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Samsung r478 Battery all-laptopbattery.com

The team developed a prototype where bendy batteries are tucked into watch straps to supplement and provide "significantly improved" life to the main lithium ion battery.The ten researchers say, in a paper titled Software Defined Batteries (PDF) that the system is part hardware part software, the former offering granular control of power flowing through each battery thanks to "smart switching circuitry", and the latter being an element of the operating system that runs algorithms, policies, and APIs for increasing single charge-discharge duration and battery life."A growing range of battery chemistries are under development, each of which delivers a different set of benefits in terms of performance. We believe that combining multiple of these heterogeneous batteries instead of using a single battery chemistry can allow a mobile system to dynamically trade between their capabilities and thereby offer attractive tradeoffs. ...In current designs, the interactions between the OS and Power Management Integrated Circuit are limited to query operations, such as inquiring about remaining charge in the battery, terminal voltage or the cycle count … Through the SDB system, we propose enabling fine grain control over the behavior of hardware sub modules by exposing a richer software API to the OS to dynamically change the amount of charge to be drawn from or provided to each batteryies."

Users can login on a single device if it allows the web browser and the Sound-Proof app concurrent access to the phone microphone.The researchers say the platform can also be used as a form of continuous authentication, and sports brute-force rate limiting and maintains logs of login attempts.Pic Google’s Chromebooks are just over four year old and, while the hardware has done well in education, businesses and normal people haven’t been too keen.In response, the ad giant has teamed up with Dell to fix this with a line of Chromebooks for business. Rajen Sheth, director of product management for Android and Chrome for Business and Education, said that with businesses updating from Windows XP, there’s an opportunity for Google to pick up some market share.“This is a long term move from legacy systems,” Kirk Schell, Dell’s GM for commercial client solutions, told a press conference in San Francisco on Thursday. “It’s going to be a long process, which is why you’ll see Google apps running alongside legacy apps via virtualization.”

The Dell Chromebook 13 (for the size, not for luck) is a carbon fiber and magalloy machine that has the look of a premium laptop and weighs in at a reasonably portable 3.23lb, with the touchscreen adding a third of a pound to that. The device has seven configurations, ranging between $399 and $899 in price, and runs Intel Celeron, Core i3 and Core i5 processors, 2, 4 or 8GB of RAM, and either a 16 or 32GB SSD.The laptops have two USB ports (one version 2.0 and one 3.0), an HDMI socket, and a microSD card for removable storage. It runs 801.11AC Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and has a variety of add-on dongles for Ethernet and serial ports.The battery life is a claimed 12 hours minimum, and that’s on the base-spec model, Schell said. The devices go on sale on September 17 from Dell and Google’s online shop.The hardware is all well and good, but in order to convince businesses to dump Windows machines and go to ChromeOS, Google and Dell have focused on software.The Chromebook 13s have been set up to run Windows and legacy apps via VMWare, Dell vWorkspace, or Citrix’s Chrome receiver. For storage, considering the piddling size of the hard disk, there’s Google Drive, of course, but also support for Box, Dropbox, or OneDrive.

Google and Dell are also selling this on the basis of easy IT management. A central console allows administrators to control the rollout of operating system updates, security protocols, passwords, and user interface changes on a company-wide, workgroup, or individual basis.The simplified IT management structure of the ChromeOS is how Google sold these systems from the beginning, and while it isn’t perfect, it’s still a hell of a lot easier (and less expensive) to manage a Chromebook fleet rather than a swathe of Windows beige boxes and laptops.One of the traditional weaknesses of Chromebooks is their distressing tendency to become mostly useless when out of range of an internet connection. Sheth said that this too had been addressed by the latest builds of the ChromeOS.“We’re seeing a good amount of sophistication in offline use of web apps,” he explained. “Google apps are all available offline by default on these devices, and we’re seeing many other web apps working on that too. Also we have android apps now being able to be ported to Chromebooks, and a lot of those are designed to be inherently offline.”El Reg will be getting one of the new systems in for review. The new laptop looks all right, with a few caveats.

Certainly, it looks good enough to take into a pitch meeting and the connectivity is fine. The keyboard is frankly a bit small compared to something like the higher-end Pixel model, but it's still usable.It remains to be seen how companies are going to find the software side of things. No doubt many companies are sick to the back teeth of Windows, but moving across to Google is a serious shift that some may balk at. Exclusive EE failed to label its "Power Bar" phone charging devices with the correct marking to show that the product complied with European safety directives, The Register has learned.The embarrassing cockup comes after we revealed that EE management had been warned about safety risks with its Power Bar, ahead of its launch in April this year. Since then, 1.5 million such devices have been dished out for free to the company's customers – but a recall affecting hundreds of thousands of units is now under way, after a Power Bar exploded, injuring a 26-year-old medical student.Late last month, Katy Emslie suffered burns to her hands and spent five hours in A&E and had plastic/re-constructive treatment after her Power Bar, which was charging from her laptop, blew up in the middle of the night while she slept.

That incident eventually prompted EE to recall around 500,000 Power Bars. The UK's largest mobile operator said that only some of its chargers posed a potential fire risk and blamed a faulty batch of models labelled "E1-06."El Reg saw internal documents that made it clear that serious safety concerns regarding the Power Bar had been raised at the company before the device was launched. However, when EE was quizzed by us, it had this to say:"We strongly refute any suggestion that safety concerns were ignored or dismissed without careful consideration. The product was subject to a rigorous testing process by our safety and products teams, and all EE Power Bars meet EC electrical safety standards."Now, it has come to The Register's attention that the CE marking (which stands for European Conformity) affixed to the device doesn't adhere to the specific European Union rules.Those measures detail the required layout of the CE marking, but we've discovered that EE failed to comply. Furthermore, we're told that the labelling cockup has been spotted on batches of the device that haven't been recalled.

Worse still, EE was first told about the dodgy CE marking back in April – not long after the product was launched as part of a big marketing blitz.EE had promised "never-ending power" for its millions of customers by offering them free Power Bars, which – prior to the programme being mothballed following the recall – allowed them to collect the chargers from the company's retail outlets. The devices could then later be returned to be recharged, swapping for a freshly-charged Bar.Early in the project, EE carried out a risk review through its own safety and sustainability team. It claimed risks had been assessed and that the product met legal requirements, including European battery regulations. But it is unclear how detailed that exercise was.Specific concerns raised within EE in the documents seen by The Register included variable quality in the cells used in manufacture, a risk that the Power Bar could easily be overloaded and catch fire if used with a faulty cable, lack of measures to ensure that Power Bars circulating among EE's users and shops would remain within their safe lifespan, a risk that bars being charged en masse in shops might suffer "thermal runaway" and burn down buildings, and other dangers.

In light of those serious safety concerns, EE will undoubtedly be red-faced about this latest blunder with its controversial Power Bar devices.El Reg pressed the mobile carrier for answers about its CE marking gaffe. We asked the company if it would let us take a look at the so-called "Declaration of Conformity" paperwork for the Power Bar, which would have been required to be created prior to any CE marking being applied to the product.However, EE declined to provide us with that information. It also failed to explain how the labelling error had occurred in the first place. Why, for example, was it not spotted during the operator's "rigorous testing process"?The UK government has warned firms of the pitfalls of slapping inaccurate CE markings on products. It said:If an enforcement body finds your product does not meet CE marking requirements, they will often provide you with an opportunity to ensure it is correctly CE marked.If you fail to comply with this, you will be obliged to take your product off the market. You may also be liable for a fine and imprisonment.

An EE Power Bar with the wrong CE marking from a different batch to those models that have been recalled. Pic credit: Joseph Heenan It's also worth noting that the so-called "Chinese Export" marking – which some people attribute to products manufactured in China – is about as real as the existence of a unicorn, as this response from the European Commission explained back in 2008.Analysis Lenovo has sold laptops bundled with unremovable software that features a bonus exploitable security vulnerability. If the crapware is deleted, or the hard drive wiped and Windows reinstalled from scratch, the laptop's firmware will quietly and automatically reinstall Lenovo's software on the next boot-up.Built into the firmware on the laptops' motherboard is a piece of code called the Lenovo Service Engine (LSE). If Windows is installed, the LSE is executed before the Microsoft operating system is launched.The LSE makes sure C:\Windows\system32\autochk.exe is Lenovo's variant of the autochk.exe file; if Microsoft's official version is there, it is moved out of the way and replaced. The executable is run during startup, and is supposed to check the computer's file system to make sure it's free of any corruption.

Lenovo's variant of this system file ensures LenovoUpdate.exe and LenovoCheck.exe are present in the operating system's system32 directory, and if not, it will copy the executables into that directory during boot up. So if you uninstall or delete these programs, the LSE in the firmware will bring them back during the next power-on or reboot.LenovoCheck and LenovoUpdate are executed on startup with full administrator access. Automatically, and rather rudely, they connect to the internet to download and install drivers, a system "optimizer", and whatever else Lenovo wants on your computer. Lenovo's software also phones home to the Chinese giant details of the running system.To pull this off, the LSE exploits Microsoft's Windows Platform Binary Table (WPBT) feature. This allows PC manufacturers and corporate IT to inject drivers, programs and other files into the Windows operating system from the motherboard firmware.

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HP will soon release a special Star Wars edition laptop it says will allow you to “Unleash your inner Sith”.And no, it's not making that claim solely based on the presence of Windows 10. The machine boasts styling based on the Lucasverse and is pre-loaded with oodles of Star Wars content including “rare wallpapers, screen savers, concept art, and original trilogy storyboards”. Plugging in a USB device apparently produces a burst of R2-D2's trademark clicks and whistles. Other actions result in the clash of lightsabers ringing out from the machine's Bang & Olufsen speakers.“The Galactic Empire lives on in the battle-worn design of this unique special edition notebook”, HP gushes, as it extols the virtues of the “dark side inspired” machine.There's even a font for “Aurebesh”, apparently the Lucascerse's Galactic Base Standard language, presumably for those tired of learning Klingon.When HP announced it would split into enterprise and printer/PC entities, it promised the latter entity would deliver “new computing experiences - inventing technology that empowers people to create, interact and inspire like never before.”

Is a Sith-inspired laptop delivering on that promise? Or just a way to make a US$699 laptop with specs that won't excite serious gamers (Core i5, 12GB RAM, GeForce graphics, a DVD reader/writer) a little bit more interesting? The buttons, labelled with emojis, cover common feelings such as excitement, sadness, anger, and so on and will be made available first to users in Spain and Ireland. Facebook will look at feedback and decide whether to roll the feature out further.The company's chief product officer Chris Cox posted a video to his public Facebook feed to show how the process would work on a mobile phone.While Facebook's response is a novel one and more expansive than simply providing a "Dislike" button that people have been bugging the social media company to roll out for a number of years, some feel that the new emojis are a little too restrictive.While fun, the new options are unlikely to capture the most frequent responses that Facebook users wish to append to their friends and complete strangers' posts, depending on their privacy settings and whatever Facebook has decided it wants people to see that week.

Such is the importance of Facebook to society's well-being, however, that we at The Register decided to carry out extensive research and customer modeling using the most recent techniques in cutting-edge design fabrication to provide an enhanced experience for users – and provide the results of that work, for free, to Mr Zuckerberg and his glorified curtain-twitchers.Comment The days of the massive standalone storage company are coming to a close, as the public cloud and myriad storage startups drive cumulatively fatal wounds deep into the heart of the one-supplier-does-all-your-storage business model.The all-you-need, best-of-breed storage supplier days are ending as enterprises realize they can get better or cheaper or simpler or more integrated storage, or several of these attributes, by revolutionizing their on-premises storage and moving some or all of it to the public cloud.All mainstream storage suppliers are affected though, not just the stand-alone ones.Traditional, on-premises storage costs and over-consumption of limited enterprise IT resources are being seen as unbearable yet fixable problems, with the fixes tearing the heart out of traditional, mainstream, on-premises enterprise IT suppliers' businesses.

The idea of EMC merging with HP or Dell or selling its VNX line to Dell is only the latest manifestation of this.A problem for these suppliers is that many changes are going on at once, some short-term and some long-term or secular. The biggest secular change is the rise of the public cloud with three giants emerging: Amazon, Azure (Microsoft), and Google. Each is reporting growing customer usage of their clouds for compute and for storage.There are vertical application clouds as well, such as Salesforce.com and, much lower down the scale, ambitious file sharers like Dropbox and Box. Some of this public cloud-use is cloud-bursting – the temporary use of the public cloud for one-off, short-term needs – but the rest is pretty permanent. Most Salesforce.com customers intend to carry on using it and no longer have on-premises IT resources for their CRM-type applications.

That is the simple public cloud threat; on-premises IT is hollowed out, leaving desktop, laptop, and hand-held endpoints behind, accessing remote, in-cloud IT resources. Off-premises IT is not supplied by mainstream, on-premises IT suppliers. But this is extreme and will take years to come to pass, if it does, with on-premises IT being a multi-billion dollar market for decades yet.In the on-premises storage area, there are many many changes too, some of them totally focused on-premises, such as the move to all-flash arrays, a trend to detach storage software from hardware, newer hybrid arrays with much better software, and converged and hyper-converged server hardware and software/storage/networking systems.But these replace legacy products in what is looking like a slowly growing pool – the on-premises IT market. As the myriad storage startups grow, they will eventually face the same problem as the mainstream suppliers are facing now: the business system they pitched for last year has either gone to the public cloud or to a newer start-up technology and the opportunity has vanished.Once the startups have collectively taken all the business they can from the existing vendors, and exist in a state of stable competition with them and their uprated product (think EMC and XtremIO, for example), then they could be playing public cloud musical chairs.

The chairs are business applications, and each time the music stops another application has gone to the cloud and there are fewer chairs (sales opportunities) for the suppliers, so someone has to leave the game.For suppliers, the judgements they have to make include asking which changes coming are most severe for me? How fast are they coming? What is the impact on my business?Analysis “Someone out there must have a family,” Panos Panay remarked yesterday, surveying his audience of potato-shaped gadget bloggers. An optimistic view, I thought. Panay was presenting Microsoft’s Devices event in New York, an event designed to get bloggers’ juices running.Years ago, I was in a MacWorld audience for a Steve Jobs keynote, where the fans even applauded a price increase. But this was far more hysterical. I suspect Microsoft execs had prepared for the event by watching Team America World Police. Several times they told us how “pumped” they were. Thanks for sharing – we might have guessed by the veins throbbing, Hulk-style, on your temples. Maybe next year the Microsoft Devices Event will simply be called, “Surface, Fuck Yeah!” That’s really what this year’s should have been called, it was so aggressive, and single-minded.

Partly this is a function of changes in the tech media. 15 years ago the tech press attending Microsoft presentations wore the same generic uniform as the presenters: a regulation blue Gap shirt (no tie) tucked into Chinos. Now that so many publications have gone, taking the cooler and more analytical voices with them, the audience is predominantly poorly paid, hormonal and adolescent. Some even write for no pay at all – events like this are their big thrill. So the timbre has changed too.Let’s look past the chest-beating and testosterone, though, and see what we really learned.This was a hardware event, and it had an explicit goal and an unspoken one. The obvious goal was to showcase Microsoft’s hardware, not counting Xbox. The unspoken goal was to hide the software, which is in (to put it kindly) a stage of transition. Microsoft achieved both, managing to hide Windows 10 almost completely. Phew!Analysis If there's one message that stands out from Microsoft's big device day launch on Tuesday it's this: stop thinking about Redmond as the cheap option, because it wants to be seen as the premium brand.For years Microsoft has sold itself as the dominant ecosystem for computing that won't cost you too much. The device day focus, however, shows that Microsoft is intent on going after the big spenders in the IT industry.

Take the Surface Book, for example. Again and again Microsoft hammered the message that this was the ultimate laptop, with no expense spared. That's reflected in the price – $1,500 will get you the base unit but you can spent nearly three grand on a top-of-the-range system with dual graphics chips and a terabyte of solid state storage.That's a hell of a lot for a laptop. You can pick up a good-enough laptop for a tenth of the price of a top-of-the-range Surface Book running Windows. But there's a market for people willing to spend a fortune on top-spec hardware, both in the gaming market and also for the executive who likes to show off a bit.As for fondleslabs, the Surface Pro 4 is an expensive option for a tablet, which is why Microsoft has always billed it as a PC that just happens to be in tablet form. While $899 is the base price, when you add in the keyboard, a bit more storage, RAM, and the pen you're well into four figures.

The same is true for phones. The Lumia 950 and 950XL were promoted (and priced) to compete with the highest-end cellphones on the market and billed as a possible replacement for PCs. Buy a docking station to go with it and the phones can handle 90 per cent of the applications most people use most of the time.By contrast, the lowly Lumia 550 got little love from Redmond. It merited a couple of sentences in the long presentation and was reduced to a "if you want to try Windows 10 on the phone it's a cheap option." There's just one problem with this strategy – other people have got there first and they'll be a bugger to dislodge.When it comes to expensive hardware, Apple has ruled the roost for a long time. The MacBook, iPad, and iPhone lines are pricey, albeit with a very high-quality build and the apps to match. Cook & Co have earned serious coin with high-end hardware and will cling onto the sector like rabid weasels.The Surface Book also takes aim at Alienware, although that's a longer-term play. The dual graphics capability of the laptop will match the Dell subsidiary's best laptops (once software that can take advantage of the hardware has been written), and gamers are notorious/beloved by vendors for being willing to spend big bucks on the right kit.

Microsoft wants a piece of both companies' markets, although the Apple bashing was more in evidence at yesterday's show in New York City – possibly because Microsoft has a financial stake in Dell and it's one of the firm's favorite partners.Engineers from Microsoft, Tesla, and Columbia and Massachusetts universities have teamed up to develop what on paper looks like a revolution in consumer battery technology that meets demands for fast charge, long life, and the ability to bend.The "Software-Defined Battery" system allows different batteries with different chemistries to be integrated into the same system. Fast charging and the ability to work for longer by adapting to different tasks are the result of the blended battery plan.Energy consumption rates can even be predicted, based on learned user behaviour.The team says these arrangements overcome current trade-offs in black-box batteries that mean no one single type can meet all common user requirements, such as the need for a laptop to last over long-haul flights or to deliver quick bursts of power in applications like starter motors or camera flashes.Delivering bendable batteries for us in wearables is also said to be possible using the new heterogeneous system.

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My favourite cliche is the way a keyboard’s keys always go “blip blip blip” when being typed upon, and the monitor goes “bleert, whirr, tagadagadaga” when text appears on it. The only way I can get a computer to do all this is to vocalise the noises myself while working, much to the annoyance of my colleagues. I guess it’s the cyber-thriller equivalent of waving a broomstick about while making light-sabre sounds.Whether it’s a 12-year-old girl in Jurassic Park exclaiming “It’s a Unix system! I know this!” or Mr Andersonnnnnn choosing to do his hacking via monitored company Internet access from his office cubicle, Hollywood’s idea of hacking is all so much bollocks.In real life, hackers do not look like Keanu Reeves, nor are they ever female. Rather, they are friendless overweight blokes in faded Iron Maiden t-shirts, huddled over a second-hand laptop for hours in a bedroom in their Mum’s house, windows shut, curtains closed and with a row of urine-filled cola bottles arranged along the wall.On screen, a hacker, with no apparent source of regular income, rents a flat alone and has filled his or her living room with five acres of Vittsjö shelving and 400 miles of cabling and managed to assemble their own Large Hadron Collider in the kitchenette.

And now, far from breaking away from this norm, the newly hyped cyber-hacking thriller series Mr Robot just repeats all the cliches. Hilariously, International Business Times says it participated in a webchat in which a member of Anonymous praised Mr Robot for being “the most accurate portrayal of security and hacking culture ever to grace the screen”.Well, of course he’d say that. The protagonist of Mr Robot is young, slim and handsome. He is smart. He is articulate. He has no zits. It even looks as if he’s washed his hoody within the last seven days.Tell you what, I’ll write an autobiography about my life in IT journalism and get Chris Hemsworth to play me in the big screen adaptation. Honest, we could be twins.I can see it all now. The editor of the Daily Mail, Paul Dacre, could be played by Samuel L Jackson; Rupert Murdoch would be played by Johnny Depp; Felix Dennis could be played by Tom Cruise; The Register’s John Lettice will be played by Keira Knightley.

In the meantime, I will just have to play (with? – Vulture Central's backroom gremlins) myself. As the incomparably terrible Mike Yarwood used to remind us unnecessarily, this is me.On the other hand, back to my earlier admission concerning odd clothes and wigs, I’m not always me.To amuse myself, accompany my daughter and embarrass her friends over the years, I have occasionally joined in with her penchant for cosplaying TV, movie and cartoon characters at MCM London Comic Con. As someone of “a certain age”, this means I can act the fool playing the older character parts from series as diverse as Ghost In The Shell and Adventure Time, while also being the “responsible adult” accompanying one’s teen offspring and her chums.Thankfully for everyone concerned, I took a tip from the stars and have always chosen parts that involve heavy disguise. I will leave you with following video which, believe it or not, is me on stage from five years ago.

Having recently put down his axe after hacking away 336 staff earlier this month, chief executive Jack Dorsey has now donned his Santa suit to hand out $200m (£130m) worth of stock to remaining employees.Dorsey said he was giving away about 1 per cent of the company to the company’s 3,700 employees, in Twitter's Teatime town hall event, reported the FT.In a tweet Dorsey said: "As for me: I'd rather have a smaller part of something big than a bigger part of something small. I'm confident we can make Twitter big."Dorsey was installed as chief executive of the company earlier this month, following a stint as interim chief exec for four months.But he wasted no time in planning the hefty job 8 per cent job cuts to the moaning platform's global workforce.Twitter has flagged behind its other "social media" competitors in attracting enough advertising revenue and increasing its user base.But the winner is: monty75 with this gem: "It was at this point that Kate began to suspect that the phone call she received wasn't really from Windows Support." We’ve all been there.

Mr 75 wins a Western Digital 6TB black drive, something with more than a million times more capacity than the Corvus hard disk we remember using on a Commodore PET in 1980. Even the cache of 128MB in the 6TB Black would have seemed impossible back then.This is the top-of-the-range Western Digital drives with a sustained data rate of 600MB/s, StableTrac to cope with vibrations caused from the sub-woofer in a hardcore gaming system, and dual processors.The drive has a SATA interface and uses the well-established Ramp Load technology which parks the heads off the disk surface to prevent stiction, and Advanced Format Technology which uses eight 512 byte logical sectors in one 4096 byte physical sector. WD sells them here.And by this time next week you too could be the proud owner of a happy grin which shows that you’ve come up with the best caption, and that a Western Digital hard disk will be finding its way to you.Please try to keep it kind of SFW, but applicable to the content. If you want to be considered, please don’t hide as an anonymous coward, and if you win we’ll need a UK mailing address. The competition closes at 9:00 UK time next Thursday, 29 Oct. Post your witty words in the comments below.

With the kind-of-launch of the Australian government's telecommunications data retention regime, there's been a plethora of advice everywhere – from “lad mags” to the tech press to political parties – with one theme: “get a virtual private network” (VPN).Which moves Vulture South to idly wonder: do people know that a VPN on Android might only protect data emanating from the phone, and not (for example) a laptop tethered to its WiFi?This isn't news, it's just an observation that consumer-level advice about information security is not to be trusted. To make recommendations about security you have to be the kind of obsessive that assumes nothing, takes nothing at face value and checks everything.Vulture South can't claim that kind of attention to detail: the issue was pointed out to us by someone else. We do, however, like to test things for ourselves, so we downloaded two copies of OpenVPN (one on the MacBook Pro, one on the Samsung S5) and set to work.TLDR: OpenVPN on Android only protects communications originating on the phone, but not a tethered PC, as we show below. Since OpenVPN sensibly bars Traceroute, we had to infer routing with pings. Being in Australia has a distinct advantage here: the Pacific Ocean imposes big penalties on ping times.

The test clearly isn't perfect, but the salient point is that the ping time over the tethered 4G connection should not be lower with the VPN on than off. At an informed guess, the shorter ping times for a tethered connection show the VPN isn't protecting the tethered MacBook Pro. Shorter ping times almost certainly mean fewer hops, which means the VPN's taken out of the picture (we'd love to know why latency was lower with OpenVPN active, but lack the tools).This isn't the fault of OpenVPN. It happens to be the one we tested to assess the suggestion that tethering and passing traffic through a VPN on a smartphone could be a metadata dodge.Those in the know realise that such things have limitations.Vulture South has asked an expert to tell us whether our suspicion is accurate: that to force a VPN client to re-route what's tethered probably needs a rooted phone.While we wait for that response, we think we have illustrated the danger of giving careless and glib advice to ordinary consumers, who don't know enough to go beyond "a VPN will make me safe" and therefore don't ask questions. Updated A vulnerability in FitBit fitness trackers first reported to the vendor in March could still be exploited by the person you sit next to on a park bench while catching your breath.

The athletic-achievement-accumulating wearables are wide open on their Bluetooth ports, according to research by Fortinet. The attack is quick, and can spread to other computers to which an infected FitBit connects.Attacks over Bluetooth require an attacker hacker to be within metres of a target device. This malware can be delivered 10 seconds after devices connect, making even fleeting proximity a problem. Testing the success of the hack takes about a minute, although it is unnecessary for the compromise.Fortinet researcher Axelle Apvrille (@cryptax) told Vulture South that full persistence means it does not matter if the FitBit Flex is restarted; any computer that connects with the wearable can be potentially infected with a backdoor, trojan, or whatever the attacker desires.(Of course, the malicious code stashed on the gadget must find a way to execute on the connected PC, but that's an exercise left to the reader.)"An attacker sends an infected packet to a fitness tracker nearby at bluetooth distance then the rest of the attack occurs by itself, without any special need for the attacker being near," Apvrille says.

"[When] the victim wishes to synchronise his or her fitness data with FitBit servers to update their profile … the fitness tracker responds to the query, but in addition to the standard message, the response is tainted with the infected code."From there, it can deliver a specific malicious payload on the laptop, that is, start a backdoor, or have the machine crash [and] can propagate the infection to other trackers (Fitbits)."It is the first time malware has been viably delivered to fitness trackers.The attack vectors are still present. Apvrille warned FitBit in March and says the company considers it a bug which will be squashed at some point.Apvrille, a respected malware researcher, will offer a proof-of-concept demonstration video at the Hack.Lu conference in Luxembourg tomorrow."The video demonstrates that the infection persists over multiple messages," she says. "Even when I fully reset the connection with the tracker, most of the infected bytes persist, so that means we have enough space to convey a short malicious code."Apvrille has pulled off other hacks; she is able to manipulate the number of counted steps and logged distance to earn badges that can be traded in for discounts and prizes.

Those badges can be turned into discounts and gifts through third-party companies such as Higi which in April launched an API to help companies receive health data derived from wearables.Apvrille has reversed 24 messages from the Fitbit tracker and 20 from the USB Bluetooth dongle as part of the largely ground-up reverse engineering work since the devices are closed-source and do not come with documentation on software internals.She says communication is over XML and Bluetooth Low Energy while encryption and decryption occurs on the wearable device, and not on the dongle which is "outside of the security boundaries".The communications data sets are divided into "mega dumps" that include walking steps and user activity information, and "micro dumps" which relate to pairing, server responses, and device identifiers.The work adds new information on the low-level software internals of Fitbit to an existing repository of work built by fellow researchers.It is not the first security blunder for the fitness strap. In 2013 researchers were able to fake login information to access any Fitbit account thanks to then lax authentication checks, allowing attackers to earn prizes.

And in 2011 the sexual activities of users were publicly spewed over web searches revealing whether those who had engaged in "vigorous" or “passive and light” efforts.Dumb hacks exist that allow the lazy to trick the sensors into thinking steps are being taken. In 2013 some researchers tied Fitbits to a car tyre and drove 16km/h to simulate steps. Fitbit's been in touch to say it "... is focused on protecting consumer privacy and keeping data safe. We believe that security issues reported today are false, and that Fitbit devices can’t be used to infect users with malware. We will continue to monitor this issue."Fortinet first contacted us in March to report a low-severity issue unrelated to malicious software. Since that time we’ve maintained an open channel of communication with Fortinet. We have not seen any data to indicate that it is currently possible to use a tracker to distribute malware."The researcher delivering the talk we reported has since pointed out, in tweets like the one below, that the attack is a proof of concept, theoretical, and not something that's in the wild.The Obama Administration has ordered US federal agencies to hold off on purchasing new PCs in hopes of patching up a broken ordering system.The White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has put a hold on new desktops and notebooks while it sorts through what it says are "thousands" of new system orders every year.OMB said that because agencies lack a standardized way to order, maintain, and replace their IT infrastructure, officials are forced to seek out their own contracts and purchase orders to get new PCs, leading to huge accumulated costs in waste.

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Since Nadella slashed into the former Nokia business and pulled smartphone activities back to fewer models and markets, the main focus is the enterprise space, and the idea that W10 smartphones can be companions to their more successful tablet and PC stablemates – an argument often used by Apple, of course, which believes that adoption of one of its devices nearly always leads to the uptake of others. It is a cornerstone of the W10 strategy – and another borrowing from Apple – that the new Microsoft OS should do the same, providing a sufficiently enticing user experience for customers to want it on all their screens, and offering the simplicity of a single set of apps and interfaces on each one."These devices promise to fuel even more enthusiasm and opportunity for the entire Windows ecosystem," claimed Nadella in a statement, while devices chief Panos Panay went further, claiming that the W10 handset would be a natural extension of the huge in-stalled base for the operating system on other products.

"Now, we want to put Windows in your pocket," he said. "110 million people using Windows 10 right now. If you haven't thought about these phones, wake up! Spend a minute, with the universal apps coming. 110 million users in eight weeks - the opportunity is unbelievable."Microsoft has been gradually moving towards a unified experience across all screens, building on the Universal Apps platform that first appeared in Windows 8. Facebook, Instagram and Uber were among those announcing Universal Apps which work in the same way across different W10 devices. Also, with a new Display Dock, users can connect a Lumia to a monitor, keyboard and mouse, turning the smartphone into a small desktop PC.Like Apple again, Microsoft has announced a flagship smartphone in two screen sizes. Both the 5.2-inch Lumia 950 and 5.7-inch Lumia 950 XL have 20-megapixel cameras with high level imaging functionality (a key Nokia strength), including 4K UHD video capture. The handsets run on Snapdragon 808 and 810 processor and cost $549 and $649 respectively. They are due to go on sale in November.DigiTimes suggests that two models will be built by contract manufacturers, Inventec and Compal, and feature 12.5 inch and 13.3 inch displays.

According to the trade paper, Xiaomi has been tapping up Lenovo executives "aggressively" to manage the new laptop venture.The consumer electronics upstart is best known for selling smartphones at cost, or close to cost price, a strategy that allowed it grab the No.3 spot in vendor market share worldwide.It's currently slipped to No 5, and Huawei has clawed back top spot in the PRC in the most recent quarter.Xiaomi already produces a curious mix of white goods, networking kit and consumer electronics, ranging from an air humidifier to routers, TVs, and a fitness band. So why not?Popular apps like Facebook and WhatsApp, combined with weaknesses in LTE protocols, could help spooks or attackers locate users, a group of German and Finnish researchers have found.The problem, however, isn't the apps, but the network protocols they use. The work, here at Arxiv, details how LTE protocols can be attacked to deny service to a target's device; and how the network can be persuaded to leak device locations.The location problem is this: the social apps – and other applications, like Voice over LTE – generate broadcast “paging” messages from the network to the device, and the supposedly-anonymous Global Unique Temporary ID given to devices by the network lasts so long (up to three days) that it's easy to de-anonymise devices.Those messages have always existed, but as the group writes here, in the 3G world the broadcasts covered areas of 100 km2, which isn't so useful for tracking a user.

The designers of LTE wanted better user location, so broadcast activity is now confined to the much-more-snoopable 2 km2 – and building kit to sniff all the broadcast messages a network transmits is relatively easy. The boffins needed only a laptop running open-source LTE baseband software, and a suitable software-defined radio card.In Facebook, the paging messages are triggered by incoming messages, and in WhatsApp, they're generated to tell you that the other person in a conversation is typing. Since the broadcast message only reaches the cell you're connected to, watching those broadcasts gives an attacker your location within that cell.The other key to the location attack is to get the network to leak a user's IMSI, but the authors say there are a variety of existing attacks that will do this. With IMSI and user presence in hand, it's then easy to refine location to a much finer degree, by getting users to log into a rogue cell (think “Stingray”).

Luckily, the authors note, the fix for the location tracking bug should be easy enough for operators: if they cycle GUTIs often enough (a pain in the neck if operators have to comply with data retention, but there you go), it becomes impossible to associate paging messages with a specific individual.The over-the-air denial-of-service attacks the paper presents are based on LTE network signalling messages that aren't protected – “Tracking Area Update” (TAU) messages.Because LTE devices don't check the integrity of these messages, the messages can be sent from a rogue access point to force downgrade or deny services either to a specific device, or all devices in reach of the attacker.The DoS attacks are a much thornier problem: forcing authentication of all the network messages requires at least infrastructure upgrades, and in some cases, new LTE protocols. Powerful malware with speculative National Security Agency (NSA) links has infected the private laptop of Germany's secretary of state in the Federal Chancellery, according to reports by national news digger Der Spiegel.

The Regin-derived malware in question is thought to be a plugin dubbed Qwerty, used in the NSA's WarriorPride framework.That connection is based on Snowden documents and deep technical analysis that also shows Regin bears links to the infamous Stuxnet malware and spin-offs Flame and Duqu, as well as the long-running and truly advanced Equation hacking group which has operated for some 15 years and infected hundreds of targets.The current Chancellery chief is Peter Altmaier, who has held office since 2013. The Chancellery is charged with assisting the German Chancellor, presently Mrs Angela Merkel.Der Spiegel does not specify who was in the seat when the attacks occurred but says the compromise was discovered in 2014.Germany's federal prosecutor's office is investigating the attacks but has not provided a timeline for the probe.News of the alleged infection comes after the country's former Attorney General Harald Range dropped a probe into the alleged tapping of Chancellor Merkel's mobile phone revealed in October 2013.

Merkel was also thought to be the first of multiple German Government officials to be compromised by Russian-based actors who used her computer to spread a trojan thought to have ultimately infected some 20,000 systems. Analysis Despite focusing exclusively on budget phones in 2015, Microsoft's Lumia revenues fell ... a lot. Year-on-year revenue declined 54 per cent in full year Q1 2015.We have to extrapolate the volumes from revenue, but assuming the Average Selling Prices (ASP) and the profit margin remained the same, that translates as shipments halving. Or so Windows Central calculates, using those assumptions.Of course, it's unlikely that ASP remained the same: ASPs are always falling. Margins are being squeezed. And the product mix in Q1 fiscal this year was more skewed to budget models than in full year Q1 2014.The higher end models such as the 930 and 1520 weren't superseded by newer models, nor were the "mid-range" Lumia 830 and 730 (both excellent devices). By contrast, the budget models gained a boost with the "hero" (that's Microsoft's description) Lumia 640.But the revenue figure is uncontested, and real revenue is what counts. Don't be surprised or alarmed. It's actually in line with the revised mobile strategy outlined in the summer, in which value phones don't even feature.

If you recall, CEO Satya Nadella promised new Lumia flagships and promise to make phones for businesses, but only "experiences" for "value" punters. We hardly need point out that SatNad himself hardly helped, by sparking a rash of "scaling back dramatically" headlines.And that strategy, of dumping millions of "low value" consumers, is at least rational. The reasoning is that third-party OEMs will take up the slack. Windows Phone today is free, like Android, but Microsoft's "free" is cheaper than Google's "free", once you factor in the royalties.We've seen a glut of announcements by OEMs in (mostly) emerging markets, from companies such as Blu, Yezz, Alcatel and Micromax. Even Polaroid showed off a Windows Phone.But not all of them actually delivered the goods. So there's no sense in Microsoft duking it out in the budget volume segment, just as there's no sense in it duking it out in the budget tablet or laptop segment with Acer.It's a pity, because nothing gets you quite as nice an experience for £120 as a Lumia 640. But Microsoft just doesn't have the commitment to consumers as Nokia did. Maybe Corporate HQ doesn't really feel that budget Lumia customers are its customers anyway; more like squatters.

What's harder to fathom is why Microsoft didn't make more of the two flagships (and a new budget model) unveiled two weeks ago. The phones were denied their own dedicated event and then shunted into a slot in the first few minutes, so as not to steal the limelight from Surface.Apparently they tout a superb camera, but Microsoft didn't show any samples during the aggressive "Team Microsoft: Device Police" presentation.Windows Phone's champion Joe Belfiore, who presented every new Windows Phone event since launch, has just sailed away. Literally. For a year.Maybe Microsoft is just waiting until the WM10 platform is presentable before it shows off its capabilities, and that looks like it will be next year.Something for the Weekend, Sir? I have an urge to dress up in unconventional clothing, don a wig and parade myself around east London.You may be relieved to learn, without indicating prejudice, that this will not involve women’s clothing. I am neither a master potter nor am I on the game. Sorry to disappoint. I had better explain.

MCM London Comic Con takes place this weekend. Held twice a year, this event is a smaller and very British version of the rather more famous San Diego Comic Con. It differs from San Diego in a number of significant ways: there are fewer people in superhero fancy dress and a great deal many more manga/anime cosplayers, for example.One of the unique joys of MCM, even for the casually attired visitor, is finding yourself crammed into a Docklands Light Railway carriage heading to London ExCeL in the company of 100 young women dressed up in Gothic Lolita lingerie.“No, the other carriage is full, honest, I have to use this one. Excuse me, sorry, sorry, beg pardon. Busy today, eh? No, don’t worry, that’s my umbrella.”Another particularly British aspect is that British cosplayers tend to be, er – how can I say this nicely? – a little less trim around the waist compared with their ’Murcan counterparts.This is a good thing. Superheroes and camp crusaders bore me but I’m sure I’d find them more interesting if they were imperfect from time to time, such as if they spent entire weekends slumped in front of the TV, or found themselves in urgent need of a midnight slash after a long Babycham-drenched evening spent with the Hulk. It would certainly be amusing to watch them struggle to get out of all that Spandex faster than a speeding bullet.

As any fancy dress partygoer can attest, it’s only when you actually don the cape that you begin to fully appreciate the utter ridiculousness of it all. That’s why live-action superheroes tend to have their costumes redesigned from tights to black leather for their big screen appearances. This apparently makes everything more realistic.Black leather! Can you imagine the smell? “Holy cow, Batman, you stink like a cross between Wolverine’s armpits and the Asgardian public toilets after Loki’s last curry night.”Oddly enough, when it comes to dressing up computer hackers in films and TV shows, the opposite rule applies.On screen, hackers are depicted as punky, funky and spunky. They are yobs and rebels who still manage to have apparently achieved some sort of formal education in computer science. They claim to be anonymous and then roar about town on motorbikes. They harp on about the importance of secrecy but are forever announcing themselves and summarising their hacking credentials to every fucker they meet, like some kind of deranged walking LinkedIn profile stuck in screenreader mode.

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The cloud has a fairly core problem: it's the cloud. You have no idea of the underlying hardware, or how far server A physically sits from server B. You have high-level monitoring but nothing below a very abstract set of statistics, so although you could use something like PerfMon/TypePerf at the Windows level (or the Linux equivalent if you're an Open Source kind of person) you have no idea what's going on on the network.Particularly for an application specialist this is a big deal: in any networked application each contact between endpoints has several phases, from the initial DNS lookup right at the end of the delivery of the results to the user. In the cloud you just can't see this – so research on how your apps perform in this regard needs you to have some kind of data centre presence with some real, physical equipment in it.And the beauty is that you can often equip your R&D “lab” without costing the earth. After all, you didn't throw out those end-of-life switches or routers, did you? In most cases you replace kit not because it's completely unusable but because the vendor no longer supports it and hence it's no use in a business-critical infrastructure. So if you gave me a few Cisco 2600s routers, 3750G switches, ASA5510s, four-year-old Dell servers and the like I'd be perfectly happy. Although you'll need to buy some stuff, it won't be an expensive ground-up purchase.

And the point is I'd be able to let my gang run riot with them and practise stuff. Flash an ancient copy of the ASA firmware onto a 5510 and let them figure out how to upgrade it to the latest release without breaking the VPN connection. We can unplug things and see how the database copes, and whether it manages to get its bearings and pick up where it left off once the connection comes back.Engineers are like children: we like stuff that's new, and we like trying stuff out and finding things out for ourselves
Buy some assorted hard disks – SATA and SAS spinning disks and various types of Flash drive – and do real benchmarks and show yourself just what the difference is. Record what you see, because when you then look back to the cloud for your production systems you'll be so much more convinced that (say) the extra performance of the SSD storage option is worth it – because you'll remember that “Holy crap!” moment when you saw how fast the benchmark was on your own physical box, run by your own fair hand.

The cloud abstracts everything too much to be useful for infrastructure research and testing, and so an in-house alternative is the obvious way to go.And the thing is, engineers are like children: we like stuff that's new, and we like trying stuff out and finding things out for ourselves. And if this can involve real engineering, with real metal boxes (preferably with the lids off where possible), and flashing lights, and bits of electric string, all the better.And this means physical kit. On our premises. Combine this with the undeniable fact that experimenting is fun, and it's the obvious way of getting the fun stuff back into the data centre. Microsoft's support forums and the Surface subreddit are filled with folks claiming their displays erratically wink completely on and off. This happens, we're told, whether the tablet is running on its own or when it's docked in its base station."A small number of customers have flagged some issues with their Surface Book," a Redmond spokesperson told The Register. "We are working hard to resolve them quickly and easily with Windows Update."

The reports come just two days into the retail run for the high-end Microsoft tablet-notebook convertible. Marketed as a high-end expansion on the Surface Pro, the Surface Book starts at a price of $1500 and offers up to an Intel Core i7 processor and 1TB SSD in the tablet, with an additional Nvidia discrete GPU built into the keyboard dock.That high-priced, hefty hardware package seems to be coming with some early hiccups. A video captured by one Surface Book owner shows the mysterious screen flicker in action."Just got my unit, i7 512GB. Applied all the updates (including the recent firmware). My screen keeps flickering on/off, whether or not the screen is docked," user Jarem said of the problem."I've tried resetting but the issue still persists. It also seems independent of running apps or focused windows. Adjusting the brightness doesn't resolve the issue.""It doesn't seem to do it when the screen is attached in laptop mode, but flipping the screen around makes it flicker like crazy," wrote user JohnnyLocust."Spent about 2 hours with tech support on the phone. All we did was a complete factory reset and reinstall the latest firmware and drivers. One hour later, the flicker started right back up."While the cause of the flickering has not yet been determined, users have suggested the problem may be related to Hyper-V, as some reported that disabling the Windows 10 hypervisor alleviates the flickering issue.Though many Windows users will not need Hyper-V enabled, the issue could be a problem for the Surface book in particular, as Redmond has positioned the tablet, with its in-dock discrete GPU, as a solution for high-end enterprise users.

This week, the pair developing the Novena open laptop have provided an update on their work. The idea is to develop a usable system that is completely open to customization and scrutiny – from the electronics to the firmware to the operating system to the applications.This is ideal for people paranoid there is malicious code hidden in closed-source drivers and firmware in their motherboards and hardware, or just fed up with insecure and broken closed-source software from manufacturers.Andrew Huang and Sean Cross, two self-employed engineers living in Singapore, built their computer around a quad-core ARM Cortex-A9-powered Freescale system-on-chip and a field-programmable gate array (FPGA) – the specs are here. (The pair trust the system-on-chip and the FPGA behave as documented.)Even the display bezel is hackable, with Huang explaining: "Anyone with access to an entry-level machine shop can fabricate a custom bezel to accommodate a different LCD, as well as mount additional sensors (such as a camera or a microphone) or additional buttons and knobs."A crowdfunding round via Crowd Supply 18 months ago far exceeded its goals, even though prices ranged from $1,195 to a $5,000 wooden model.The pair were obliged to reject RedHat and Ubuntu because they required black-box drivers for GPU acceleration to draw the pointless desktop eye candy, and opted for a fully free Debian on GNU/Linux with the Xfce4 window manager.

"We hope eventually to figure out enough of the GPU to let us do 3D graphics with acceleration sufficient to produce a user experience much like that of any mainstream laptop," the guys said.The pair want you to think of it as a piece of lab equipment. A software-defined radio board was developed for the Novena by Myriad RF to avoid using more black-box radio hardware and firmware.As an exercise in producing an open system from scratch, it's fascinating. The Novena board has already been used as the basis for a crypto key signing box, Cryptech.You can read the duo's adventures at the IEEE's Spectrum, here. For what it's worth, a startup called Purism is doing similar with an x86-based laptop, but it relies on Intel's closed-source processor initialization firmware, which gives some people the heebie-jeebies. Analysis Microsoft stubbornly refuses to let go of making hardware, but now the reasons why CEO Satya Nadella has not followed his clear instinct to ditch devices (except Xbox) are becoming clearer.

We have analysed many times why Microsoft should not make smartphones and tablets, mainly because of conflicts of interest with the OEM partners which have always been the basis of its model. However, there is the defensive reason that without the former Nokia products, there would be very few Windows handsets at all. The software giant is ill-equipped, in terms of its business model and its capabilities, to be a vendor of mass market hardware.Yet it does need Windows 10 to live up to its promises of spanning every kind of device and screen, which means continuing to provide users, especially in the business sector, with the option of a Windows smartphone. And the Surface range is starting to justify the approach that software platform giants need to create and drive new form factors themselves by showcasing the capabilities of their operating systems on their own hardware. Microsoft has taken that tack in the past, though usually retreating quickly once a particular product gained traction among "real" hardware vendors (as seen with its Wi-Fi access point, for instance).Google has done the same with Nexus. Neither of these represents the integrated hardware/platform business model of Apple – briefly chased by Nadella’s predecessor Steve Ballmer, with the resulting failure of the Nokia devices acquisition. Instead they show the need for a new OS to have worthy devices.

With the first Surface tablets, it was clear that Microsoft should have left this task to its partners. Google may have complained, when it launched the first release of Android for larger screens, that very few device makers could produce a quality experience to live up to the OS’s potential. But that is not true of Microsoft, which has established and capable customers such as Acer and Asustek.They were vocal in their misgivings about the Windows giant competing with them with Surface.However, between the unloved Surface RT and this week’s launch of the Surface Book, there has been a significant change, partly driven by the emergence of Windows 10 and partly by the decline of the conventional PC. It is imperative that W10 – Microsoft’s last chance to remain a company with its own OS rather than just a multi-platform service provider – succeeds in that post-PC space which is currently being defined, and will include some combination of tablet touchscreens and notebook keyboards, at the base level. There have been all kinds of experiment with these hybrids, but unexpectedly, Microsoft’s Surface Pro tablet-with-keyboard has proved definitive, especially since W10 came along.

To prove that point, we only had to see Apple head-to-head with its old enemy with its launch of the iPad Pro, a clear response to the Surface Pro. Now Microsoft has returned the compliment with the launch of its first notebook, the Surface Book. The dividing line between a professional tablet and a laptop is blurring, but increasingly it seems that, after many experiment with post-PC form factors, this is where the successor to the PC will be found. Both Microsoft and Apple are looking to colonize the space via a pincer movement. Both are now offering a beefed-up tablet with optional keyboard, and an ultraslim laptop, though the MacBook Air does not yet have a touchscreen, and Apple CEO Tim Cook last week insisted that, unlike Microsoft, his firm had no plans to converge its mobile/touch and notebook/desktop operating systems.So it’s back to the good old days of Windows and Apple Mac fighting it out for the business base – though with the critical difference that Microsoft is making its own hardware rather than relying on its PC OEMs. Just as one of the problems for Windows Phone was the conflict of interest between the Microsoft/Nokia alliance and the bid to create a broad device ecosystem, so Microsoft risks the same effect in the emerging market for tablet/notebook hybrids.

That form factor, with its assorted variations from Intel Ultrabooks to Surface Pro tablets, will be vital to propel Windows 10 growth, but despite the latter-day success of the Surface family, Microsoft cannot dominate the post-PC territory all by itself. To fend off MacBooks, iPads, Chromebooks and Android devices, it needs to have a broad base of OEMs making innovative Windows 10 products. If it confines its Surface launches to a leadership role – demonstrating to OEMs, developers and users what can be done with W10, as Google does for Android with Nexus – that should be possible. But if it competes with its own partners, it risks driving them towards Linux.The Surface Book sports a 13.5-inch touchscreen which detaches to work as a standalone tablet. It claims up to 12 hours of battery life and comes in flexible configurations, with choices of memory (up to 16GB of RAM), hard drive size (up to a terabyte) and processor speed. The device runs on sixth-generation Intel Core i5 and i7 processors with Intel HD graphics, and there is an optional Nvidia GeForce GPU. All that comes at a price - $1,499 for the entry level model, up to $2,699 for the top end.

The Surface Book has a decent chance of becoming a successful device in its own right, and not purely as an accelerant for new W10 form factors – though that will be a double-edged sword for Microsoft, whose PC partners still have to pay for Windows licences for larger gadgets, and which have Chrome and Linux alternatives in their sights too, if they feel squeezed out of the post-PC segment. On the other hand, a successful Surface could help keep Windows relevant and in-demand, proving to the OEMs that there is still a good reason to stay loyal to the old platform. The situation is very different for the Lumia smartphones, which are not defending a dominant position, like Surface, but struggling with single-digit market share and no obvious role in life except to ensure that W10 options are available across all form factors.The first Lumia smartphones designed specifically for Windows 10 made their debut with all the genuinely strong attributes of former Nokia products - the innovative Windows Phone user interface, now the basis of the whole W10 experience: the top class imaging. But they launched without US carrier support and with the usual challenge of a far smaller apps base than Android or iOS.

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Existing devices, like the Lumia 830 on which this review is being typed, can connect wirelessly to full-size displays, but only with display mirroring, limiting the screen resolution. True Continuum displays different content on each screen. Therefore the forthcoming HD-500 Display Dock requires a Lumia 950 or 950XL.Despite this limitation, there are features in this build that seem to be aimed at Continuum users. After connecting to an external display, there is an Advanced setting appears that only offers “Mirror what’s on my device”, but which would presumably have further options on new hardware. You can also reduce the size of the text and other on-screen items, making it almost unreadable on the phone itself, but more usable on the connected display. This makes it feasible to type a document in Word Mobile, though I cannot pretend it is a great experience. Connecting a Bluetooth mouse is no-go for me; the mouse works, but types random repeating characters as a side-effect. Without a mouse, it is fiddly to perform operations like taking a screenshot, inserting it into the document, and cropping it. I found myself looking forward to finishing the document on a real PC.

Another issue is power management. In full Windows 10, you can vary how quickly the screen goes off after inactivity, according to whether the device is on battery or external power. This is not possible in the current build, and screen time-outs are particularly annoying since the wireless display disconnects. Real Continuum will be a better experience, though no doubt there will still be annoyances. The open question here is how useful it will be. It only makes sense if you are travelling without a laptop or tablet, and to use it you will need keyboard, mouse and a display with either the Microsoft dock or wireless connectivity. It is unlikely to replace a PC since x86 applications will not run. It all sounds rather niche.How is Windows 10 Mobile shaping up as a smartphone OS? It is usable though there is still occasional jerkiness on the Lumia 830 used for this review. There are several things to like. App navigation is excellent, with the Start menu available by swiping in from the right, and pinned tiles which support groups as well as multiple sizes. Cortana, Microsoft's digital assistant, makes more sense on a phone than on a PC, and works rather well, with decent voice recognition as well as handy features like reading incoming texts and accepting dictated replies, now fixed to be always on (as an option) rather than restricted to Bluetoooth audio. Give Cortana a sum to do, and a calculator appears embedded in the reply, another neat feature.

Police have seized the laptop of a BBC journalist who had interviewed men identifying themselves with jihadist organisation Islamic State in order to access these communications.The laptop of Secunder Kermani was taken by police under powers available through the Terrorism Act 2000, according to the Independent.The Register understands Kermani has not been detained or questioned.Kermani, a journalist with BBC's flagship current affairs programme Newsnight, had produced interviews and features on British-born terrorists and others from Western backgrounds sympathetic to jihadist organisation Islamic State.While the seizure was ostensibly to acquire the journalist's communications with one such source, it is notable because it forced Kermani to hand over his personal property, rather than a standard request to an internet service provider to collect retained communications data.According to a BBC spokesperson: "Police obtained an order under the Terrorism Act requiring the BBC to hand over communication between a Newsnight journalist and a man in Syria who had publicly identified himself as an IS member. The man had featured in Newsnight reports and was not a confidential source."

While controversy persists regarding police powers under RIPA (Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act) to target the communications of journalists, previous complaints triggered reforms that now require the police to obtain a court-issued warrant before targeting journalists' communications. However, the Interception of Communication Commissioner's Office (IOCCO) reported this year that many police forces were failing to do so.That Kermani's physical machine was seized by the police suggests that communications between himself and his sources were unavailable to the police through RIPA. Such unavailability has been a gripe of the British government in recent months, with suggestions of banning end-to-end encrypted communications – but not encryption wholesale – left open by Baroness Shields, ironically the minister for internet safety and security, in the coming Investigatory Powers Bill.Michelle Stanistreet, secretary of the National Union of Journalists, said: "There are serious questions to be answered about why the order obtained by the police warranted the seizing of a journalist's laptop - which may well have contained confidential information on other sources and other stories too. Terrorism laws should not be used as convenient cloaks to sidestep measures that protect press freedom and the ability of journalists to inform the public and to hold power to account."

If Kermani's communications were encrypted on his device, he may now face a compulsory disclosure order under Section 49 of RIPA which would compel him to disclose the cryptographic key protecting his communications or face a maximum of two years in prison.Ian Katz, editor of Newsnight, said: "While we would not seek to obstruct any police investigation we are concerned that the use of the Terrorism Act to obtain communication between journalists and sources will make it very difficult for reporters to cover this issue of critical public interest." The cloud is a fabulous concept. If you want to try something out, or prototype your latest idea, or give yourself a relatively inexpensive disaster recovery setup, get in there and run up a cloud-based installation.There's something that the cloud lacks, though: it's just not fun or cool. Lists of virtual machines in the Azure management GUI aren't sexy. Neither is the pop-up on AWS that tells you the settings you need to paste into your router to get your VPN up and running. And incidentally, Microsoft and Amazon, I'm not having a pop specifically at you – they're just random examples that apply to the cloud in general rather to than any one supplier in particular.


One of the things that has to stay in your data centre, assuming you have one, is the infrastructure that runs it. There's nothing quite as impressive as a spankingly tidy cabinet, every cable run perfectly along the cable management tray, perhaps colour-coded for important connections.I've had managers and auditors become wide-eyed and gasp when I've opened the cabinet door on a particularly sexy collection of flashing lights and cables (not, I hasten to add, my own cabling handiwork – happily I used to have a colleague called Chris who was amazing at that stuff).And if your hardware vendor does cool kit, that's a bonus. My favourite was 3PAR's (now HP's) funky racks with yellow flashes across the doors. A colleague once referred to the yellow rack and the humming of the disks therein as “a box of angry bees”. What I do know is that everyone commented on it.Sadly, of course, the best any vendor can hope to achieve is second best, because the best-looking piece of kit ever devised has been out of production for years.

Someone told me only this week of her experience rather a lot of years ago when she was a trainee accountant at the UK Atomic Energy Authority … and she went to see the Cray in its data centre. If you think anything can beat a proper Cray (the Cray-1, not one of those poncey 19-inch-rack-with-funky-doors ones they do these days), you're welcome to submit challenges in the Comments section of this page. I come from a world of running resilient global infrastructures. This tends to mean a global network connected to a bunch of kit at each location that largely follows a standard architecture, since if everything's the same it's a breeze to manage. So you have the same firewalls, same family of switches, the same remote management servers, the same fileservers, the same storage devices, and so on at each site; the only thing that will usually change was the number of switches in the stack, reflecting the fact that some offices are bigger and have more users than others. And of course the only real way to test the resilience of your kit is to have a real setup to play with.

Doing it for real has two key advantages. First, you're proving conclusively that it does what you expect. Yes, you can emulate a link failure by downing the port on (say) the WAN router, but it's still electrically connected in some cases. I've seen instances where downing the port didn't cause the link to go down entirely, but pulling the cable did – handy to know when you're testing your failover design. Second, though, is when you're trying to sell the idea of the CFO, or the company's investment committee, so they'll give you the money to actually do it.Take a bunch of senior managers to the data centre, open up the rack on your test network, run up a funky streamed music video on your laptop, and invite them to do their worst. “Pick a switch and pull the power on it,” you can tell them, and the video keeps on humming.Stuff the power back in and watch the monitoring alerts all turn green when the switch is back on line. Invite them to pull the cable from the primary (simulated) WAN connection in the knowledge that it's supposed to be resilient; see the video pause for a few seconds while BGP re-converges and then pick up where it left off without you doing anything.

If you're a techie, you think this is cool and you feel smug; if you're a manager you think the techie is some kind of wizard who does weird magic because until this point they thought this whole resilient technology was unfounded bollocks that you made up.Of course you could have demonstrated this from a distance by electronically downing ports, but being there in person and seeing it for real is worth a thousand semi-artificial demos. In these days of cloud computing, auditors can be a royal pain in the arse. Particularly the younger ones who are sent to do the initial on-site interviews and whose sole contribution to the process is the ability to write down what they're told.I love taking auditors to data centres. They're so used to people saying: “Oh, that's in the cloud” or “It's in our service provider's premises … here's a photocopy of their ISO27001 certificate” that they spend their lives with a suspicious look on their face.

So it's great when they ask: “Can you tell me where XXX is stored?” You email the data centre receptionist surreptitiously to tell him to be particularly pedantic about ID, then shepherd the auditors outside, hop in the car, drive down to the data centre, go through the (now overly onerous) entry procedure, open the door of cabinet C23, point to the third disk shelf down, and say: “It's on there.” Even better, you nod to cabinet D14 and mention: “Oh, it's in there as well, and I won't bother showing you the other data centre as it's a long way away, but it's there too.”Beancounters like boxes you can point at, particularly when they have big black-and-white labels saying “CORP-MailServer-01”. Auditor-baiting is a great game, and you can only do it if you have core stuff in your DC. You may, of course, end up deciding to move your entire production application world into the cloud. It's inexpensive, security isn't regarded as an excessive problem, and support costs generally go down markedly when someone else has to look after the hardware and the software upgrades.Even if you do, though, the data centre remains the ideal place to do your architecture tests and prototyping – trying things out and seeing how they behave. The example I gave earlier about inviting people to pull the connection out of the simulated WAN link is exactly what I'm talking about: a platform that physically exists but isn't part of the production infrastructure. It's got routers, servers, switches, storage, bits of cable, its own internet connection, and preferably additional tools such as a WAN emulator, dedicated PC for network monitoring, and so on.

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"This highlights a disturbing trend among original equipment manufacturer (OEM) hardware vendors. Tampering with certificate stores exposes users to unnecessary, increased risk," the Duo team – Darren Kemp, Mikhail Davidov, and Kyle Lady – wrote in their report."Tampering with the certificate store is a questionable practice, and OEM’s need to be careful when adding new trusted certificates, especially root certificates. Sadly, OEM manufacturers seem to not be learning from historical mistakes and keep making them over and over."The US IT titan installs a powerful root CA certificate, including its private key, on its Windows notebooks and desktops. These can be abused by eavesdropping miscreants to silently decrypt encrypted web browser traffic without victims noticing.If you try to remove the dodgy certificate, the file is automatically reinstalled during or after the next boot up. The self-signed root CA cert appears to have been created in early April this year, and expires in the year 2039.How can this certificate be abused? Well, an attacker could, for example, set up a malicious Wi-Fi hotspot in a cafe or hospital, intercept connections from Dell machines, and then automatically strip away the encryption – a classic man-in-the-middle attack, all enabled by Dell's security blunder.

The decrypted traffic will include usernames, passwords, session cookies, and other sensitive information. The root CA certificate – eDellRoot – can even be used to sign programs, allowing scumbags to dress up malware as legit apps.Web browsers, and other software, running on the affected Dell hardware will trust any certificates issued by eDellRoot. When the browser tries to connect to, say, your bank's HTTPS-protected website, it could in fact be connecting to a malicious system on your network, such as the aforementioned evil wireless hotspot. This system can pretend to be your bank's website, using an eDellRoot-signed SSL certificate, and you would be none the wiser as you type in your username and password. The intercepting system can even log into the bank on your behalf and pass the webpages back to your browser so you're none the wiser of what's going on.Dell customers reported over the weekend finding the root CA certificate on newer Dell XPS, Precision and Inspiron desktops and notebooks.So far, we've seen reports on Twitter and Reddit of the following affected gear: the XPS 15, Latitude E7450, Inspirion 5548, Inspirion 5000, Inspiron 3647, and the Precision M4800.

Following last week's Paris attacks, the French National Assembly has today voted to extend the nation's state of emergency for a further three months. It will also amend powers established in the original 1955 legislation in light of technological developments.Despite the murders of 129 victims, and the deaths of the seven terrorists, the state of emergency bill has alarmed civil liberties campaigners, who are concerned about several measures they deem "authoritarian", particularly the expansive powers police have been granted to conduct computer searches, net censorship, and curtail the freedom of association.The bill passed through the lower parliamentary house in France this morning with a vote of 551-6. It will be read by the Senate tomorrow, and if it passes would be adopted on Friday afternoon. It is the first ever amendment of the 1955 act.Before the vote, Prime Minster Manuel Valls warned the National Assembly of the dangers the nation faced from terrorists, stating that "there could also be a risk of chemical or biological weapons".

Valls also announced that the ring-leader of the latest Paris attacks had been killed in a pre-dawn raid, while adding that €400m had been earmarked to further fund the nation's state of emergency crackdown.While extending the emergency to three months, the bill will also extend new powers to the police, ostensibly for preventing terrorism through increasing the legal room available for them to make searches and seizures, as well the ability to place citizens under house arrest.French advocacy group La Quadrature du Net described the extension as "unjustified" by any reason "other than to circumvent the principle of separation of powers. Since the beginning of the emergency last Saturday, many searches are conducted for administrative cases under common law, with no connection to the fight against terrorism, and foreshadow a police state that the extension of three months the risk of trivialising".French security forces have conducted over 400 raids since last Friday's terrorist attacks, and have made 60 arrests.

Earlier this year, a BBC journalist's laptop was seized by police in the UK under counter-terror legislation. La Quadrature welcomed a modification in the bill which protects journalists from such seizures during the state of emergency.Their equipment is not protected if it is used at home, however, as the bill extends the police's administrative search powers to searching data processing systems. Le Quadrature stated these searches "can happen on any equipment, including storage present on the place or reachable 'through a initial system or available for the initial system'."La Quadrature spokesperson Adrienne Charmet told The Register: "We are hoping certain provisions, especially those allowing the Minister of the Interior to censor websites, are not included in the bill when it passes through the Senate."

The principle behind a state of emergency is to make a police state. It is to transfer justice to the police – La Quadrature du Net "We are particularly concerned with the police ability to restrict the freedom of association on security ground. If we invite people to a cryptoparty and the police believe cryptography is a security threat then they could force us to disband," added Charmet. "Of course we hope it wouldn't be used against us, but there is no protection in the law.""Despite the recent surveillance law passed in France, these attacks happened. We don't accept that the population must remain under mass surveillance while terrorists are not being placed under targeted surveillance," said Charmet. "The principle behind a state of emergency is to make a police state," she explained. "It is to transfer justice to the police."La Quadrature du Net will be calling on citizens to encourage members of the Assembly to launch an inquiry to whether surveillance legislation is fit for duty, following the attacks of last Friday.

Cleveland Police in the north east of England allegedly used counter-terrorism powers to hunt down a whistleblower within its ranks. That's according to a complaint filed to the UK's cop watchdog, the IPCC.Worryingly, the Cleveland force used the anti-terror powers to access the phone records of three journalists.The complaint was made by the Police Federation, which told The Register it concerns the alleged misuse of a RIPA application by Cleveland Police. IPCC standard practice in these incidents is to immediately forward the complaint to the police force in question, which is then responsible for dealing with it.According to the Echo, the federation alleged that a RIPA application was made in 2012 and listed three journalists from The Northern Echo, a solicitor and two Police Federation representatives. The organisation claimed the application had asked for permission to access data from the mobile phones of these individuals from January to May 2012.The Register understands there was no prosecution of the suspected whistleblower, who had made allegations about institutional racism within Cleveland Police and has since left the force.

The use of powers provided under RIPA to target journalists has consistently raised alarm. A revision was made in March this year to RIPA, titled the "Acquisition and Disclosure of Communications Data: Code of Practice" which was intended to explicitly force police employees to get a judge's permission to hoover up people's metadata. The application regarding the Echo's journalists was made in 2012.However, of the two reported incidents following on from the changes in which no judicial approval was sought, neither police force was named.At the time the Interception of Communications Commissioner, Sir Anthony May, stated this was because "naming and shaming [might] have the unintended consequence of undermining the open and co-operative self reporting of errors."One force was outed by the journalists' publication in question, however, when the Scottish Sunday Herald accused Police Scotland of committing "multiple breaches" of the code.

Peter Barron, the Echo's editor, said: "These allegations are a matter of serious concern – that a police force should apparently go to these lengths to identify the source of a story which was clearly in the public interest. This is surely not what the legislation was intended to do and the fact that Cleveland Police will neither confirm nor deny the allegations adds to our concerns."It follows an incident less than a year ago, when a RIPA request to Vodafone for a journalist's records led to the company spaffing 1,760 journalists' protected records to the Metropolitan Police. Last month, the laptop of a journalist with BBC's Newsnight was lifted by police using an order under the Terrorism Act.Protection for journalists is a touted part of the draft Investigatory Powers Bill, as it will be considered a "sensitive profession" along with medicine and law.The Register has attempted to contact Cleveland Police several times, but they were not answering their phones at the time of publication. Apple CEO Tim Cook is telling customers not to expect a Mac answer to the Microsoft Surface Pro any time soon.

The Apple boss said in an interview with Ireland's Independent that the Cupertino giant has no desire to merge its iOS mobile operating system and its Macintosh desktop and notebook lines with a "hybrid" tablet that would run OS X."We feel strongly that customers are not really looking for a converged Mac and iPad. Because what that would wind up doing, or what we're worried would happen, is that neither experience would be as good as the customer wants," Cook was quoted as saying."So we want to make the best tablet in the world and the best Mac in the world. And putting those two together would not achieve either."Instead, Apple would much rather you buy both a tablet and laptop. And an iPhone and Apple Watch, while you're at it.The approach from Cook is a stark contrast to rival Microsoft, who has been making every effort possible to merge desktops, tablets, and mobile devices under the banner of Windows 10 and the Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book models.Apple, meanwhile, has tossed its own entry into the enterprise tablet market with its iPad Pro. The 12.9-inch iOS slab went on sale last week and online orders are currently listing anywhere from one day to 5-7 days shipping wait.The iPad line, in general, hasn't seen the success that other Apple products have enjoyed in recent quarters. In Apple's most recent quarter, both shipments and revenues for the iPad line were down 20 per cent from the previous year.Cook, meanwhile, has been over to Europe speaking at Trinity College Dublin and sitting down with the press to preach the virtues of various Apple devices.

Blackhat Europe Synopsys security boffin Ian Haken says un-patched PCs in enterprises are at risk of having user accounts popped and Bitlocker bypassed, in an attack he describes as "trivial" to perform.The attack vector, sealed off in the latest round of Redmond patches (MS15-122), affect those Windows machines that are part of network domains, notably those in enterprise fleets.Only sadistic sysadmins whose users suffer having to enter pre-boot passwords are immune, Haken says.Haken says attackers with access to a lost or stolen laptop can spoofing the relevant network domain, to set up a fake user account which matches the username for the victim's computer.The fake account needs to be set with a creation date in the past. The password set does not matter.Once the victim machine connects to the spoofed domain, Windows will throw a password reset prompt that will change the credentials in the computer's local cache. The laptop could then be disconnected from the spoofed domain and accessed using the changed credentials.Haken says in the paper Bypassing Local Windows Authentication to Defeat Full Disk [pdf] presented at BlackHat Europe the attack is not foiled by Redmond's Trusted Platform Module. Here's a sample of his thinking:

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Those who contribute to the campaign as individuals will need US$249 to get their hands on an Infinity and patience because it won't ship until September 2016. That's rather a long time to wait for a modestly-specced tablet, especially when those worried about obsolescence of kids' computers can pick up a Raspberry Pi Zero for the price of a coffee or landfill Android kit at supermarkets for very reasonable prices. Having already lived through one virtual reality hype cycle, I’m surprised to find that 2015 has been punctuated of a number of experiences proving that virtual reality may finally be nearing the mainstream. In February, I experienced some of the new head-mounted displays - and found first-generation Oculus Rift unimpressive. Quick on the heels of that, I got a taste of some "immersive video", footage gathered by an expensive, fancy camera that capture a full sphere around the device.Watching an LA Lakers game from centre court seats, I realised virtual reality (VR) had a shot at being really big. The future of sports broadcasting will favour a mixture of ultra-high-definition broadcasting (Tokyo plans 8K resolution for their 2020 Olympics) and live, streaming immersion - provided our data networks can handle the traffic.

I watched carefully as Oculus, Samsung, Sony and Valve each made their respective hardware announcements over the last few months, drawing a line under 2016 as the Year of VR Hardware.First to market of all of these - because it’s by far the simplest - Samsung’s Gear VR launches this week around the world. Last week, from the comfort of a high-end carrier’s storefront on Istanbul’s main shopping drag, I donned the Gear VR to have a look around.In a quarter of century of work on VR systems - from those I hacked together myself, all the way to supercomputer-based products that cost millions of dollars - I had never had such a fluid VR experience.The essence of VR relies on a close coordination between the orientation of the head and what gets rendered to the screen. Sensors read the orientation, feeding that into the relevant software, which quickly updates the display. Get this wrong, and people quickly become motion sick. We’re not accustomed to any desynchronisation between our head movements and the view from our eyes - it’s a signal that we’ve eaten something that’s poisoning us, and vomiting your guts up offers a cure.

How much desynchronisation people can tolerate varies from person to person. Anecdotes suggest women are more sensitive to this ‘simulator sickness’ than men, but almost everyone will begin to feel sick if the delay between head motion and display changes runs to more than a tenth of a second.That’s going to be the big barrier for Google’s Cardboard, a wonderfully accessible bit of kit which converts your average smartphone into a full head-mounted display. Smartphones can track the position of your head, but do it slowly, and not particularly accurately. There’s never been a need for a smartphone to provide either the speed or the accuracy that might prevent people from losing their lunch.The Gear VR has those high-speed high-accuracy sensors built into the unit - sending something like 1000 updates per second to the software. That close coupling between sensor and software created a smoothness and comfort in the immersive experience that made it feel more like putting on a comfortable old shoe than strapping on a heavy, clumsy spacesuit. Everywhere I looked in that virtual world - and I looked everywhere, making quite a spectacle of myself amidst the Turks having a Saturday visit to the shops - the display followed immediately, seamlessly, and effortlessly.

Considering Gear VR is quite likely to be the least capable of all of the forthcoming VR systems, it’s reasonable to predict 2016 will be very much like 1947 - the year television broadcasting was introduced across the United States. Those first sets were huge boxes with tiny displays and were a very significant purchase for most households. Still, televisions sold in the millions, and within a decade half of all American homes owned one.That’s about to happen again, and likely just as quickly. By 2025 well over a hundred million homes in the US - and probably another two hundred million worldwide - will be equipped with consumer VR systems. They’ll be used in concert with all of the other screens that have proliferated through our world (television, laptop, tablet, smartphone, wearable) to provide an immersive experience, when people have the time, inclination or need for immersion.Yet hardware is not enough. Once people don their head-mounts, what do they see? What are they doing? At present there are only a handful of individuals anywhere in the world who have any experience creating immersive content, and almost all of that content has been one-off projects, experiments in the emerging medium.

We need to be able to have an army of trained professionals - as we do in film and television and video gaming - ready to work in the production facilities of the 21st century, churning out a growing supply of content for these new devices. We don’t know how to write for immersion, or direct, or light, or use the camera, or edit, or record sound, etc. All of the skills they teach at any decent film school will need to be rediscovered, reinvented, and adapted to the new medium of immersion.That’s not going to happen overnight. But that training ought to to start today, because demand for immersive content is going to skyrocket. A year from now we’ll likely be in a world where demand has greatly exceeded supply. That’s an opportunity - but it’s also a danger, because if people can’t find enough novelty in the immersive world, they’ll walk away from it, and the technology will once again fail to live up to the hype. Analysis Dell ships Windows computers with software that lets websites slurp up the machine's exact specifications, warranty status, and other details without the user knowing.

This information can be used to build a fingerprint that potentially identifies a person while she browses across the web. It can be abused by phishers and scammers, who can quote the information to trick victims into thinking they're talking to a legit Dell employee. And, well, it's just plain rude.A website created by a bloke called Slipstream – previously in these pages for exposing security holes in UK school IT software – shows exactly how it can work.This proof-of-concept code exploits a weakness in the design of Dell's support software to access the computer's seven-character service tag – an identifier that Dell's support website uses to look up information on the machine, including the model number, installed components, and warranty data.Visit Slip's page above to see it in action – assuming you have a Dell running Dell Foundation Services. Be warned, though, it does play some fun chiptune music, so mute your speakers if you're still at work.Slipstream says his website does not exploit the eDellRoot root CA certificate that turned up in new models of Dell laptops and PCs – but the Dell Foundation Services software that uses the dodgy cert.

As documented by Duo Security, Dell Foundation Services starts up a web server on TCP port 7779 that accepts requests for the service tag. and the foundation services returns exactly that – the service tag. No authentication required. This serial code can then be fed into Dell's support site to look up information about the machine.The Register has tested the proof-of-concept site and verified that it does indeed pull up the service code on an Inspiron 15 series laptop bought in July. Slipstream also confirmed to The Reg that his script works even when the vulnerable root CA cert is removed by Dell's prescribed methods.Aside from the possibility that a scammer could use the support number to gain user trust for a phony tech support call or other security con job, the proof-of-concept demonstrates just how deeply a third party can probe into a user's system by exploiting Dell's now-notorious support tools.

Dell was thrust into the spotlight yesterday when researchers first broke word of eDellRoot, a rogue certificate authority quietly installed on Windows machines that can be exploited by man-in-the-middle attackers to decrypt people's encrypted web traffic.The Texas PC-slinger said the issue was merely a mishap related to its user support tools. Dell bristled at suggestions the flaw should be considered malware or adware, but nonetheless it has provided users with a removal tool.The American biz has also pushed a software update that will automatically remove the vulnerable root CA cert from its machines. Dell has published a guide on how to remove the web security backdoor it installed in its Windows laptops and desktop PCs.This confirms what we all know by now – that Dell was selling computers with a rather embarrassing hole it in their defenses.

New models from the XPS, Precision and Inspiron families include a powerful root CA certificate called eDellRoot, which puts the machines' owners at risk of identity theft and banking fraud.The self-signed certificate is bundled with its private key, which is a boon for man-in-the-middle attackers: for example, if an affected Dell connects to a malicious Wi-Fi hotspot, whoever runs that hotspot can use Dell's cert and key to silently decrypt the victims' web traffic. This would reveal their usernames, passwords, session cookies and other sensitive details, when shopping or banking online, or connecting to any other HTTPS-protected website.Stunningly, the certificate cannot be simply removed: a .DLL plugin included with the root certificate reinstalls the file if it is deleted. One has to delete the .DLL – Dell.Foundation.Agent.Plugins.eDell.dll – as well as the eDellRoot certificate.Dell has posted information [.docx] on how to do this properly, and future machines will not include the dangerous root CA cert. A software update process will run from November 24 that will remove the certificate automatically from machines, we're told.

In a statement to the media, the Texas-based IT titan said:The recent situation raised is related to an on-the-box support certificate intended to provide a better, faster and easier customer support experience. Unfortunately, the certificate introduced an unintended security vulnerability. Dell said that it started including the root CA certificate with machines in August, although an Inspiron 15 series laptop we bought in July has an eDellRoot certificate on it."We deeply regret that this has happened and are taking steps to address it," added Laura Thomas, Dell's chief blogger."The certificate is not malware or adware. Rather, it was intended to provide the system service tag to Dell online support allowing us to quickly identify the computer model, making it easier and faster to service our customers. This certificate is not being used to collect personal customer information."It’s also important to note that the certificate will not reinstall itself once it is properly removed using the recommended Dell process."

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Doch zum Bildschirm: Bei 15 Zoll Diagonale im Breitformat zeigt er ordentliche 1680 x 1050 Punkte – für die Arbeit ist das optimal. Da er nicht verspiegelt ist, stören etwaige Leuchtstoffröhren im Hintergrund auch nicht. Um ihn in eine ergonomisch günstige Position zu bringen, schiebt man mit einer Hand einen Schalter im Scharnier zur Seite, mit der anderen zieht man das Display in der Mitte nach oben. Runter gehts auf gleiche Weise – rutscht einem der Bildschirm dabei aus der Hand, wird er kurz vor dem „Aufprall“ gebremst.
Nun ist das Dreamcom 10 relativ dick, eine wirklich ergonomische Position kommt für die Hand beim Tippen erst einmal nicht zustande. Hier kommt die Docking-Station ins Spiel. Die kann man nämlich so positionieren, dass sie das Hinterteil des Notebooks anhebt. Auf diese Weise tippt es sich durchaus angenehm, auch für längere Zeit. Dabei stört auch das Geräusch des Lüfters kaum – hörbar ist er allerdings durchaus. Die Tastatur hätte für meinen Geschmack gern noch etwas breiter sein dürfen, bis zum Rand ist noch viel freier Platz. Dann hätten die Designer auch die Bildlauftasten nicht noch neben die Eingabetaste platzieren müssen.

In der Docking-Station kann man nicht nur zwei zusätzliche Festplatten unterbringen, sondern auch einen Zusatz-Akku. Der wird dann automatisch mit aufgeladen. Und falls es später auf Reisen geht, hat man gleich beide Akkus voller Saft dabei. Für die Business-Anwendung nicht ganz unwichtig sind auch Fingerabdruck-Sensor und Smartcard-Leser.
In Sachen Leistung ist das Dreamcom 10 auf dem aktuellen Stand der Technik. Auf dem vorinstallierten 64-Bit-Vista wollte der PC-Mark-2005-Test leider nicht durchlaufen. Rein subjektiv arbeitet das Notebook aber sehr zügig. Ein T7500-Prozessor (2,2 GHz) oder in der teuersten Version ein T9500 helfen ihm dabei, unterstützt von zwei beziehungsweise vier Gigabyte Arbeitsspeicher und einer ATI-Radeon-HD2600-Grafikkarte. Viele aktuelle Spiele sollten also ebenfalls auf dem Gerät laufen. In der Personal-Variante ist zusätzlich ein TV-Empfänger für das digitale Antennenfernsehen DVB-T und für analoges Fernsehen eingebaut.

Mit über 3,5 Kilogramm ist das Dreamcom 10 kein Fliegengewicht, hinzu kommen 1,8 Kilogramm für eine komplett ausgestattete Docking-Station. Vielreisende werden mit dem Gerät also eher nicht glücklich – wer einen mobilen Arbeitsplatz sucht, ist damit aber gut bedient. Die günstigste Variante kostet rund 2000 Euro – wahrlich kein Schnäppchen. Das einzige Gerät zum Ausziehen ist das Dreamcom 10 übrigens nicht – beim Anfang 2007 vorgestellte Flybook VM ließ sich der Bildschirm ebenfalls verschieben.Um ein Hotspot auf dem iPhone anzulegen, ruft man zunächst die Einstellungen auf, wählt dann die Option persönlicher Hotspot aus und schaltet diesen ein. Zur Sicherheit ist es ratsam ein WLAN-Kennwort festzulegen. Anschließend klickt man auf fertig und sucht in dem gewünschten Gerät nach einem WLAN-Netzwerk. Dort müsste man dann das iPhone nun finden. Nachdem man das vorher festgelegte Kennwort eingegeben hat, kann man problemlos über das iPhone surfen.
Wer auch unterwegs online up-to-date bleiben möchte, braucht vor allem zwei Dinge: Datenvolumen und eine Möglichkeit den Akku nachzuladen. Wer auch Nummer Sicher gehen will, kann zweiteres Problem neuerdings mit einem Gerät lösen, das Smartphones 40 Mal neu lädt. Das ist allerdings wenig handlich.

Wenn das Smartphone keinen Saft mehr hat, greifen viele inzwischen zur Powerbank. Doch irgendwann ist die auch leer. Was dann? Der neuen Powerbank von Anker kann das nicht passieren. Mit satten 120.600 mAh speichert der verbaute Lithiumionen-Akku mehr Strom, als Sie wahrscheinlich in einem Monat mit dem Handy verbrauchen. Laut Hersteller können Sie Ihr Smartphone etwa 40 Mal aufladen, bevor die Powerbank selbst an den Stecker muss. Auch das Notebook können Sie problemlos 15 Mal auf 100 Prozent Akku bringen oder einen Mini-Kühlschrank sieben Stunden lang betreiben.
Handlichere Powerbanks gibt es hier:
Das Anker PowerHouse ist grundsätzlich seit Ende Mai erhältlich, die Verfügbarkeit lässt aber zu wünschen übrig. Amazon.com listet das Produkt zwar, lieferbar ist es allerdings nicht. Verfügbar ist das PowerHouse im US-Shop von Anker - von dort wird aber nicht nach Deutschland geliefert. Wer in anderen Shops fündig wird, muss beim Einkauf in den USA einige Dinge beachten. Der Preis für das PowerHouse liegt bei 499 Dollar, das entspricht umgerechnet rund 442 Euro. Dazu kommen Versandkosten, Gebühren für Zoll sowie die Einfuhrumsatzsteuer.

Mit 4,2 Kilogramm ist die super starke Powerbank leider auch super schwer und nimmt viel Platz ein. Das Gehäuse ist 20 cm lang und 16,5 cm breit. In Handtasche oder Rucksack werden Sie die Powerbank also eher nicht tragen. Stattdessen richtet sich der Giga-Akku an Camper und Rucksacktouristen, die fernab jeder Steckdose nicht auf Smartphone und Digitalkamera verzichten wollen.
Wer sein Notebook oft auf Reisen mitnimmt, freut sich über jedes eingesparte Gramm. Aber lohnen sich Aufpreise von mehreren hundert Euro für ein bisschen Leichtigkeit? FOCUS Online verrät, wo Sie nicht nur am Gewicht sparen.Am leichtesten ist Asus‘ Zenbook 3, das erst im Juli auf den Markt kam. Allerdings ist der Bildschirm hier auch nur 12,5 Zoll groß. Der Akku hält fast zehn Stunden im Office-Betrieb, das Full-HD-Display überzeugt, die Tastatur ist beleuchtet und das Gerät lässt sich mit einem Fingerabdrucksensor entsperren.
Insgesamt gibt es trotzdem nur durchwachsene Noten in der Bestenliste von Chip.de. Das liegt erstens daran, dass Asus bei der Ausstattung knausert und etwas nur einen USB-Port eingebaut hat. Zweitens ist der Preis mit mindestens 1.286 Euro auch sehr hoch.Laut Daimler soll als Übergangslösung zunächst eine dreistellige Zahl der Batterien geordert und Ende 2009 bei einem Flottentest eingesetzt werden. Später will man auf Technik aus der kürzlich geschlossenen Kooperation mit Evonik zurückgreifen.
Die nun bestellten Batterien kommen bereits im Elektroauto Tesla Roadster zum Einsatz. Es handelt sich dabei im Grund um mehrere hundert zusammen geschaltete Laptop-Akkus; die Technik gilt als teuer und nicht sehr leistungsfähig, zudem benötigen die Stromspeicher relativ lange Ladezeiten. Die neue Generation der Evonik-Akkus dürfte deutlich leistungsfähiger werden, steht aber noch nicht zur Verfügung. Ob sie zum Serienstart des Elektro-Smart 2012 zum Einsatz kommt, ist noch unklar.
Gerade wenn man mit seinem Laptop unterwegs ist, kommt es auf die Akkulaufzeit. Um diese zu verlängern, können Windows-10-Nutzer etwas nachhelfen, wenn sie den Schwellenwert ändern.

Seit dem Creators Update verfügt Windows 10 über einen besonderen Stromsparmodus. Fällt der Akku-Ladestand unter einen definierten Wert, wird etwa die Aktivität von Prozessen im Hintergrund eingeschränkt. Das soll die Laufzeit verlängern.
Wer dauerhaft Strom sparen möchte, kann in den Einstellungen den Schwellenwert einfach höher setzen. Stellt man ihn zum Beispiel auf 90 Prozent, wird er schon früher aktiv. Besonders Anwender, die unterwegs etwa nur Texte schreiben oder einen Film sehen wollen, brauchen die diversen Hintergrundprozesse eher nicht. Die Einstellmöglichkeiten finden sich unter „Einstellungen/System/Akku“.Diese Aufnahmen dürften so manchen Verfechter der elektronischen Ersatz-Zigarette schockieren. Eine Überwachungskamera filmte einen Kunden in einer Tankstelle - als dessen Hose plötzlich Feuer fing. Offenbar war der Akku der E-Zigarette explodiert, sagte der Leidtragende.

Elektronische Zigaretten gelten laut Hersteller als weniger gesundheitsschädlich als konventionelle Glimmstängel. Ein Mann aus Kentucky musste jetzt auf schmerzvolle Weise das Gegenteil erfahren.
Josh Hamilton steht an der Kasse einer Tankstelle in Owensboro als plötzlich ein Ersatzakku seiner E-Zigarette in seiner Hosentasche explodiert. Panisch greift er nach dem elektronischen Zigarettenersatz und schmeißt ihn zu Boden.
Dann rennt er aus dem Laden und versucht sich seiner brennenden Jogginghose zu entledigen. Ein Mitarbeiter der Tankstelle schnappt sich geistesgegenwärtig einen Feuerlöscher und schafft es so schnell die glühende Hose zu löschen.
Ein lokaler Fernsehsender berichtete, dass Hamilton Verbrennungen dritten Grades davontrug. Immer wieder wird von explodierenden E-Zigaretten berichtet, die durch Fehlfunktionen in Brand geraten sind und ihre Besitzern schwere Verbrennungen verpasst haben.
Das Ladegerät ist unauffindbar und ihr Handy hat keinen Akku mehr?

Verbinden sie zuerst den Adapter mit ihrem Gerät. Nun halten sie den Schlüssel an dessen seitlichen Kontakt. Halten sie nun den Adapter an den Pluspol der Batterie und schon beginnt der Ladevorgang. Keine Angst, denn aufgrund der niedrigen Spannung der Batterie herrscht hier keine Schockgefahr. Bei dieser Methode wird ihr Handy zwar nur sehr langsam geladen, aber für den Notfall reicht es allemal.
Ein deutsches Startup-Unternehmen verspricht mit seiner Erfindung etwas, das jeden Smartphone-Besitzer sofort aufhorchen lässt: Eine Halbierung der Ladezeiten. FOCUS Online hat sich die Idee genauer angesehen.

Der Chargedoubler soll es möglich machen. Das Turbo-Kabel überträgt keinerlei Daten. Dass, sei das Geheimnis, so die Unternehmer. Hier beträgt die maximale Ladung ganze 1000 mA. Ein herkömmliches USB-Kabel schafft es nur bis zu 500 mA. Das Ladekabel gibt es für iPhones und für Android-Geräte.
Noch ist es in der Entwicklung. Ob das Gadget wirklich hält, was es verspricht, wird sich noch herausstellen. Das Start-up sammelt derzeit über die Crowdfunding Plattform: Indiegogo.com Geld für die Umsetzung. Weit ist das Ziel nicht mehr entfernt. Das Projekt läuft noch 32 Tage und es fehlen nur noch knapp 600 Euro.



Tablet-PC, Smartphone, Computer und Notebook stellen nicht immer steuerlich abzugsfähige Arbeitsmittel dar, weil sie ebensogut rein privat genutzt werden können. Wer das Finanzamt aber mit guten Argumenten davon überzeugt, dass ein privat angeschafftes Gerät auch beruflich eingesetzt wird, kommt in den Genuss eines Steuervorteils – zumindest anteilig.
Das Finanzamt ist bei der Beurteilung, ob eine berufliche Nutzung vorliegt, großzügig und hält sich an die Vorgaben des Bundesfinanzhofs (BFH): Es genügt laut BFH, wenn Arbeitnehmer den Umfang der beruflichen Nutzung schlüssig und glaubhaft darlegen. Es ist vorteilhaft, aber nicht zwingend erforderlich, dass sie Aufzeichnungen über die Art und Dauer der Nutzung führen.

Die Kosten für die Anschaffung eines Luxus-Handys sind steuerlich nicht abzugsfähig. Im Urteilsfall kaufte ein Zahnarzt ein handgefertigtes, hochwertiges Mobiltelefon im Wert von 5200 Euro. Diese Kosten wollte der Mediziner als Betriebsausgaben geltend machen. Zu Unrecht: Die Kosten seien unangemessen. Ein normales Handy reiche aus, um Bereitschaftsdienste zu gewährleisten (FG Rheinlandpfalz, Az. 6 K 2137/10).

Akku Dell 8N544 akkus-laptop.com

Bei der Ausstattung muss man allerdings Abstriche machen: So gibt es nur langsames WLAN mit maximal 150 Mbit/s und lediglich drei USB-2.0-Buchsen. Ansonsten liefert das HP mit 500-GB-Festplatte, DVD-Brenner und Bluetooth alle notwendigen Standards und hat mit einem Speicherkartenleser sogar noch ein Extra an Bord. So richtig gespart hat HP nur an der Rechenleistung: Die schwache AMD-Plattform mit 2 GB Arbeitsspeicher kommt bei aufwendigen Anwendungen relativ rasch aus dem Tritt.Zum Hochfahren braucht das alte Notebook eine Ewigkeit, bei mehr als drei geöffneten Word-Dokumenten streikt es ganz. Doch mit ein paar Klicks, Tricks und Upgrades machen Computerbesitzer alte Rechner wieder flott.
Der Computer ist mehrere Jahre alt und läuft nur noch im Schneckentempo? Da liegt der Gedanke nahe, ihn in den Ruhestand zu schicken. Es gibt aber neben dem Preis für einen Neukauf durchaus Gründe, es weiter mit dem alten Modell zu versuchen, sagt Hans Stahl, Direktor am Institut für Informatik der Fachhochschule Köln. „Bei all den seltenen Rohstoffen, die in Laptops stecken, hilft es der Umwelt, Geräte nicht schnell zu verschrotten.“

Häufig bringt es schon viel, den PC ein wenig aufzuräumen. Denn auf langsamen Computern sind oft zu viele Anwendungen gleichzeitig geöffnet. „Aktive Programme belegen den Arbeitsspeicher, und alte Laptops haben davon relativ wenig“, erklärt Informatik-Professor Olaf Spinczyk von der Technischen Universität Dortmund. Welche Prozesse gerade laufen, zeigt Windows im Taskmanager (Strg+Alt+Entf), auf Apple-Rechnern gibt es dafür die Aktivitätenanzeige (Apfel+Alt+Esc). Viele Programme öffnen sich beim Hochfahren von selbst. Diese Autostart-Funktion sollte man bei allen Anwendungen ausschalten, die nicht permanent gebraucht werden.Viel Arbeitsspeicher (RAM) verbrauchen zum Beispiel Virenscanner. „Wenn man längere Zeit kein Internet braucht, kann man die Verbindung kappen und den Schutz deaktivieren“, sagt Andreas Paul vom Informatik-IT-Service der Technischen Universität München. Sobald man online geht, müsse der Nutzer den Schädlingsbekämpfer aber wieder einschalten: „Das ist nichts für Vergessliche.“ Für Macbooks sei ein zusätzlicher Virenschutz ohnehin unnötig, sagt Pauls Kollege Martin Uhl. „Der Sicherheitsgewinn durch Zusatzprogramme gleicht nicht die stärkere Belastung des Hauptspeichers aus.“
Ein weiterer Tipp gilt für Macs und Windows-Rechner gleichermaßen: „Ungefähr ein Viertel des Festplattenspeichers sollte man freihalten“, so Uhl. Vor allem Platzfresser wie Videos und die Musiksammlung lagern Computernutzer daher am besten auf einer externen Festplatte. Ist nämlich im PC-Speicher zu wenig Platz, werden Dateien nicht mehr an einem Stück abgelegt, sondern in kleinen Blöcken überall verteilt. Diese auszulesen dauert besonders lange. Dagegen hilft die Defragmentierung, die unter Windows im Ordner Systemprogramme zu finden ist. Macs ordnen verteilte Dateifragmente automatisch.

Reinigungsprogramme versprechen mehr Rechentempo, indem sie nicht mehr benötigte Dateien löschen und das System so beschleunigen. „Wir haben solche Software getestet, wirklich schneller werden die Rechner dadurch nicht“, sagt Hans Stahl. „Man hat eben etwas mehr Platz auf der Platte. Aber ich würde die Daten lieber selbst löschen, damit nicht etwas Wichtiges getilgt wird.“
Ordnung schaffen lässt sich auch durch einen Kahlschlag, also die Neuinstallation des Betriebssystems. „Gerade wenn man den Überblick verloren hat, was auf dem Gerät alles drauf ist, kann das sinnvoll sein“, sagt Spinczyk. Danach läuft das Notebook tatsächlich oft schneller, allerdings müssen auch alle Anwendungen zeitraubend neu aufgespielt werden.

Nicht ganz kostenlos, aber noch immer günstiger als ein neuer Rechner ist die Anschaffung von neuer Hardware – zum Beispiel mehr RAM. „Neue Arbeitsspeicher-Riegel zu kaufen ist ein relativ günstiger Weg zu mehr Schnelligkeit“, so Stahl. Olaf Spinczyk empfiehlt, den Rechner einfach mit zum Händler zu nehmen. „Die können einem sagen, welche Riegel verbaut sind, und bauen sie meist direkt ein.“ Online ist neuer Arbeitsspeicher allerdings oft deutlich günstiger.
Die Geschwindigkeit kann auch ein Wechsel der Festplatte steigern. „Bei neuen Festplatten sind die Suchköpfe schneller, damit verringert sich die Suchzeit“, sagt IT-Experte Paul. Zudem sinkt bei Platten mit größerem Speicherplatz die Fragmentierungsgefahr. Wer dem alten Gerät richtig die Sporen geben möchte, greift zu einer sogenannten SSD-Festplatte. Diese sind allerdings im Vergleich zur klassischen Variante noch ziemlich teuer, ein Gigabyte SSD-Speicher kostet im günstigsten Fall aktuell etwa 70 Cent. Dafür sind sie aber nicht nur extrem schnell, sondern auch sehr leise und robust. Außerdem können sich SSD-Nutzer die regelmäßige Defragmentierung sparen.
„Wer nicht viel Geld ausgeben will, der sollte sich eine 64-Gigabyte-SSD holen und darauf nur das Betriebssystem und die wichtigsten Programme speichern“, empfiehlt Paul. Zumindest das Hochfahren brauche so deutlich weniger Zeit. „Zusätzliche Daten kann man extern speichern, zum Beispiel auf der alten Festplatte mit günstigem USB-Gehäuse.“Lassen wir Apples MacBooks einmal außen vor, laufen eigentlich alle modernen Notebooks mit Prozessoren von Intel. Und die haben verwirrend viele Namen.
Zum einen sind sie nach ihrer Generation benannt: Mittlerweile werden Sie bei Neugeräten nur noch Geräte ab der dritten Intel-Core-Version mit dem Namen Ivy Bridge finden. Die vierte heißt Haswell, die aktuelle fünfte Broadwell und die bald kommende sechste Skylake. Je höher die Generation, desto leistungsfähiger und teurer das Notebook.

Sind Sie auch auf das neue Windows 10 gespannt? Welche Neuerungen und Vorteile wird es mit sich bringen, die es zum besten Windows aller Zeiten machen? Zunächst ist sicher: Windows 10 wird komplett kostenlos angeboten. CHIP und FOCUS Online haben alle wichtigen Fakten über Windows 10 für Sie auf 18 Seiten zusammengefasst und verständlich erklärt. Zum anderen benennt Intel seine Prozessoren innerhalb einer Generation nach ihrer Rechenpower. Die schwächsten Broadwell-CPUs etwa tragen den Zusatz i3, die Mittelklasse heißt i5 und die stärksten Prozessoren i7. Zur einfachen Orientierung: i3 reicht, wenn Sie hauptsächlich Office-Programme und Webseiten nutzen, i5 für Videos, Multimedia und einfache Spiele und i7 für alle rechenintensiven Aufgaben wie Spiele, Bild- oder Videobearbeitung.

Genauso wie bei den Prozessoren müssen Sie sich auch bei der Frage nach der richtigen Festplatte mit Abkürzungen herumschlagen. Neben den traditionellen Magnetspeicherfestplatten (HDD), die Sie aus Ihren Computern kennen gibt es seit einigen Jahren auch SSDs.
SSD steht für „Solid State Disk“ und bezeichnet einen Festplattenspeicher, der nicht mehr magnetisch, sondern elektronisch funktioniert. Solchen „Flash-Speicher“ haben Sie etwa in Smartphones oder USB-Sticks. Der Vorteil: SSDs sind wahnsinnig schnell im Vergleich zu herkömmlichen Festplatten. Der Nachteil: SSDs kosten sehr viel pro Megabyte, weswegen meist nur kleine Speicher in Notebooks verbaut werden.
Nun gibt es zwei Varianten, zwischen denen Sie wählen können: Reine SSD-Notebooks passen, wenn Sie nicht mehr als 128 oder 256 GByte Speicher brauchen. Daneben gibt es Hybrid-Geräte, bei denen eine kleine SSD das Betriebssystem beherbergt – damit startet der Laptop sehr schnell – und eine größere HDD für Ihre Daten bereitsteht. Die Variante empfiehlt sich, wenn Sie viel Speicherplatz brauchen.Terrororganisationen sind laut US-Ermittlern inzwischen in der Lage, Sprengsätze in Laptops und anderen elektronischen Geräten so geschickt zu verbergen, dass diese von den Sicherheits-Scannern an Flughäfen nicht entdeckt werden. Offenbar besitzen die Terroristen selbst Kontrollgeräte, um dies vorab zu prüfen.
Mehrere US-Medien verbreiteten diese Nachricht am Freitag, darunter die Fernsehsender CNN und CBS. Sie beriefen sich auf Informanten aus der US-Bundespolizei FBI und andere Quellen aus Geheimdiensten. Demnach haben sich nicht näher bezeichnete Terrorgruppen auch Kontrollgeräte besorgt, um zu überprüfen, ob die getarnten Bomben tatsächlich unsichtbar sind.
Das US-Heimatschutzministerium bestätigte die Fernsehberichte nicht. Es gebe jedoch Hinweise darauf, dass Terrorgruppen weiterhin die zivile Luftfahrt zum Ziel haben, darunter fällt auch das Einschmuggeln von Sprengladungen in Elektronikgeräten, hieß es in einer Stellungnahme.

Die Erkenntnisse würden erklären, warum die USA und Großbritannien in der vergangenen Woche die Vorschriften für die Mitnahme größerer Elektronikgeräte verschärft haben. Die US-Regierung verbot am 21. März die Mitnahme dieser Geräte im Handgepäck auf Direktflügen von zehn Flughäfen im Nahen Osten und Afrika in die Vereinigten Staaten. Großbritannien verschärfte seine Regeln ebenso für einige Flüge aus derselben Region ins Vereinigte Königreich.Sichern Sie sich 30% Ersparnis bei den Anschaffungskosten Ihrer neuen Solaranlage und proftieren Sie zudem von einer staatlichen Förderung.

An Bord verboten sind nach US-Angaben alle elektronischen Geräte, die größer als Mobiltelefone sind, also Laptops, Tablet-Computer, E-Book-Reader oder Kameras. Die Elektronikgeräte können jedoch im Gepäck aufgegeben werden, das im Flugzeugbauch verstaut wird. Medizinische Geräte bleiben an Bord erlaubt.Der Schweizer Hersteller Dreamcom hat sich für seine Notebook-Linie „10“ eine ganz spezielle Zielgruppe gewählt: Menschen, die einen wirklich mobilen Arbeitsplatz benötigen. Also nicht etwa einen Laptop, mit dem sie mal eben in der Lounge eine Präsentation vorbereiten können (dazu eignet sich das Testgerät natürlich auch), sondern einen tragbaren Computer mit allen Möglichkeiten des Desktop-Rechners, der sich aber problemlos von Ort zu Ort befördern lässt. Das können etwa Freiberufler mit zwei Büros sein oder auch Berater, die öfter mal für ein paar Tage im Büro des Kunden arbeiten müssen.
Die Überschrift trifft deshalb das Konzept des Dreamcom 10 nur zur Hälfte: Genauso wichtig wie der ausziehbare Bildschirm ist die mitgelieferte Docking-Station, die dem Notebook eine Heimat und nebenbei zusätzliche Hardware bietet.

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