It was a year ago that security researcher Charlie Miller walked away with $10,000 for hacking into a MacBook Air with Safari in just two minutes during the annual Pwn2Own competition, and earlier this month Miller predicted Safari would be the first to fall at this year's event. Miller made good on that promise this week by using a prepared exploit to gain full control of the device in about 10 seconds.
"It's not easy, but this worked with one click [from the Safari browser]", Miller said.
Miller had discovered the exploit last year, which allows a remote attacker to take over a machine if a user clicks on a malicious URL. Details of the exploit, which Miller isn't allowed to divulge, will be shared with Apple from contest sponsor TippingPoint so that Apple can develop a patch.
On the same day, a 25-year-old computer science student at the University of Oldenburg in Germany demonstrated exploits in IE8, Safari, and Firefox, earning him a cool $15,000 ($5,000 per exploit), along with getting to keep the Sony Vaio P series notebook he used (Miller pocketed $5,000 and a MacBook Air).
While three major browsers succumbed to hacking attempts on day one, no mobile exploits have yet been successful. Mobile exploits carry the biggest reward for contest participants, with TippingPoint offering $10,000 for each successful exploit in the major smartphones.
Windows 7 is already feeling the love from both graphics camps. Earlier this month, Nvidia released a specialized Forceware driver for the beta OS along with the promise of regular updates, and now AMD has followed suit with its new ATI Catalyst 9.3 driver this week. However, the new Catalyst driver rolls both Windows 7 and Vista support into a single download, allowing the company to lay claim as offering the "first unified driver installation package to incorporate Windows 7 support." AMD says future Catalyst releases will also be unified for both the current and upcoming Windows OSes.
"AMD's expertise in visual computing shines through in the combined experience of Windows 7 and ATI Radeon graphics," said Anantha Kancherla, group manager responsible for Windows graphics, Microsoft. "With today's release of a Windows 7 unified driver, AMD once again demonstrates its ability to deliver perfromance and cutting-edge driver support."
Hit the jump to find out what else to expect from the new Catalyst 9.3 unified driver.
As children, we were always taught that ingesting red and/or blue fluids – generally those found in that Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil otherwise known as “the cabinet under the sink” – wasn’t among the better choices we could make, no matter how devilishly tempting it might’ve been.
Only now, however, do we fully comprehend the breadth of our parents’ bounteous wisdom.
For some maniacal reason, Blizzard has decided to pair its uber-successful World of Warcraft franchise with another one of man’s more inexplicably addictive creations: Mountain Dew. The result: a taste bud-burning crusade of what some might even venture to call “flavor.”
The drink comes in two varieties: Alliance Blue (“with a punch of Wild Fruit Flavor”) and Horde Red (“with a blast of Citrus Cherry Flavor”).
Both flavors will attempt to give Bawls – and other gamer-centric energy drinks -- a thorough licking this summer. We'll probably end up downing a bottle or two ourselves in penance for that terrible joke.
Other Valve games, we’re sure you’re great and all, but we think Valve is playing favorites. Really, just look at the numbers: Left 4 Dead, Valve’s tossing you just enough of the ol’ meat and mead to ensure your survival. And Half-Life 2: Episode 3, we thought we saw you once in a tabloid with Bigfoot, but that might’ve just been this guy. Meanwhile, it seems like Team Fortress 2 gains some new appendage at least once perweek, and, well, you can probably guess where this is going.
This week’s TF2 to-do adds multicore CPU rendering to the team-based shooter’s ever-growing repertoire, though it’s apparently not quite ready for primetime just yet. From the patch notes:
Added Multicore Rendering
This initial release is aimed at testing compatibility, so the option is OFF by default
To turn it on, go to the Options->Video->Advanced dialog, and check the "Multicore Rendering" option
Well, that’s all for now, TF2 fans. See you guys and gals next week.
Opera’s latest release, dubbed Opera Turbo, touts the ability to use the company’s own server to compress the data transferred by web sites, allowing users on slow Internet connections to surf at a reasonable speed.
According to Opera’s Roberto Mateu, Opera Turbo allows a person’s PC to grab data not just from the site, but also from their very own servers that can compress that site’s text and images by up to 80 percent. It’s recommended that people on connections slower than 100Kbps use the program for optimal results.
You can download Opera Turbo here, from Opera’s site.
Sure, you could carry around all of your personal data on a business card, but why do that when you can just carry about a Poken? These adorable little dongles allow you to carry all of your information (including your Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and others) and transfer it to others with the push of a button.
The Poken works by using an embedded RFID reader/transmitter. When a button on device is pushed it allows you to transfer your information between Poken (Pokens?). You can then plug this cuddly little tike into your computer and add that person to your contact list.
Right now the product is exclusively sold in the UK, but you can pick them up online.
The dispute between Intel and Nvidia over disagreements pertaining to Intel's Nehalem chipset license almost seems like old news now that Intel and AMD are going at each other. Intel claims AMD doesn't have the legal wherewithal to "unilaterally extend Intel's licensing rights to a third party," which in this case would be Globalfoundries, and has threatened to pull its 2001 agreement within 60 days if AMD doesn't address Intel's concerns. AMD, on the other hand, says it isn't doing anything wrong.
So who's in the right? To help determine that, Intel has offered to make the terms of the x86 cross-licensing deal public, for which AMD has agreed, but not without a stipulation. AMD wants Intel to lift the secrecy demand on all antiturst evidence submitted by AMD in the 2006 antitrust case.
"We will make the entire cross-license agreement public if they drop their insistence on secrecy on the evidence in the U.S. antitrust case," said Patrick Moorehead, AMD VP of marketing.
Intel does't appear willing to do so, and as far as the No. 1 chipmaker is concerned, AMD might just as well have rejected the offer outright.
"Intel is willing to make the entire [x86 cross-license] agreement public," said Chuck Mulloy, Intel spokesman. "We've told AMD we would be fine with making the entire agreement public. AMD has declined to do so."
Boston Power says the battery cells in its Enviro-branded notebook batteries can "deliver sustainable performance for three years -- three times longer than most other notebook computer batteries," a claim HP notebook owners can start putting to the test. That's because Boston Power has partnered with the OEM to offer its batteries as accessories for 18 existing HP notebook models.
"HP delivers customers innovative products that respect our planet," said Jonathan Kaye, director of consumer notebooks marketing at HP. "The Enviro Series program gives PC users longer lasting batteries that improve their computing experience while reducing the number of batteries that need to be recycled. That's a win for everyone."
HP feels confident enough in Boston Power's Sonata technology that it's offering an unprecedented three year warranty on the batteries, something that hasn't been done by any other notebook manufacturer we're aware of.
The new batteries are available now from www.hpshopping.com for $150, and will later be added as a point-of-sale option when buying an HP notebook.
Compatible models include the HP Pavilion dv4, dv5, and DV6, HP HDX 16, HP G50, G60, G61, G70, and G71, and Compaq Presario CQ40, CQ45, CQ50, CQ60, CQ61, CQ71, and CQ71.
In the most recent case of Google Earth being used for mischief, British Builder Tom Berge used the program to zoom in on historic buildings before stripping them of nearly $227,000 worth of lead from their roofs.
The area that was afflicted by this thieving Brit was primarily South London, where nary a museum, church or school was spared. The 27-year-old admitted to using Google Earth to aid him in more than 30 locations. Berge was served with eight months of jail time and 100 hours of community service.
According to Detective Sergeant Chris Grant, who was in charge of the investigation, “He was a prolific offender up until the time he was arrested. Since then our crime figures for theft of lead have reduced significantly.”
Perhaps feeling confident from its first legal victory last month in its ongoing legal battle against Apple for selling Mac clones that allegedly violate the Mac OS X end-user license agreement, Psystar is far from waving the white flag and is instead waving another Mac clone it claims is "Smaller, Faster, and Sexier."
The baseline configuration for the Open (3), as it's being called, includes Intel's Core 2 Duo E7200 processor (upgradeable to a quad-core Q8200 CPU), 2GB of DDR2-800 RAM, a 500GB hard drive, 20X DVD burner, GeForce 8400GS videocard with 256MB video memory, 802.11n WiFi, and much to the chagrin of Apple, Mac OS X Leopard v10.5.
"We are making the Open Computer a better fit for our users' environments in more ways than one," said Rudy Pedraza, Psystar president. "The smaller size will definitely make it easier to place in a home or small office but, at the same time, the increased performance will allow it to easily take the place of traditionally-sized machines. Core2Quad processors greatly enhance performance in computationally-intense applications such as 3D rendering and movie editing. A quad-core in a desktop that is under four inches thick is the direct result of the feedback we've received from the public."
With the release of the Open (3), Psystar has phased out the mini-tower for a "slim form-factor" the company claims is 47 percent smaller.