Good news, Microsoft decided to start issuing release notes for its Windows 10 updates. It created a dedicated Windows 10 update history page where you can track the changes the software giant made in the latest Windows 10 builds. We certaintly apploud this decision.
We're committed to our customers and strive to incorporate their feedback, both in how we deliver Windows as a service and the info we provide about Windows 10. In response to this feedback, we’re providing more details about the Windows 10 updates we deliver through Windows Update. You'll see a summary of important product developments included in each update, with links to more details. This page will be regularly refreshed, as new updates are released.
We're currently delivering updates to two distinct Windows 10 branches. The July initial launch branch (build 10240), and the November update branch (build 10586). We introduced new operating system features in November after having previewed, or "flighted", them with our Windows Insiders between July and November. Most customers have already been moved automatically from the July branch to the November branch. Windows 10 Professional, Enterprise, and Education edition customers can defer the update to the November branch and stay on the July feature set longer — as long as 10 years for some Enterprise customers. For more info, see Windows 10 servicing options.
Here's the changelog of the latest build, which was released yesterday:
Updates for Windows 10 Version 1511 - February 9, 2016 — KB3135173 (brings system to 10586.104)
This update includes quality improvements and security fixes. No new operating system features are being introduced this month. Key changes in this update include:
Fixed issues with authentication, update installation, and operating system installation.
Fixed issue with Microsoft Edge browser caching visited URLs while using InPrivate browsing.
Fixed issue that didn't allow simultaneous install of apps from the Windows Store and updates from Windows Update.
Fixed issue that delayed the availability of songs added to the Groove Music app in Windows 10 Mobile.
Improved security in the Windows kernel.
Fixed security issues that could allow remote code execution when malware is run on a target system.
Fixed security issues in Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer 11 that could allow code from a malicious website to be installed and run on a device.
Fixed additional issues with the Windows UX, Windows 10 Mobile, Internet Explorer 11, Microsoft Edge, and taskbar.
Fixed additional security issues with .NET Framework, Windows Journal, Active Directory Federation Services, NPS Radius Server, kernel-mode drivers, and WebDAV.
For more info about the security fixes in this update and a complete list of affected files, see KB3135173.
GlobalFoundries announced a R&D partnership with SUNY Polytechnic Institute. The $500 million, 5-year programme will focus on accelerating the introduction of Extreme Ultraviolet (EUV) lithography. A new Advanced Patterning and Productivity Center (APPC) will be set up at the Colleges of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) in Albany, N.Y.
The research will focus on getting the technology ready for the 7nm node and beyond, which means we may see the very first EUV mass production in the 2018-2019 timeframe.
In support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s commitment to maintaining New York State’s global leadership in nanotechnology research and development, SUNY Polytechnic Institute (SUNY Poly) and GLOBALFOUNDRIES today announced the establishment of a new Advanced Patterning and Productivity Center (APPC), which will be located at the Colleges of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) in Albany, N.Y.
The $500 million, 5-year program will accelerate the introduction of Extreme Ultraviolet (EUV) lithography technologies into manufacturing. The center is anchored by a network of international chipmakers and material and equipment suppliers, including IBM and Tokyo Electron, and will generate 100 jobs.
"This advanced new partnership between SUNY Poly and GLOBALFOUNDRIES demonstrates how Governor Cuomo's strategic investments in SUNY are bolstering the system's research capacity, leveraging private dollars, and creating exciting new opportunities at our campuses for students and faculty," said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. "SUNY Poly's nanotechnology expertise coupled with the governor's innovative public-private partnership model has positioned New York as a global leader in computer chip research, development, and manufacturing. SUNY System Administration strongly applauds Dr. Kaloyeros for his leadership in bringing the Advanced Patterning and Productivity Center to Albany."
“Today’s announcement is a direct result of Governor Cuomo’s innovation driven economic development model. His strategic investments supporting the state’s world class nanotechnology infrastructure and workforce have made us uniquely suited to host the new APPC, which will enable the continuation of Moore’s Law and unlock new capabilities and opportunities for the entire semiconductor industry,” said Dr. Alain Kaloyeros, President and CEO of SUNY Polytechnic Institute. “In partnership with GLOBALFOUNDRIES, IBM and Tokyo Electron, we will leverage our combined expertise and technological capabilities to meet the critical needs of the industry and advance the introduction of this complex technology.”
“GLOBALFOUNDRIES is committed to an aggressive research roadmap that continually pushes the limits of semiconductor technology. With the recent acquisition of IBM Microelectronics, GLOBALFOUNDRIES has gained direct access to IBM’s continued investment in world-class semiconductor research and has significantly enhanced its ability to develop leading-edge technologies,” said Dr. Gary Patton, CTO and Senior Vice President of R&D at GLOBALFOUNDRIES. “Together with SUNY Poly, the new center will improve our capabilities and position us to advance our process geometries at 7nm and beyond.”
EUV lithography is a next-generation semiconductor manufacturing technique that produces short wavelengths (14-nanometers and below) of light to create minuscule patterns on integrated circuits. The technology is critical to achieve the cost, performance, and power improvements needed to meet the industry’s anticipated demands in cloud computing, Big Data, mobile devices, and other emerging technologies.
The APPC will tackle the challenges associated with commercializing EUV lithography technology. A key component of the center will be the installation of the ASML NXE:3300 EUV scanner, a state-of-the-art tool for the development and manufacturing of semiconductor process technologies at 7nm and beyond. This installation follows the installation of the IBM supported ASML NXE:3300B EUV scanner already in place at SUNY Poly.
The center aims to bring mask and materials suppliers together to extend the capabilities of EUV lithography through exploring fundamental aspects of the patterning process. Other projects will be focused on enhancing productivity, in preparation for implementing EUV lithography in the manufacturing of leading-edge products in GLOBALFOUNDRIES’ production facility in Malta, NY.
Through the APPC, members will have access to SUNY Poly’s patterning infrastructure, which includes state-of-the-art film deposition and etch capability, leading-edge patterning systems, EUV mask infrastructure, and world-class EUV imaging capabilities.
“IBM is committed to providing high-performance computing solutions for the cloud and cognitive era through continued leadership and collaboration in semiconductor technology research,” said Mukesh Khare, Vice President at IBM Research. “SUNY Poly CNSE's investment in the APPC and new ASML tool will accelerate maturity of EUV technology towards manufacturing, which will allow us to build on the innovations that enabled an IBM Research-led alliance to deliver the industry's first 7nm test chip demonstration earlier this year. Through the vision and leadership of the Governor and CSNE, leading-edge partnerships such as this one are possible."
“EUV technology has emerged from R&D and the new center will meet the rising demand to commercialize this technology and put it in the hands of end users,” said Gishi Chung, SVP & GM, Head of SPE Development Division from TEL. “TEL is proud to be partnering with SUNY Poly at its Albany NanoTech Complex as we continue our work with fellow industry leaders to advance cutting edge innovations in semiconductor process technology.”
Micron provided an update about the development cycle of its GDDR5X memory. Kristopher Kido, the director of Micron's Graphics Memory Business, explained on his blog that progress is going along better than expected.
The Graphics DRAM Design Center in Munich, Germany recently received the first functional devices. And not only were they ready sooner than anticipated, they're also performing very well. The early GDDR5X components are capable of hitting data rates of 13Gbps, which is on the high end of the intended 10-14Gbps range for GDDR5X memory. The first-generation GDDR5X is a 8Gb (1GB) memory chip made on 20nm process technology.
The JEDEC specification for GDDR5X was published in January. In addition to utilizing a number of proven features from the GDDR5 specification, GDDR5X incorporates a number of new features to meet the demands of next-generation, high-performance graphics systems. With first components becoming available, it is now proven that QDR mode is the path to achieve the industry’s fastest data rate (13Gbps and higher) on a discrete memory device.
Compared to GDDR5, these ultra-high data rates were achieved at an improved power consumption per transmitted bit due to VDD/VDDQ of 1.35V, while not gating maximum speed of the device. We also added features to improve system signal integrity: a new package with reduced ball pitch enables shorter PCB traces, which improves electrical performance.
Micron is ramping up production and expects to start its sampling process later this spring. Full volume production is slated for this summer and based on the performance of the early samples, Kido estimates GDDR5X definitely has potential to hit speeds of 14Gbps and potentially beyond.
According to the rumor mills, AMD and NVIDIA are planning to use GDDR5X memory as a lower-cost alternative for the expensive HBM2. The latter will be used for flagship products, whereas GDDR5X may be used for high-end cards like the GP104, the GeForce GTX 980 successor. Given that Micron confirmed it won't be able to mass produce GDDR5X before summer, these cards are still many months away from us.
This month's edition of Microsoft's Patch Tuesday features 13 security bulletins, with six updates ranked as critical and seven marked as important.
One of the critical bulletins is actually an update for the Flash libraries in Internet Explorer 10/11 and Edge, it fixes a total of 23 security flaws in the Adobe Flash Player plug-in. Next is a cumulative security fix for Internet Explorer that squases 13 vulnerabilities, as well as a bulletin for Edge that patches six vulnerabilities. Other critical updates focus on a remote code execution flaw in Windows PFD Library, a remote code execution vulnerability in Windows Journal and several holes in the Microsoft Office suite.
The important bulletins fix remote code execution and other flaws in Windows, plug holes in the way WebDAV validates memory, and offer a fix for an elevation of privilege exploit in the Windows kernel-mode drivers. Additionally, there's also an update for security bugs in the .NET framework, a fix for an elevation of privilege exploit in the Windows remote destop display driver, a patch for a denial of service vulnerability in the Active Directory Federation Services, and a denial of service flaw in the Network Policy Server.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk confirmed they're aiming at a $35,000 launch price for the highly awaited Model 3 car. This car will be Tesla's first mass-market electric vehicle and the exciting thing is that $35,000 is the price without tax incentives. There are significant federal and state inventives in the US that could push the price of the car to $25,000, a level at which an electric car starts making a lot of sense considering that the average new car costs about $31,000.
Bloomberg provides some analysis over here and points out that Tesla will need to hurry up because the tax breaks won't last forever. The credit is applied to the first 200,000 electric sales for each new electric vehicle manufacturer, so if regular versions of the Model 3 arrive later than expected they may no longer qualify for the tax incentives:
Tesla is on track to reach its 200,000th sale around the middle of 2018.5 If Model 3 deliveries don't start until the end of 2018, and a higher-priced Signature Series soaks up the incentives for 2019, then by the time a "mass-market" buyer gets a shot at a lower-priced Model 3, the incentives could be gone. In that case, a $35,000 Tesla would just be a $35,000 Tesla. In the meantime, however, Chevy has plans to start selling its 200-mile-range Bolt for $30,000 by the end of 2016, which would mean beating Tesla to its goal of an affordable long-range electric car by a significant margin.
Note, the image below is of Tesla's Model S because there are no pictures of Model 3 just yet.
Opera never really gained traction, its almost nonexistent in the desktop browser market and even though it scored some popularity with its mobile browser, it has become more and more irrelevant in recent years. Now it looks like Chinese investors are interested in taking over the Norwegian browser developer for $1.2 billion, a 53 percent premium over Opera's closing price on the Oslo stock exchange before buyout rumors started circling around. Opera reportedly started looking for a buyer since 2015.
The Norwegian company has confirmed that it has recently received an acquisition offer from Kunlun Tech and Qihoo 360, backed by Golden Brick Silk Road and Yonglian investment firms. Kunlun Tech is a gaming company that bought a majority stake in gay dating app Grindr in January, while Qihoo is an antivirus- and browser-maker.
Opera's CEO issued the following statement to urge shareholders to approve the takeover:
There is strong strategic and industrial logic to the acquisition of Opera by the Consortium. We believe that the Consortium, with its breadth of expertise and strong market position in emerging markets, will be a strong owner of Opera. The Consortium's ownership will strengthen Opera's position to serve our users and partners with even greater innovation, and to accelerate our plans of expansion and growth.
AnandTech has written a very extensive test in which they took a look at five laptops based on AMD's Carrizo platform. If you don't want to read the whole thing, you can find the Cliff notes at ExtremeTech. The conclusion is basically that enthusiasm about AMD's mobile Carrizo lineup was misplaced, despite the chip offering a significant step-up in performance and power efficiency versus the Kaveri.
Unfortunately, most OEMs are pairing the Carrizo with single-channel memory configurations to keep costs low, but end up pitting Carrizo against significantly more expensive solutions from Intel. For example, HP offers a $1,049 Elitebook 840 G3 with the Intel Core i5-6200U and 8GB of DDR4-2133 in a dual-channel configuration, and charges exactly the same price for the lower-performance Carrizo-based Elitebook 745 G3, which has just 4GB DDR3L-1600 in single-channel configuration. That's quite odd considering the AMD chip in that laptop has a $150 lower list price than the Intel counterpart.
So the issues of Carrizo are two-fold. On one hand the chip doesn't have enough performance to compete with Intel, and on the other hand OEMs are crippling the platform by not putting in effort to target the price ranges that AMD intended to hit:
When AMD briefed us on Carrizo nearly a year ago, it made it clear that the chip was targeting the $400 to $700 laptop market, with Carrizo-L shipping into the $250 to $400 range. Between $400 and $500, AMD would be competing against the lower-end Core i5-5200U from Intel, as well as various Haswell-era Celerons and lower-end Intel parts. Instead, OEMs are building low-quality hardware at premium prices, tossing Carrizo against Intel chips it wasn’t meant to compete against. This feeds a vicious cycle — consumers who buy AMD and are dissatisfied with the result are less inclined to consider AMD in the future — for problems that ultimately, are beyond Chipzilla’s control.
Amazon announces the availability of Lumberyard, a cross-platform 3D game engine with full source code access, and Cloud and Twitch integration. The engine is based on Crytek's CryENGINE and is free to use, there are no subscription or license fees, you only pay the default fees for the Amazon Web Services services you choose to use. You can check it out or download it over here.
Amazon Lumberyard is the only game engine that gives you a combination of free, feature-rich development technology, native integration to the AWS Cloud to make it easier to create live and multiplayer games, and native integration of Twitch features that help you connect games to the world’s leading social video platform and community for gamers.
By starting game projects with Lumberyard, you are able to spend more of your time creating differentiating gameplay and building communities of fans, and less time on the undifferentiated heavy lifting of building a game engine and managing server infrastructure.
Amazon Lumberyard is a free AAA game engine deeply integrated with AWS and Twitch – with full source code provided. Whether you are a major studio, an indie developer, a student, or a hobbyist, Lumberyard provides a growing set of tools to create the highest-quality games, connect your games to the vast compute and storage of the AWS Cloud, and engage fans on Twitch.
Lumberyard helps developers build beautiful worlds, make realistic characters, and create stunning real-time effects. With Lumberyard’s visual scripting tool, even non-technical game developers can add cloud-connected features to a game in minutes (such as a community news feed, daily gifts, or server-side combat resolution) through a drag-and-drop GUI interface. Lumberyard is also integrated with Amazon GameLift, a new AWS service for deploying, operating, and scaling session-based multiplayer games.
With Amazon GameLift, Amazon Lumberyard developers can quickly scale high-performance game servers up and down to meet player demand, without any additional engineering effort or upfront costs.
Amazon Lumberyard is free, and available in beta for developers building PC and console games, with mobile and virtual reality (VR) platforms coming soon. With Amazon Lumberyard, developers only pay standard AWS fees for the AWS services they choose to use. With Amazon GameLift, you simply pay for the standard AWS fees for Amazon EC2, Amazon EBS, and data transfer you actually use, plus a small fee per Daily Active User.
Oracle issued a warning to urge people to delete all Java installers lumbering around in the download folder of your browser, as older versions of the Java installer are vulnerable to an attack technique called binary planting.
The company says Java installers with version numbers below 6u113, 7u97, 8u73 are vulnerable to the attack. The flaw is quite complex to exploit though, it requires the planting of malicious DLLs into the browser's download folder, which will only be executed if the user executes one of the vulnerable install clients:
The reason is that older Java installers are designed to look for and automatically load a number of specifically named DLL (Dynamic Link Library) files from the current directory. In the case of Java installers downloaded from the Web, the current directory is typically the computer's default download folder.
If an attacker manages to place a specifically named malicious DLL into a computer's "Downloads" folder, that file will be executed when the user tries to install Java for the first time or when he manually updates an existing Java installation by downloading and running a new installer.
"Though considered relatively complex to exploit, this vulnerability may result, if successfully exploited, in a complete compromise of the unsuspecting user’s system," said Eric Maurice, Oracle's software security assurance director, in a blog post.
Imagination Technologies CEO Hossein Yassaie is stepping down with immediate effect, after serving as CEO since 1998. Andrew Heath, one of the non-executive directors, has been appointed Interim Chief Executive. The group is going through financial issues, it isued a trading update that it expects to report an EBIT loss for the fiscal year ending 30 April 2016. The company also announced several restructuring initiatives.
Since the Group published its half year results in December 2015, market conditions have not improved and the slow-down in the overall semiconductor sector has continued, reinforced by global uncertainty about future trading prospects with China.
Royalty returns from some key customers have fallen short of previous expectations for the last calendar quarter of 2015 with lower forecasts for the first calendar quarter of 2016. While the licence pipeline remains strong, and licences and related revenues already secured this year amount to £24 million, the pace of deal closure is falling short of prior expectations.
The royalty reduction coupled with continuing uncertainty over licence revenue timing is likely to result in a material reduction in expected FY16 revenues and resulting profitability. The Group now expects to report an EBIT loss for the financial year to 30 April 2016.
The Group continues to have sufficient cash resources to meet its obligations going forward.
Imagination is best known for its line of PowerVR graphics chips, which are found in a wide variety of SoCs used in many portable devices, including Apple's iPhone and iPad lineups.