr Jasmin Fisher
Dr Jasmin Fisher believes scientists may be able to control and regulate cancer ‘within a decade’

Dr Jasmin Fisher, senior researcher and an associate professor at Cambridge University, said: “If we are able to control and regulate cancer then it becomes like any chronic disease and then the problem is solved.”

“I think for some of the cancers five years, but definitely within a decade. Then we will probably have a century free of cancer.”

She believes that in the future smart devices will monitor health continually and compare it to how the human body should be operating, so that it can quickly detect problems.

“My own personal vision is that in the morning you wake up, you check your email and at the same time all of our genetic data, our pulse, our sleep patterns, how much we exercised, will be fed into a computer which will check your state of well-being and tell you how prone you are to getting flu, or some other horrible thing,” she added.

“In order to get there we need these kind of computer models which mimic and model the fundamental processes that are happening in our bodies.

“Under normal development cells divide and they die and there is a certain balance, the problems start when that balance is broken and that’s how we had uncontrolled proliferation and tumours.

“If we could have all of that sitting on your personal computer and monitoring your health state then it will alert us when something is coming.”

Improved scanning technology offers hope

Patients undergoing radiotherapy could see treatment slashed from hours to just minutes with a new innovation to quickly map the size of a tumour.

 consultant studying a mammogram showing a womans breast in order check for breast cancer, as experienced radiologists can spot subtle signs of breast cancer in mammogram images in just half a second, a study has found
Experienced radiologists can spot subtle signs of breast cancer in mammogram images in just half a second, a study has found CREDIT: PA

Currently radiologists must scan a tumour and then painstakingly draw the outline of the cancer on dozens of sections by hand to create a 3D map before treatment, a process which can take up to four hours.

They also must outline nearby important organs to make sure they are protected from the blast of radiation.

But Microsoft engineers have developed a programme which can delineate a tumour within minutes, meaning treatment can happen immediately.

The programme can also show doctors how effective each treatment has been, so the dose can be altered depending on how much the tumour has been shrunk.

“Eyeballing works very well for diagnosing,” said Antonio Criminisi, a machine learning and computer vision expert who heads radiomics research in Microsoft’s Cambridge, UK, lab.

“Expert radiologists can look at an image – say a scan of someone’s brain – and be able to say in two seconds, ‘Yes, there’s a tumor. No, there isn’t a tumor. But delineating a tumour by hand is not very accurate.”

The system could eventually evaluate 3D scans pixel by pixel to tell the radiologist exactly how much the tumor has grown, shrunk or changed shape since the last scan.

It also could provide information about things like tissue density, to give the radiologist a better sense of whether something is more likely a cyst or a tumor. And it could provide more fine-grained analysis of the health of cells surrounding a tumor.

“Doing all of that by eye is pretty much impossible,” added Dr Criminisi.

The images could also be 3D printed so that surgeons could practice a tricky operation, such as removing a hard-to -reach brain tumour, before surgery.

Source: Telegraph