Due to the rising preference for digital sales, GameStop is getting hit hard and being forced to close more than a hundred of its stores. While it is sad to see retail staples flounder, it seems inevitable that some of these chains are going to disappear entirely. The video game retailer is trying to stay float with non-gaming businesses that include collectible stores.
Shares of GameStop slid more than 12% in afternoon trading Friday after the video game retailer reported a drop in fourth-quarter sales and announced plans to close at least 150 of its 7,500 stores worldwide. GameStop faces increased competition from retailers such as Amazon, Best Buy and Walmart while more players purchase games digitally — whether on traditional gaming consoles or on their smartphones or tablets. The video game and consumer electronics retailer's woes are the latest example of a brick-and-mortar retailer impacted by consumers' rush to purchase products online.
Are your Amazon purchases still tax free? Well, that holiday will soon be over, unless you are lucky enough to live in a state that doesn’t believe in sales tax (Alaska, Delaware, Oregon, Montana, and New Hampshire).
Amazon, the online merchandise juggernaut, will collect sales taxes from all states with a sales tax starting April 1. Tax-free shopping will be over as of next month in Hawaii, Idaho, Maine and New Mexico, the four remaining holdouts. Since the beginning of this year, Amazon has added a number of states to its roster of jurisdictions where it collects sales taxes.
Following rumors of a 16-core Ryzen CPU, evidence is mounting that a 12-core processor is also on the way. Apparently, it is not a server chip, and the CPU features a new socket and turbo clock at 3.2 GHz. Thanks to cageymaru for this one.
Another day, another Ryzen leak. Today we share the details of yet unannounced Ryzen CPU with 12 cores, which is most likely being prepared for AMD’s HEDT X390 platform. I will start by saying that the machine detected with this CPU is Alienware Area-51 R3. The R2 ships with Broadwell i7-6800/6850K processors. We already heard that AMD is working on a 16-core chip, but this processor has ‘only’ 12 cores. This means that we are no longer looking at one product, but a whole new series. Most interesting details: it’s not a server chip, it has new socket and turbo clock at 3.2 GHz. The good news is that this is a second generation engineering sample, but not yet a qualification sample (we are probably few weeks before seeing QS).
The Naval Surface Warfare Center just released a video showcasing their fully operational railgun system. BAE's Electromagnetic Railgun can send a canister of hate towards a target at a blistering 4,600 MPH. If said target is another ship... Let's just say that living things in pressurized compartments don't react well to instant decompression.
"Between enormous energy requirements, and non-explosive shells that offer limited in-air guidance, electromagnetic weapons are proving a bit unpractical compared to some of the conventional alternatives. At least for now."
The railgun has a long way to go. Here's to eventually seeing all of our Battle-Tech and Macross dreams come true.
First Hangouts was going away, then it wasn't, and now it looks like Google is about to make changes that are certain to piss off a certain number of people again. On June 26th Google Talk and its Gchat will be shut down for good. For those who haven't already adopted Hangouts voluntarily, Talk will be automatically rolled into Hangouts at that time. SMS compatibility will also be removed from Hangouts on May 22nd. Sometimes you just have to kill your darlings, I guess.
To me this Hangouts vs. Talk changeover seems pretty moot as they appear to have equivalent functionality. I just wonder what will happen to my old phone number I parked in Talk a while back. I hope it will be transferred over to Hangouts.
While we’re sure to hear more about this new strategy at Google I/O, it looks like Android Messages is the new app to rule them all: "We’re focused on making Android Messages the primary place to access SMS and are working with carriers and device manufacturers to include Android Messages natively in Android devices. Over time, we’re working with partners to upgrade SMS to RCS—the next standard in carrier messaging that will bring features like read receipts, group chat, hi-res photo sharing and more."
Google Chrome will start rejecting some certificates issued from Symantec on the basis that Symantec isn't validating them correctly. According to a Google blog post, it started as 127 certificates and then grew to some 30,000 standard and extended certificates being suspect. Symantec is very upset and called Google's claims, "exaggerated and irresponsible." They also want to know why they are being singled out when others have been accused of doing the same. The end result is that Google Chrome will start warning users of potential certification issues at websites using Symantec certificates and some will even be blocked by the browser.
Regardless of Symantec's feelings, they should take responsibility and fix the issue. All of this hoping that it will be swept under the rug and forgotten isn't going to fix the issue. I think Google is in the right in regards to this matter.
As captured in Chrome’s Root Certificate Policy, root certificate authorities are expected to perform a number of critical functions commensurate with the trust granted to them. This includes properly ensuring that domain control validation is performed for server certificates, to audit logs frequently for evidence of unauthorized issuance, and to protect their infrastructure in order to minimize the ability for the issuance of fraudulent certs.
On the basis of the details publicly provided by Symantec, we do not believe that they have properly upheld these principles, and as such, have created significant risk for Google Chrome users. Symantec allowed at least four parties access to their infrastructure in a way to cause certificate issuance, did not sufficiently oversee these capabilities as required and expected, and when presented with evidence of these organizations’ failure to abide to the appropriate standard of care, failed to disclose such information in a timely manner or to identify the significance of the issues reported to them.
These issues, and the corresponding failure of appropriate oversight, spanned a period of several years, and were trivially identifiable from the information publicly available or that Symantec shared.
First and foremost, I did not know that FLIR had a camera (FLIR ONE Thermal Imager for Android) for $205 nowadays to do thermal imaging. The last time I looked, the things were several thousand dollars, so thanks to "Nerdy" Nathan Kirsh of Legit Reviews for the heads up on that!
The take home message from doing this article is that the keeping the CPU digital power components cool is important, but don’t forget about the memory power controller as it too gets just as hot, if not hotter!
Rumors about a higher end workstation platform for AMD's Zen architecture have been floating around for some time now, and while we like to focus on bringing you confirmed news, even we can't ignore them forever. The rumors are really based on these images, and the rest is conjecture at this point, suggesting that X399 for dual socket designs and X390 for single socket designs will be supporting a new AM44 socket. If you like counting PCIe lanes on pictures you'll see that X390 has 44 PCIe lanes (slightly more than Intel's top -E products) as well as Quad Channel RAM. The rumors suggest that these are intended to be used with 16 core 32 thread Zen based CPU's.
If you, like me, have been waiting for a more Workstation-oriented Zen, this might be it. The extra PCIe lanes and Quad Channel RAM are certainly right up my alley, even though I think 16 cores is more than I need. I'd rather have an 8 core part with higher clocks.
As always, take this with a boatload of salt, as the source on this one is Reddit.
With Chrome, Edge and other browsers starting to block flash by default in favor of HTML5, many online services are in a mad dash to address their legacy Flash implementations. Fedex, however, is taking a different approach, and is offering a $5 discount if you go ahead and install that security swiss cheese of a plugin on your computer.
That page offers a link to download Flash, which is both a good and a bad idea. The good is that the link goes to the latest version of Flash, which includes years' worth of bug fixes. The bad is that Flash has needed bug fixes for years and a steady drip of newly-detected problems means there's no guarantee the software's woes have ended. Scoring yourself a $5 discount could therefore cost you plenty in future.
In the case of Apple devices, the CIA has its own dedicated team within the Mobile Device Branch (MDB) that specializes in exploiting iOS-based devices like the iPhone and the iPad. "The disproportionate focus on iOS may be explained by the popularity of the iPhone among social, political, diplomatic and business elites," said WikiLeaks when it initially revealed its "Vault 7" leak to the world.
Studios are looking for ways to shore up home entertainment revenues as DVD sales continue to slide. They also believe that their advertising can be more effective and cost efficient if a film’s home entertainment release is closer to its theatrical debut. By grouping those two things closer together, studios wouldn’t have have to launch a massive promotional campaign to reintroduce consumers to a movie months after it was on the big screen. Then there’s the issue of shifting consumer tastes. Younger consumers, used to streaming services such as Netflix, are accustomed to being able to access content whenever and on whichever device they would like — they’re not used to having to wait months to watch something.
Did anyone actually buy a Tesla thinking it was going to be a fully autonomous car? The law firm that is behind the class action lawsuit against VW and Mercedes for emissions-cheating software thinks so, claiming that Autopilot 2 isn’t working as advertised. Sure, some aspects of AP2 are late, but I think these lawyers are confusing their own fantastic expectations with what Musk actually said.
It’s not clear what the investigation is based on for them to determine that customers "thought" they were buying a self-driving car. The ordering page for the both the Model S and X has a warning written in bold font saying that the feature is "dependent on extensive software validation and regulatory approval." Tesla CEO Elon Musk warned when releasing the feature that he thought the first version would be ready around the end of the year for a demonstration, but he didn’t even say when he expected the regulatory approval to be ready, which Tesla also warns that it depends upon jurisdiction.
…it's likely a piece of conductive foam, which is foam that's been specially treated with nickel, copper or both so it can shield electronics from RF interference. (It's often used in portable electronics when there isn't space for a traditional shield.) Unless we're totally mistaken, this piece of foam is sitting directly on top of the Joy-Con's antenna traces, too, which suggests that it's protecting the antenna from interference. (Another possibility: the foam may be keeping the ribbon cables for the joystick and/or trigger button, which run through that space, from touching the antenna.) I even tried removing the foam, and sure enough: The controller stops working properly when it's not there. Seems like an open-and-shut case.
It looks like ISPs have been given the green light to sell your browsing history without permission. The Senate has voted to roll back the FCC’s five-month-old decision to require customer approval before sharing web-browsing history, geolocation, financial details, and other sensitive information with third parties. Some say that "Americans will become victims of massive ongoing surveillance from their ISPs."
…critics of the rules say they are expensive to ISPs and subject them to tough privacy regulations not imposed on web-based companies like Google and Facebook. The FCC's sister agency, the Federal Trade Commission, can bring privacy complaints against web-based companies that aren't ISPs, but the FTC doesn't create privacy regulations, instead typically taking action on a case-by-case basis when companies violate their own privacy promises.
It was reported on Tuesday that a hacker group claimed access to as many as 559 million Apple email and iCloud login credentials, which they threatened to wipe unless Infinite Loop would pay them $75,000 in cryptocurrency or $100,000 worth of iTunes gift cards. My first thought was why they would do that when the Fappening 2 turned out so well, but luckily, Apple claims it is all total BS, although there are certainly many compromised logins out there and users should update their passwords regularly.
Though Apple has not officially confirmed the authenticity of the data that the hackers say they have, an Apple spokesperson told Fortune in an emailed statement that, if the list is legitimate, it was not obtained through any hack of Apple. "There have not been any breaches in any of Apple’s systems including iCloud and Apple ID," the spokesperson said. "The alleged list of email addresses and passwords appears to have been obtained from previously compromised third-party services." A person familiar with the contents of the alleged data set said that many of the email accounts and passwords contained within it matched data leaked in a past breach at LinkedIn.
US Federal Prosecutors are gearing up for an inquiry into North Korea's involvement in last years $81 million dollar Bangladesh heist. If you're unfamiliar with the Bangladesh heist, let me tell you...It was insane.
Threat actors created a bit of malware that allowed them to interact directly with the SWIFT interbank messaging system. With the malware in place, cyber criminals were able to mark all transactions as valid, manipulate data, and delete fraudulent transactions. The bank of Bangladesh reported that it took nearly four days to stop unauthorized payments due to printer and software issues. Those issues were later attributed to malicious code targeted at those systems to keep them from tracking and reporting the transactions that were taking place. This was a very coordinated attack. Luckily, it contained typos.
Investigators began suspecting North Korea as the perpetrator after a very specific piece of code was discovered that was also used in the Sony Pictures breach.
Richard Ledgitt has this to say:
"If that linkage from Sony actors to the Bangladesh Bank actors is accurate, that means that Nation States are now robbing banks. That's a big deal."
Would you pay $5,000 for a monitor? I wouldn’t, especially one that isn’t OLED. But if you are totally nuts (or merely rich), you may want to consider Dell’s new 8K monitor. Measuring at about 32", the screen features a resolution of 7680x4320 at 280ppi. How do 4K flicks look upscaled to 8K, anyway?
Dell's exquisitely detailed UltraSharp 32 8K monitor is now up for grabs — if you just so happen to have a spare $5,000 lying around, that is. Now on sale direct from Dell, the (decidedly unsexy sounding) UP3218K may cost an arm and a leg (and another leg), but it promises an insane amount of detail and excellent color accuracy. The display itself is packed inside of a relatively staid exterior typical of Dell monitors. At 31.5 inches, the 7680x4320 resolution comes out to 280ppi. Aside from packing a crazy 33.2 million pixels into that space, Dell is touting the UP3218K color accuracy as one of its strong points.
No card? No problem. Wells Fargo is delving deeper into digital by letting customers withdraw money using just their smartphones. The way it works is that you will generate a code using their mobile banking app, which you would punch into the ATM alongside a "personal identification code" (I assume this is a new PIN you set up, but I’m not sure). Being that thieves will no longer have anything to skim, this move is also expected to reduce data theft.
…the San Francisco-based bank decided to apply the smartphone technology to all of its 13,000 cash machines after piloting the idea in select locations across the country. Bank of America Corp and JPMorgan Chase & Co are among the big banks that have announced digital upgrades to their ATM infrastructure, but Wells Fargo is the first U.S. bank to roll out cardless machines across its entire network. The 20 million customers on Wells Fargo's mobile banking app will be able to request an eight-digit code to enter along with their personal identification code at an ATM to retrieve cash. "The new feature allows customers to withdraw cash at any time, even when they don't have their cards on them," Velline said.
I can’t think of any obvious downsides to this proposition, so I wouldn't mind seeing this voted and passed. "Dig Once" would basically have construction workers add plastic pipes for housing fiber cables whenever they build or upgrade roads, sidewalks, etc. Needless to say, the point is to make it easier to spread speedy internet access.
…construction workers would install conduits just about any time they build new roads and sidewalks or upgrade existing ones. These conduits are plastic pipes that can house fiber cables. The conduits might be empty when installed, but their presence makes it a lot cheaper and easier to install fiber later, after the road construction is finished. The idea is an old one. US Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) has been proposing dig once legislation since 2009, and it has widespread support from broadband-focused consumer advocacy groups. It has never made it all the way through Congress, but it has bipartisan backing from lawmakers who often disagree on the most controversial broadband policy questions, such as net neutrality and municipal broadband.
While prebuilt systems are of lesser interest to many of us, here is Corsair’s first attempt at a gaming desktop. All I have to say is that their designers have been watching way too much Tron: Legacy. I’ll buy one if it comes with Olivia Wilde. (It is also reminiscent of the Logitech G line, with the neon blue.)
The device was built with gamers and PC-upgrading enthusiasts in mind, but it's not meant to be taken apart. Although you can remove the tower's top, which is attached to the fan, Corsair says the One wasn't designed to be a "user serviceable system." A company spokesperson tells Engadget that the One's dis-assembly and re-assembly is "a lot more involved than a traditional CORSAIR DIY product -- that's why we sell it as a fully built system, and not a DIY kit." To that end, the company is also offering a two-year warranty, and will provide rapid-warranty replacement for faulty parts, as well as service centers for in-warranty upgrades.
The Galaxy S8 is not even out yet, but I guess it is already time to shift the hype from that to its bigger brother, the Note 8. All eyes will be on this one just to see if it will be another PR disaster, but genuine fans of the phablet phone may be pleased to know that the seventh iteration should house a Snapdragon 835/Exynos 9 chip and come with 6GB RAM. And as alluded by the schematic, the Note 8 will have a grand, nearly bezel-less display that should feature a 4K resolution—maybe as dense as 4428 x 2160 pixels.
…we can see an S-Pen silo, a USB-C port and regular 3.5mm audio jack at the bottom, a SIM/microSD slot at the top, and a Bixby button on the left, underneath the volume buttons. At the front, we can see the face-scanning and selfie cameras, too. This is pretty much the Galaxy S8 setup, or what we know about it from all the leaked renders and videos, so it would be pretty exciting to learn in what chassis size has Samsung might have managed to shoehorn the eventual 6.4" 4K Infinity Display of the Note 8.
In order to keep astronauts sane with high-quality Netflix and YouTube, NASA is testing speedy internet between the ISS and Earth with the Laser Communications Relay Demonstration (LCRD). As you could probably assume, the space agency is going to use lasers for data transmission, and such tests will show them how to best go about it.
Laser communications, also known as optical communications, encodes data onto a beam of light, which is then transmitted between spacecraft and eventually to Earth terminals. This technology offers data rates that are 10 to 100 times better than current radio-frequency (RF) communications systems. Just as important, laser communication systems can be much smaller than radio systems, allowing the spacecraft communication systems to have lower size, weight and power requirements. Such capability will become critically important as humans embark on long journeys to the moon, Mars and beyond.
Based on much of the commentary I have seen so far, the real news for me is how many people hate Destiny. Those of you who have played it can tell me why it sucks so badly, but that isn’t going to stop me from checking out the sequel, which is supposedly coming out on PC. At least the soundtrack will be good, right? (Wait, I forgot that they fired Marty.)
A leaked Destiny 2 poster has revealed an 8th September 2017 release date for the game. Images of the poster emerged on Italian website Lega Network today apparently sourced from GameStop Italy. There's another image of the poster on Imgur. Sources have indicated to Eurogamer the poster is indeed legitimate. The poster also indicates that PS4 will get beta access before other platforms. We've heard this beta is set for June.
Microsoft is being accused of perverting their OneDrive web app so it performs far more slowly on Linux, ChromeOS, and other Windows rivals. The supposed evidence is that users see an increase of performance once they change their browser’s user-agent string to IE or Edge. Uh, I think that just means OneDrive’s code for Firefox, Chrome, and other non-MS browsers is terrible—although that in itself is worthy of complaint, I guess.
Plenty of Linux users are up in arms about the performance of the OneDrive web app. They say that when accessing Microsoft's cloudy storage system in a browser on a non-Windows system – such as on Linux or ChromeOS – the service grinds to a barely usable crawl. But when they use a Windows machine on the same internet connection, speedy access resumes. Crucially, when they change their browser's user-agent string – a snippet of text the browser sends to websites describing itself – to Internet Explorer or Edge, magically their OneDrive access speeds up to normal on their non-Windows PCs.
The fruit company’s latest idea is to turn an iPhone or iPad into a touchscreen MacBook. In one example, the former would be docked into a special laptop and act as the processor, graphics card, memory, and storage for the entire device. The handset would also function as the trackpad. I’ll just steal from the comments and suggest that Apple build a laptop with a touchscreen.
As published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Thursday, Apple's application for an "Electronic accessory device" describes the company's take on an oft-attempted, but never fully realized idea. Specifically, the IP covers a "thin" accessory, a kind of "headless" device that contains traditional laptop hardware like a large display, physical keyboard, GPU, ports and more, but is incapable of functioning without a host. In this case, an iPhone or iPad would slot into the laptop-esque piece of kit to fill the role of CPU.
If you are too stupid to rip your own movies, Walmart has the perfect solution for you. Their Vudu movie app now lets you digitize many DVDs or Blu-rays just by scanning the disc and paying a small fee. The article claims that this service "makes sense" because most people don’t have disc drives anymore.
Walmart's Vudu streaming arm has unveiled the "first mobile offering" to convert nearly 8,000 movies on DVD and Blu-ray to digital HD files, it says. It's an expansion of the company's existing desktop conversion service, but lets you convert your physical library using the mobile Vudu app instead. As before, the price to convert files you already own is $2 for either a Blu-ray disc to HDX or a DVD to SD, or $5 to up-res a DVD to HDX (hint: your TV might do the latter already). To use it, you just scan your disc using the Vudu app, then download the digital file to your TV, console, set-top box, phone, tablet or, (ironically) Blu-ray player.