It seems cars are becoming the big new thing for security researchers. Last week there was a huge story about a vulnerability in the Fiat Chrysler Uconnect technology that resulted in the recall of 1.4 million vehicles and now security expert Samy Kamkar discloses a vulnerability in the OnStar communications system from GM. OnStar links your vehicle to your smartphone and offers features like turn-by-turn navigation, hands free calling, remote diagnostics, stolen vehicle tracking, ignition blocks in case of theft, automatic crash response, remote unlocking, etc.
The hacking tool is based on a Raspberry Pi computer and it costs under $100 to assemble. Called the "Ownstar", the kit is able to locate, unlock and remote start any GM vehicle with OnStar RemoteLink. All that is needed is the planting of a cheap, homemade WiFi hotspot device somewhere on the car's body. Once that's done, hackers can intercept communication between the RemoteLink mobile app and the OnStar servers via a man-in-the-middle attack and connect to the car over a 2G cellular connection.
When the driver comes within Wi-Fi range of Kamkar’s $100 contraption, which he’s named “OwnStar” in a reference for the hacker jargon to “own” or control a system, it impersonates a familiar Wi-Fi network to trick the user’s phone into silently connecting. (Modern smartphones constantly probe for known networks, so the trade-paperback-sized box, packed with three radios and a Raspberry Pi computer, can listen for and then impersonate a friendly network, or by default call itself “attwifi” to appear as a common Starbucks connection.) If the user launches their GM RemoteLink Android or iOS app while their phone’s within Wi-fi range and unwittingly connected, OwnStar is designed to exploit a vulnerability in GM’s app to steal the user’s credentials and send that data over a 2G cellular connection to the hacker. “As soon as you’re on my network and you open the app, I’ve taken over,” Kamkar says.
Research firm IDC reports the tablet market continues to shrink, sales were down 7 percent year-over-year to 44.7 million units in the second quarter of this year. While Apple and Samsung are still the largest tablet makers, with market shares of 24.5 percent and 17.0 percent, respectively, both firms lost share in the overall market. Especially Apple was hit pretty hard with a 17.9 percent year-over-year drop in sales, while Samsung suffered a 12.0 percent decline.
Lenovo saw its sales increase by 6.8 percent to 2.5 million units but Huawei and LG saw stellar growth. Huawei increased its tablet shipments 103.6 percent year-over-year to 1.6 million units, while LG's sales soared 246.4 percent to 1.6 million units. All other tablet makers combined sold 20.4 million units, down 9.3 percent year-over-year.
The worldwide tablet market declined -7.0% year over year in the second quarter of 2015 (2Q15) with shipments totaling 44.7 million units according to preliminary data from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker. Marked by little hardware innovation and limited vendor portfolio updates, the market also declined -3.9% compared to the first quarter of 2015.
"Beyond the decline, we're seeing a profound shift in the vendor landscape as the top two vendors, Apple and Samsung, lose share in the overall market," said Jean Philippe Bouchard, IDC Research Director for Tablets. "In the first quarter of the year, Apple and Samsung accounted for 45% of the market and this quarter, with the growth of vendors like LG, Huawei, and E FUN, their combined share dropped to 41%. Each of the growing vendors managed to address available pockets of growth in the market; connected tablets for LG and Huawei, larger tablets and 2-in-1s in the right price bands for E FUN. This trend is also something we see on a wider scale with the top 5 vendors accounting for 54% of the market, down from 58% last quarter. It is worth mentioning that Huawei enters the top 5 ranking for the first time, while E FUN has re-entered the top 10 after more than a year, further indicating that the vendor landscape is indeed evolving."
Despite a continued decline in shipments for its iPad product line, Apple maintained its lead in the worldwide tablet market, shipping 10.9 million units in the second quarter. Samsung held its number 2 position in the market with 7.6 million units shipped and 17.0% market share in 2Q15. Lenovo maintained its third position with 2.5 million units and 5.7% share of the market. LG and Huawei ended the quarter in a statistical tie* for fourth place, rounding out the top 5 with each shipping 1.6 million devices. As previously mentioned, share outside the top 5 continued to outgrow the market, representing 46% of total tablet shipments in 2Q15.
"Longer life cycles, increased competition from other categories such as larger smartphones, combined with the fact that end users can install the latest operating systems on their older tablets has stifled the initial enthusiasm for these devices in the consumer market," said Jitesh Ubrani, Senior Research Analyst, Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers. "But with newer form factors like 2-in-1s, and added productivity-enabling features like those highlighted in iOS9, vendors should be able to bring new vitality to a market that has lost its momentum."
UMC, world's third largest chip foundry, announced it's slowing down the ramp of its 28nm process as demand is looking weak. The firm said the chip industry is working its way out of an inventory correction and believes demand will likely remain depressed until the first half of 2016.
Revenue attributed the 28nm node is expected to drop to around 10 percent during the second half of this year after peaking at 11 percent in the second quarter. UMC expects 28nm revenue will rebound to about 15 percent of its total revenue by Q2 2016.
UMC has been aiming since the middle of last year to gain a foothold in 28nm that larger rival Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) has dominated for nearly five years.
“Weakness in overall demand, partly due to the uncertainties in economic outlook, will prolong the inventory adjustment through the second half of 2015,” UMC CEO Po Wen Yen said in a conference call with analysts to announce the company’s second-quarter results. “28nm will take a few quarters to regain momentum.”
Western Digital released its fiscal Q4 2015 financial results yesterday. During the most recent fiscal quarter, WD shipped a total of of 48.52 million hard disk drives, a huge decline from the 63.097 million the firm shipped during the same period a year earlier. The big drop is primarily in the firm's consumer HDD shipments and the trend isn't looking pretty.
As you can see in the chart below, WD's total HDD shipments are now at the levest level since the company's production capacity was severely impacted by devastating floods in Thailand in 2011. WD believes enterprise HDD shipments will continue to grow and expects shipments of HDDs for client PCs will stabilize in this quarter and may return to growth in the final quarter of this year.
WD believes that going forward shipments of enterprise-class hard disk drives will continue to grow thanks to various innovative devices, such as helium-filled HDDs with ultra-high capacities. Sales of hard drives for client PCs are expected to stabilize in Q3 and then could grow in Q4 of calendar 2015.
“We believe [personal computer market demand] is prudent to remain cautious in the near term given the timing of Windows 10 and ‘Skylake’ launches,” said Stephen Milligan, chief executive officer of WD, during the earnings conference call with investors and financial analysts. “That being said, we are seeing early signs of market stabilization, leading us to believe that PC market demand could pick up towards the end of this calendar year.”
MSI introduces the Nightblade MI, a compact gaming rig with Windows 10. The system features Intel 4th gen Core i7 procesors, an Intel B85 based motherboard, the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960 video card, up to 16GB DDR3, up to two HDDs and/or a SSD, 802.11b/g/n/ac WiFi, Bluetooth, USB 3.0, HDMI out, a and a slim-tray DVD.
As the leading gaming hardware brand, MSI is excited to launch a new, small and powerful gaming desktop PC: the MSI Nightblade MI. With a volume of only 10 liters, it's even smaller than its predecessor, the MSI Nightblade Z97/B85. Despite its nifty dimensions, the Nightblade MI houses a full sized MSI GeForce GTX 960 graphics card. Coupled with Intel® Core™ technology and smart cooling solutions, the MSI Nightblade MI is an excellent choice for gaming enthusiasts around the world.
With a full sized graphics card, the Nightblade MI brings grand graphics for grand gamers in a small case. With a performance increase of 15% while using 41% less power compared to the previous generation, the GTX 960 provides plenty of FPS while playing games in Full HD and in high settings.
To top it off, the Nightblade MI comes equipped with Intel® Core™ technology, the latest Nahimic Sound Technology, Super speed transmission, GAMING LAN and much more.
Last but not least, the MSI Nightblade MI is equipped with the recently released Windows 10 operating system, which comes along with DirectX 12, featuring huge benefits for gamers such as faster boot-up times and cross-platform gaming.
The MSI Nightblade MI is a complete and ready-to-go gaming system and will be available worldwide from the first week of August.
The lean, mean, gaming machine
Forged with passion for gaming, the MSI Nightblade MI is made for those who crave for an immersive gaming experience. With sufficient storage, proficient cooling and blistering graphics performance. Nightblade MI has all the components of a full-size desktop PC, all packed into a small and compact case of only 10 liters. With all this power under the hood, the MSI Nightblade MI will deliver top notch gaming experiences.
Grand Graphics for Grand Gamers
The MSI Nightblade MI may be a small system, but it still delivers powerful graphics performance. The compact case is future proof, as it has enough space for a full size graphics card to bring all the power that real gamers need. Gamers can enjoy all the gorgeous graphics of their favorite games in high settings.
Silent Storm Cooling
Featuring a highly efficient thermal design, the MSI Nightblade MI has two separated chambers that individually take care of the cooling of the different components within. This unique 'Silent Storm Cooling' design uses a firm heat pipe and sealed fin heatsink to ensure that the system's temperature stays perfectly cool and silent during gaming sessions, with a decrease of 9º in temperature and 8db noise reduction.
Easy access to upgradable components
For gamers who always want to get the best out of their system, the components of the Nightblade MI are easily accessible and ready to be upgraded at any time. Whether the user wants to expand storage, switch to another CPU or upgrade the graphics card, he can always keep the MSI Nightblade MI gaming rig up to date with the latest hardware.
Supporting DirectX 12
The MSI Nightblade MI is the first true gaming systems that fully supports Windows 10. This means that it will take full advantage of the new DirectX 12 to take your gaming experience to the next level. You will get more FPS and smoother gameplay through CPU and GPU tweaks with DirectX 12.
Hear beyond the limits
The Nightblade MI is packed with Nahimic Sound Technology to boost the audio performance. Get immersed with high definition virtual 7.1 sound using advanced sound enhancement effects and unique features for gamers. Visit the Nahimic Sound website for more information:
Then we also have the 126.96.36.199.4256 driver from Intel for HD Graphics, Iris and Iris Pro IGPs.
This driver includes support for the new Microsoft Windows* 10 operating system and adds new Windows* 10 features including DirectX* 12, PlayReady 3 for 1080p playback, and Miracast. In addition, this driver also adds support for DirectX* 11.3. The graphics, media, and display features supported on Windows* 8.1 for the 4th and 5th Generation Core Processors are also supported on Windows* 10.
G.Skill introduces announces a new series of Trident Z and Ripjaws V DDR4 Memory. In total, the firm rolled out 48 different configurations, with frequencies ranging from 2133MHz to 4000MHz and capacities of 8GB to 64GB.
The full specs can be found below.
G.SKILL International Enterprise Co., Ltd., the world’s leading manufacturer of extreme performance memory, solid state storage, power supplies, and gaming peripherals, is extremely thrilled to announce the first retail memory kit to break through the 4000MHz barrier and two brand new memory series – the Trident Z and Ripjaws V series – with updated performance specifications designed for the latest 6th generation Intel Core Processors and Z170 motherboards!
Trident Z Extreme DDR4 Memory – It’s Over 4000!
The new Trident Z DDR4 memory is the successor to the high-end Trident memory series and making its debut on the latest DDR4 standard, designed and tested for the next generation Skylake-S platform! For the first time in the history of extreme memory kits, Trident Z is entering the arena with a 4000MHz memory kit, built with highest-end Samsung IC memory chips and validated on the ASRock Z170 OC Formula motherboard.
Featuring a single-piece design that allows direct heat dissipation from heatspreader to cooling fin, dual-color construction for the ultimate system builds, and extreme XMP 2.0 support for simple overclocking setup that ranges from DDR4-2800MHz all the way to DDR4-4000MHz, nothing else comes close to the brink of extreme. Built with exceptionally hand-screened IC chips selected through a secret process developed from years of overclocking experience, Trident Z is the premier of extreme performance.
Ripjaws V – New Design, New Colors, New Specs
With a new generation, comes a new heat spreader design concept. Game in style; work in style. Ripjaws V is the newest member of the classic performance Ripjaws family, featuring suave new looks in five illuminating colors: Blazing Red, Steel Blue, Radiant Silver, Gunmetal Gray, and Classic Black.
The Ripjaws V series DDR4 memory will be available in kits of various configurations and capacities, comprising of 4GB, 8GB, and 16GB modules with performance ranging from the standard 2133MHz to staggering 3733MHz at ultra-low voltages. The high-density 16GB single modules are manufactured from highly selected Samsung IC memory chips, packing both capacity and performance in a single module. And of course, all high performance kits are XMP 2.0 ready for easy BIOS tuning and setup, as well as rigorously tested under hours of grueling benchmarks and memory validation testing software on the latest motherboards from major motherboard vendors for maximum performance, compatibility, and stability.
With the updated new specifications, your next generation Skylake-S platform can run smoother than ever with more memory capacity options with the brand new Ripjaws V or Trident Z memory kits.
While the first two enthusiast-class K-series Skylake CPUs will be launched at August 5 at Gamescom, it will take a few more months for the mainstream parts to arrive. DigiTimes wrote today that mass shipments of Skylake CPUs will start in October and November. And in the first quarter of 2016, Intel will introduce its new enthusiast platform, the Broadwell-E. This chip will have eight cores, it supports the X99 chipset and DDR4:
In early August, Intel will announce several K-series processors including Core i7-6700K, and Z170 chipsets and will unveil Skylake-S and Skylake-U series processors and H170/B150 chipsets in early September.
Intel will start mass shipping Skylake processors in October and November, while its top-end six-core and eight-core Broadwell-E processors will become available in the first quarter of 2016 using LGA 2011-3 and supporting the X99 chipsets and DDR4 memory.
Intel has reportedly dividend the desktop computer market into six segments in terms of market positioning and price
Here's an overview of the segments:
Enthusiast Tower for gamers
video/audio content and high performance
Mainstream with high performance/price ratios
All-in-One (AIO) PCs
Mini PCs (NUC)
Portable AIO PCs and Compute Sticks
The NUC/Mini PCs will support both Windows and Chrome OS, while the other five segments are exclusively marketed for Windows 8.1/10. DigiTimes writes Intel is currently seeing encouraging sales growth in the Enthusiast Tower, NUC and Compute Sticks demand.
Swedish tech site SweClockers heard rumors that Intel's first Skylake processors will be in short supply initially. The first two chips, the Core i7 6700K and Core i5 6600K, are expected to be introduced on August 5 at Gamescom. Now, we don't know why Skylake will be in short supply. The 14nm process isn't new and we haven't heard any rumors about poor yields. Perhaps this could be nothing more than a local issue in Sweden or Scandinavia, guess we'll see next week.
The report in question comes from Sweclockers.com, citing Anton Nilsson, manager of Webhallen (a Swedish Retailer). Now it could be that the problem is very much localizer, or it could be that Mr. Anton is simply mistaken. It could also be that he is right and there will be less Skylake to go around once the flood gates open. According to the reports there will be a limited quantity available at launch that will be used up within a few days. Since the launch is just a week away, I consider it pretty redundant to ponder on the validity or implications of these claims. In either case, we will know soon enough.