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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Kingston Finally Releases HyperX DDR3 With Water Cooling

Has quiet operation and long-term reliability

Kingston was revealed to be working on liquid-cooled DDR3 before, but only now has it decided to finally unleash the first member of the HyperX line that is actually equipped with a waterblock. Normally, companies only strap a heatspreader on their modules and leave it to overclockers to come up with unorthodox cooling solutions if they want to push clocks over the edge. Now, the company has taken a more active role in this by releasing the HyperX H2O dual-channel and triple-channel kits.

Image click here

The new line is, for now, made up of three products. Two are 4GB dual-channel kits with frequencies of 2000MHz and 2133MHz, respectively, whereas the third is a 6GB triple-channel offering of 2000MHz. They all consume 1.65V, have XMP support, feature CL 9-11-9-27 timings and are accompanied by a lifetime warranty. Finally, they sell through their maker's channel of authorized vendors, priced at $157, $205 and $235, respectively.

“Water cooling is desirable for its quiet operation and long-term reliability. We are bringing HyperX H2O to market as a solution for PC enthusiasts who want to build water-cooled systems using high quality Kingston products,” said Mark Tekunoff, senior technology manager, Kingston. “HyperX H2O is a natural extension of Kingston’s offerings for performance users. Our goal is for users of all levels and interests to have a Kingston product that meets their needs.”

“Kingston is also proud to announce that the original HyperX module is now called Genesis,” said Vincent Kim, HyperX product manager, Kingston. “The core of the HyperX family is the blu, Genesis and T1 series as they offer solutions in a range of densities and frequencies for enthusiasts of all levels. For system builders with specific requirements, H2O adds high performance in a water-cooling environment while LoVo is the perfect choice for an energy-efficient build.”

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Hot! A-Data Unveils a Flash Drive of Its Own

A-Data is not bound to let Mach Xtreme have the USB flash drive market all to itself, so it came out and unveiled a flash drive line of its own, one that has a different design but overall the same target consumer segment as the electronic that was just shown off by its rival.

So far, since the SperSpeed USB 3.0 hype has been going strong, makers of storage devices have been quite actively promoting this standard, by releasing hard drives, solid state drives and flash drives compatible with it.

Still, platforms that have USB 3.0 connectivity aren't exactly many, nor has the technology even reached the lower levels of the market.

Thus, companies have to stick to what they can work with when addressing these mid-to-low end consumer bases, and A-Data did just that when it made the C008.

The C008 is, essentially, an every-day flash stick, only it has a scratch-proof body and a capless design with a sliding USB connector.

Its size is of 59.95 (L) x 19.83 (W) x 8.85 (H) mm and the total weight of only 10 grams, which is little enough for one to forget about its existence.

The device also comes in multiple capacities, of 2 GB, 4 GB, 8 GB, 16 GB and 32 GB, all of which communicate via USB 2.0 and/or USB 1.1 ports.

What's more, buyers can choose to download, for free, the UFDtoGO, OstoGO and a 60-day free trial of Norton Internet Security 2010. These software tools enhance mobility and security of the storage solutions.

As for the design itself, A-Data made its new offspring in an 'elegant shape', with curved edges, and two color schemes.

Finally, the 2 GB, 4 GB, 8 GB, 16 GB and 32 GB models will be backed by a lifetiem warranty but, regrettably, have not yet been given prices by the official announcement.

SDSC Receives $20 Million to Create 'Gordon'

The funds have come from the NSF

The University of California in San Diego (UCSD)-based San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) was recently awarded no less than $20 million, in order to start constructing its new supercomputer, entitled Gordon. The money was awarded to the Center via a special grant from the United States National Science Foundation (NSF), which seeks to support innovation in this field. The new machine will be used to model and search solutions for critical science and societal problems that plague humankind today and stem from the type of society we live in.

“We are clearly excited about the potential for Gordon. This HPC system will allow researchers to tackle a growing list of critical 'data-intensive' problems. These include the analysis of individual genomes to tailor drugs to specific patients, the development of more accurate models to predict the impact of earthquakes on buildings and other structures, and simulations that offer greater insights into what's happening to the planet's climate,” the principal investigator of the Gordon Project, SDSC Interim Director Michael Norman, says.

The expert adds that the new instrument is the follow-up design of the first supercomputer to use flash devices, SDSC's Dash. Gordon will feature vast amounts of flash memory that will allow it to process information faster than existing supercomputers, still constrained by the relatively low turning speeds of hard disk plates, can. In addition, special, virtual shared-memory software will be used to create large shared-memory systems that will speed up the solution time for problems that now make even the most advanced supercomputer cringe and stutter.

“Data-driven scientific exploration is now complementing theory, experimentation and simulation as tools scientists and engineers use in order to make the scientific breakthroughs sought by the National Science Foundation. SDSC's Gordon will be the most recent tool that can be applied to data-driven scientific exploration,” the Deputy Director and Senior Science Advisor for the National Science Foundation's Office of Cyberinfrastructure, Jose L. Munoz, adds.

“It was conceived and designed to enable scientists and engineers – indeed any area requiring demanding extensive data analysis – to conduct their research unburdened by the significant latencies that impede much of today's progress. Gordon will do for data-driven science what tera-/peta-scale systems have done for the simulation and modeling communities, and provides a new tool to conduct transformative research,” he shares.

“For nearly a quarter century, SDSC has been a pioneer in the field of high-performance computing. It is therefore fitting that this Center and its staff have been chosen to develop a one-of-a-kind HPC system that not only is powerful, but also will tackle data-intensive research applications that aren't easily handled by the current generation of supercomputers,” the UCSD Vice Chancellor for Research, Art Ellis, concludes.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Apple Continues to Falsely Advertise iPad, Law Firm Says

Advertising the iPad as “an outside computing device” is unlawful, maintains Scott Cole & Associates, APC. The firm is known to have already filed a lawsuit against Apple in San Francisco last month.

“Apparently undeterred by a rash of consumer complaints and the filing of a national class action lawsuit, Apple, Inc. has continued to market its iPad tablet as an outside computing device,” Scott Cole & Associates, APC, the law firm that filed the lawsuit, said.

In a report dated August 16, 2010, the firm said that Apple has been engaging in a marketing campaign that promises exaggerated functionality of the tablet device, both outdoors and indoors.

Temperature conditions are cited, with “the computer routinely [shutting] down quickly in such situations,” the suit alleges.

“Apple claims the iPad can be used in the sun, in your car, and in warm climates up to 95 degrees,” explains Scott Cole, the principal attorney for the plaintiffs.

However, “numerous reports, going back months now, explain that the device shuts down in temperatures as low as the mid-70s,” Cole notes.

“Did Apple really not know about this before it sold nearly four million units?”, Cole wonders.

The law firm points out that Apple has been advertising the iPad as being suitable for outdoor use, and even in warm environments (including as an over-the-stove cooking aid, the firm said), yet such usages are “unrealistic, if not outright dangerous,” notes Scott Cole & Associates.

“Sticking the iPad to your motorcycle’s gas tank with Velcro and expecting it to work for more than a block or two is absurd,” explains Cole.

In June, Apple highlighted a clever video by filmmaker Jesse Rosten who showed how he used his iPad just about everywhere, including on his motorcycle.

“Continuing this unrealistic marketing campaign may be profitable in the short term, but it denies consumers the right to make informed purchasing decisions,” he adds. “That’s unlawful,” Cole emphasizes.

Entitled “Baltazar, et al. v. Apple, Inc. (USDC Case # C10-03231EMC),” the suit seeks damages and a Court Order stopping all advertising of the iPad that is deemed “illegal.”

As of yet, Apple has not responded to these allegations.

South Korean Samsung Galaxy S Gets Firmware Update

Samsung SHW-M110S, the South Korean version of the highly-acclaimed Samsung Galaxy S Android-based smartphone has just received a firmware update this week.

While the update does not upgrade the current 2.1 Android OS to version 2.2 (Froyo), Galaxy S it still brings worthy features and enhancements.

The official update DH09 is being pushed in South Korea via Kies software. In addition, the PC software provides Samsung users with easy data backup, transfer powerful multimedia management, and intuitive purchase features.

Some of the most comprehensive changes that the new DH09 update brings to the South Korean Galaxy S include: Swype keyboard, the ability to record conversations and an application which is supposed to detect the slope of the magnetic field sensor.

Besides new features the update also adds a few enhancements to the device, such as RAM management, better call quality, improved AllShare services. The firmware update also adds a 3G data widget, downloadable fonts and improves Google Maps software.

For those that don't know anything about Samsung's AllShare, the service allows content stored on a PC or smartphone to be directly streamed to a Blu-Ray player (wirelessly or via Ethernet connection), allowing users to enjoy their favorite media files in a home cinema setting.

Launched on June 25th in South Korea, Samsung SHW-M110S features a few Korea-centric changes, such as the inclusion of T-DMB, SKT’s T-Store support, Kyobo e-book and an augmented reality application.

The smartphone is available for 295,000 won (195 Euro) or 84,000 (55 Euro) or free depending on the plan the customer chooses for the contract.

As a side note, it seems that the prices for the Korean variant of Galaxy S smartphone are much cheaper than what we get in Europe and U.S. It might have to do with the fact that this is the country where the company has its headquarters, but I wouldn't bet on it.

KDE Plasma for Tablets - Video Review

Tablets are all the rage right now, thanks in no small part to the success of the Apple iPad. With a number of tablets slated for launch, Linux is not falling behind with several projects aimed at taking advantage of the capabilities of tablets and other touch input devices. The KDE Plasma Mobile Tablet edition is one of those projects.

When designing Plasma, the KDE team was very keen on making the platform modular and scalable. The idea was to write code once and then adapt it to the needs of various platforms and devices.

“With Qt 4.7 a new framework has been introduced: the declarative UI, that permits to do quite fancy stuff in the QML language in a very short time. So with the development of Plasma mobile we started an experiment,” KDE developer Marco Martin wrote.

The experiment in question is a new Plasma UI for tablet devices, based on the Plasma Mobile shell. While the tablet Plasma is more of a proof-of-concept, put together in a very short time to demonstrate the power of the new features in the Qt framework.

So far, the Plasma shell has been adapted for the desktop, the very first release along with KDE SC 4. Recently the Plasma Netbook has been getting a lot of attention and is pretty much considered complete with the release of KDE SC 4.4.

The latest effort is bringing Plasma to mobile devices, a move which faces unique challenges. Screen sizes and resolutions vary from device to device. Mobile devices are also varied in scope, smartphones are very different from small tablet devices, despite the many physical similarities.

The Plasma Mobile project is still very much in development, but is already capable of handling some of the specific requirements, like touch input. Apparently, at least one manufacturer is looking to launch a tablet device based on KDE with a Plasma shell.

The First Windows Phone 7 Device to Come from LG

South Korean mobile phone maker LG Electronics hopes that it would be the first mobile phone maker that would deliver a Windows Phone 7-based device to the market. While October is the time frame for when that should happen, LG expects for its devices to help it gain some ground on the smartphone market, where others are in the spotlight at the moment.

It seems that the handset vendor plans launching two smartphones running under Windows Phone 7 on the European market in October, while aiming at bringing its handsets to the United States the next month via AT&T and Verizon, MK Business News notes in a recent article.

According to the news site, the announcement comes from a high-placed LG official, who is confident that Windows Phone 7 would prove a success.

Moreover, it seems that the upcoming LG mobile phones would be specifically tailored for the markets they are intended for, and that they would be included in the company's already released Optimus series of phones.

The European models of LG's Windows Phone 7 devices would include 3.8-inch touchscreen displays, while the US flavors are expected to add QWERTY keyboards into the mix, while maintaining the screen size.

For what it's worth, it does not come as a surprise that LG plans the release of handsets with more than one form factor, as other handset vendors also announced plans to make similar moves.

However, it still remains to be seen whether various Windows Phone 7 models from the company would be exclusively available in different markets around the world, or the phone maker would push them to more countries.

LG Electronics plans on leaving behind other leading handset vendors which already showcased Windows Phone 7 devices, including Samsung Electronics or ASUS, as well as companies like HTC Corporation, Dell, and others.

Windows Phone 7 is expected to mark a shift from Microsoft's current approach to the mobile phone market, and should prove a stronger competitor against rivals like Apple's iOS or Google's Android platform.

iOS 4 Code Indicates Apple is Testing a CDMA iPhone 4, iPad 2

A generally reliable source of rumors points out to an "intriguing" piece of code found in iOS 4 which seems to indicate that new Apple hardware is beginning field testing.

"iPhone3,2," "iPhone3,3," and "iProd2,1" are said to be referenced in the code.

Should history be any indication, these references would point to a new version of the iPhone 4 (the rumored CDMA-capable handset), and a new version of the Apple iPad (the alleged 7-inch model.

The source leaking this information to The Boy Genius Report claims that the code queries the device, meaning it can auto-activate, so that it can be field tested without having to activate using iTunes.

It is yet unknown whether Apple does this to ensure that carriers don’t sniff anything by looking at activation logs, or just to keep things simple, the BGR notes.

The site also notes that a separate source has obtained the platform codes for the rumored CDMA iPhone, and for the next-generation iPod touch. These allegedly are N92AP for the iPhone, and N81AP for the iPod touch respectively.

Softpedia readers may remember that Apple pundit John Gruber recently claimed to have learned that Apple’s next-generation iPhone was code-named N92.

In a post dated Wednesday, 11 August 2010, the blogger said the information he’d been receiving lately seemed to corroborate talks of a January release for the CDMA iPhone 4, through Verizon.

“I don’t know anything about negotiations with Verizon, and I doubt anyone does other than the highest-level executives at both companies,” Gruber noted.

“But I do know that engineering-wise, the wheels are turning on N92, the CDMA variant of the iPhone 4,” he revealed.

“It’s certainly not in production yet, and hasn’t reached DVT status (device verification test — like Gray Powell’s infamous stolen unit), but it is, a few little birdies claim, at EVT (engineering verification test),” the pundit explained at the time.

EVT is one step below DVT, “which is one step below production,” the knowledgeable pundit outlined.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Wikipedia Is Mostly Down Due to Database Problems

No word on when the matter will be resolved

Wikipedia is currently experiencing problems and can be unavailable at times. The site has tracked down the issue to a filled-up hard drive and is currently looking at ways to resolve this.

“At 10:57 UTC, the master database server for s3 (the cluster that holds most of our wikis) had a full disk and stopped writing. For this reason it’s no longer possible to edit these
wikis. Because all slave servers for s3 stopped as a result, these wikis are now running read-only from a single server, which means you’ll probably see lots of database errors even when just reading,” the site explains.

“The larger wikis live on separate clusters and are not affected. For details on which wikis are affected, see below. We are working on resolving this issue as fast as we can,” the announcement added.

As Wikipedia explains, the problem is rather trivial yet, for a site its size, it proved critical. Since there is no more space on the hard drive, new entries can’t be written to the database. This means that any attempts to write data will fail. This doesn’t relate only to editing articles or adding new ones, any action that would be logged and added to the database won’t work. Right now, even logging it doesn’t work.

Some sections of the site are accessible and most of the individual entries work. The main page though doesn’t load. Wikipedia provides a list of wikis that are not entirely down, though you may experience problems on them as well:,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

There’s no word on when you can expect the site to be back up and running as it should.

Parted Magic 5.2 Incorporates GParted 0.6.2 - Free Download

Asian language support was improved

Patrick Verner announced a few minutes ago (August 3rd) the immediate availability of Parted Magic 5.2 operating system for partitioning tasks. This second maintenance version of Parted Magic 5 comes with the newly released GParted 0.6.2 application. Beside the usual bug fixes, Patrick Verner improved the support for Asian languages, by adding SCIM and GCIN. Parted Magic is an operating system created to help users easily partition their hard drives or perform various recovery tasks.

"The new GParted re-enables MiB partition alignment option and fixes the problem with logical partition move overwriting the EBR. A mess of bugs have been fixed with the help of Dick Burggraaff (burdi01), Jason Vasquez, and most of all, users willing to take the time to report them and help us test. [...] GCIN is automatically started when Taiwanese is selected at the boot menu and SCIM is automatically started when Japanese or Chinese is selected at the boot menu." said Patrick Verner on the official release announcement.

The following applications were updated in Parted Magic 5.2:

· gDisk 0.6.9;
· LFTP 4.0.9;
· ms-sys 2.2.0;
· SimpleBurn;
· chntpw 100627;
· hdparm 9.29;
· memtest86+ 4.10;
· Partclone 0.2.12;
· Wiper 2.7;
· Partimage 0.6.9;
· GParted 0.6.2.

The following packages were added in the new Parted Magic 5.2 operating system:

· GCIN 1.5.4;
· SCIM 1.4.9;
· scim-anthy 1.2.4;
· scim-bridge 0.4.16;
· scim-hangul 0.3.2;
· scim-input-pad 0.1.2;
· scim-m17n 0.2.3;
· scim-pinyin 0.5.91;
· scim-tables 0.5.9.

About Parted Magic

Parted Magic is a business-card operating system based on Slackware Linux, with programs that allow you to partition hard disks with ease. Programs like Partition Image, TestDisk, fdisk, sfdisk, dd, ddrescue, and a good documentation will help you in your partitioning tasks. Parted Magic is licensed under the GNU General Public License (GPL).

Download Parted Magic 5.2 right now from here.

Linux Kernel 2.6.35 Officially Released - Download Now!

Includes Btrfs and XFS improvements

Last night, August 1st, Linus Torvalds proudly announced the release of Linux kernel 2.6.35. The new version includes Direct-IO Support for the Btrfs filesystem, XFS filesystem experimental journal mode, perf improvements, VC1 and H.264 video acceleration for Intel G45+ chipsets, initial support for the Intel Cougarpoint graphic chipset, AMD Radeon power management support, CAIF protocol support (see below for a detailed list), and many other fixes.

"This may have been a fairly odd release cycle with my rather strict -rc rules before -rc3, but on the whole I think I liked it, and it seems to have worked out ok. I relaxed my extreme stance after getting back from vacation, so the latter half of the rc series was more normal. But even then I got the feeling that people were perhaps a bit more aware of the whole "regression fixes only" model, which is all good. It's a bit hard to judge, but there are some numbers to back it up: in the 2.6.34 release, there were 3800 commits after -rc1, but in the current 35 release cycle we had less than 2000." - Linus Torvalds said in the official release announcement.

Highlights of Linux Kernel 2.6.35:

· Support for transparent spreading of incoming network traffic load, across CPUs;
· Btrfs filesystem improvements;
· Delayed logging for XFS filesystem;
· Kernel debugger (KDB) frontend;
· perf improvements;
· Intel graphics improvements;
· Memory compaction;
· Multiple multicast route tables support;
· Support for L2TP v3 (RFC 3931);
· Support for the CAIF protocol;
· APEI (ACPI Platform Error Interface) support.

These are just a few of the new features available in the Linux kernel 2.6.35. For a complete list of all the newly supported devices, newly added drivers, etc., please visit the official release notes page.

You can download Linux Kernel 2.6.35 sources right now from here.

New Windows Vulnerability Could Re-Enable Old Exploits

Killbit bypass flaw being investigated

A newly discovered Windows vulnerability might allow hackers to re-enable any ActiveX exploit previously blocked by Microsoft. Vulnerability researchers from VUPEN Security have successfully crafted a proof-of-concept attack that leverages the flaw to bypass an active killbit.

Setting killbits is the default method used by Microsoft to close security holes that can be exploited via ActiveX. Each ActiveX control has a corresponding unique identifier known as CLSID. Killbits are registry values that tell software like Internet Explorer or Microsoft Office not to execute controls with specific CLSIDs because they are malicious.

"We found a potential Windows Kill Bit bypass vuln which could open hundreds of flaws exploitable via killed ActiveX controls," VUPEN announced via Twitter. "We are still investigating the Windows Kill Bit bypass but we already created an exploit working with a kill bit set to True!" a later update reads.

If indeed the vulnerability found by VUPEN can be used to bypass any killbits, attackers could theoretically leverage it to make previously blocked ActiveX exploits work on fully patched Windows systems. Normally, this shouldn't be the case, because when bugs are discovered, vulnerability research companies work with vendors to help them create a patch.

However, VUPEN has recently changed its policy and is no longer offering vulnerability intelligence for free to affected developers. The company only shares the research with its customers, which include governments, intelligence agencies, law enforcement units, security vendors and corporations.

Since Microsoft has publicly declared itself unwilling to pay for bug information, it will have to find this vulnerability on its own or with assistance from other companies, preferably before the malicious hackers figure it out. And even if they do manage to find it and patch it, this could still spell trouble for a large number of users.

First of all, there are a lot of computers still running Windows XP SP2, which will not receive a fix for this issue because Microsoft cut support for that version of the operating system last month. And then there's the huge percentage of users that fail to install security patches. Lets take for example a user who did a fresh install of Windows Vista with SP2, but did not install any updates afterward. He used to be protected from all ActiveX exploits that appeared before Vista SP2, but not anymore.

New Firefox Extension Can Thwart BHSEO Attacks

Attackers' own tricks turned against them

Security researchers from Zscaler, a provider of cloud-based security solutions, have developed a Firefox extension aimed at protecting users from black hat search engine optimization (BHSEO) attacks. Dubbed Search Engine Security (SES), the add-on allows altering the Referer header, which tricks the malicious pages into not delivering their payload.

Black hat search engine optimization, otherwise known as search result poisoning, is the practice of hijacking popular search keywords and pushing malicious links at the top of search results in order to trick users into visiting them. This is currently one of the most common methods of distributing scareware, rogue applications that pose as antivirus products.

"Blackhat SEO has become the most prevalent threat facing end-users on the web today, surpassing social networking threats. Our research has shown that virtually any popular search term will contain malicious sites within the top 100 results at all major search engines including Google, Yahoo! and Bing. In some cases, up to 50% of search results are malicious. When combined with social engineering attacks such as delivering fake antivirus applications or fake software updates, these attacks are incredibly effective," Michael Sutton, VP of Security Research at Zscaler, explains.

The security industry has struggled to come up with an effective solution to block these attacks for a long while now. Practice has already demonstrated that blacklist-based approaches are ineffective, because attackers rotate the malicious links too quickly. Real-time scanning all pages shown in search results before the user actually visits them has brought strong criticism from web developers because the practice was generating extra and unnecessary traffic for their websites.

Zscaler's solution is simple and elegant, as it turns the attackers' own tricks against them. Before delivering the payload, most, if not all of these malicious pages check to see if the visiting user actually came through the poisoned search engine results. This is done by inspecting the Referer field in the request header sent by their browser. Attackers employ this method in order to prevent the landing page from being discovered by crawlers or other automated security scanners.

The Search Engine Security Firefox extension allows setting the Referer header to a particular URL for all major search engines. This will trick the BHSEO landing pages to no longer serve their payload to SES users. However, there are some legitimate uses for websites to know if a visitor came through a particular search engine. That's why the add-on also comes with a whitelist, where users can add exceptions for the websites they trust.

The Search Engine Security add-on can be downloaded and installed from here.

You can follow the editor on Twitter @lconstantin

New Code Injection Masquerades as Google Analytics

Part of a scareware distribution campaign

A new mass injection tries pass the rogue code added to compromised websites as the Google Analytics script. The attack is actually part of a malicious campaign to distribute a new piece of scareware that has a very low detection rate.

The compromises are likely the result of SQL injection vulnerabilities in mostly ASP and ASP.NET websites. Successful exploitations leads to a rogue <script> tag being injected right after the </title> element in the HTML output.

The src of the this tag loads a script called urchin.js from a domain with the name This is clearly meant to hide the infection and pass the code as being part of Google Analytics, with which the urchin.js name is normally associated. The domain name is also indicative of this.

Searching for the rogue script tag on Google reveals some 154,000 hits. Although these results include multiple infected pages under the same domain, it's pretty safe to assume that tens of thousands of websites have already been affected by this new attack.

The rogue script performs a check to see if the visitor has already been targeted and if they weren't, proceeds to bombard them with bogus security alerts, which claim their system is infected with fictitious malware. This scareware campaign pushes a fake antivirus program called System Security AntiVirus.

This sort of applications try to scare users into buying a license for a fake an useless product in order to clean their system of infections that didn't exist in the first place. This is a very profitable criminal model that has been for years now. Unfortunately victims of such scams, will not only depart with a considerable sum of money, but will also compromise their credit card details.

The scareware file distributed in this case has a very low detection rate based on signatures alone. Only 4 of the 42 antivirus engines on VirusTotal currently identify it as malicious.