You’ll need a Facebook account to use future Oculus headsets

Found on The Verge on Sunday, 23 August 2020
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The Facebook-owned company says it will start removing support for separate Oculus accounts in October, although users can maintain an existing account until January 1st, 2023.

A new privacy policy will be administered by Facebook itself, not the separate Facebook Technologies hardware subsidiary, and “Facebook will manage all decisions around use, processing, retention and sharing of your data.”

They will manage? I don't think so. If a product works only with a Facebook account, it just wont'e be bought. Simple as that. No product is amazing enough to put up with that.

If you own one of these 45 Netgear devices, replace it

Found on The Register on Friday, 31 July 2020
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Netgear has quietly decided not to patch more than 40 home routers to plug a remote code execution vulnerability – despite security researchers having published proof-of-concept exploit code.

Today Netgear's advisory page for the patches shows 45 devices' fix status as "none; outside security support period".

It's about time that there is a minimum, 10+ years, support lifetime for products. Companies move more and more to "throw away, buy again" methods which are in no way acceptable.

Here's why your Samsung Blu-ray player bricked itself

Found on The Register on Monday, 20 July 2020
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"Players were bricked even though the users never performed a network update. It was enough for the player to be connected to the internet. Samsung never asked the user if it was OK to download the bomb," said Gray, referring to the dodgy XML policy file.

Because of the monumentally stupid idea of parsing a downloaded XML file unconditionally at every boot, there seems to be no way to recover the devices from the boot loop using normal means – such as a USB stick, CD or network – because the crash happens too early in the boot sequence.

XML has always been a royal pain and parsers left and right handle documents sometimes differently; but that's no excuse for letting such a bug brick a piece of hardware.

HPE fixes another SAS SSD death bug: This time, drives will conk out after 40,000 hours of operation

Found on The Register on Thursday, 26 March 2020
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HPE has told customers that four kinds of solid-state drives (SSDs) in its servers and storage systems may experience failure and data loss at 40,000 hours, or 4.5 years, of operation.

If you're getting deja-vu, you're not alone. HPE separately warned of certain SAS SSDs dying after their 32,768th hour of operation in November last year.

Using 15 bits only?

France fines Apple €25 million for slowing iPhone software

Found on DW on Sunday, 09 February 2020
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The crackdown comes two years after Apple admitted its iOS software slowed down the performance of older phones — in particular, devices with shorter battery life.

"This is a historic victory against scandalous ready-to-rubbish practices, for consumers as well as the environment," HOP co-founders Laetitia Vasseur and Samuel Sauvage said to AFP.

It's amazing how a company like Apple who routinely screws over customer with overpriced products is still in business.

Bring Back the Replaceable Laptop Battery

Found on Slashdot on Monday, 11 November 2019
Browse Hardware

Whether mainstream or obscure manufacturer, the fact that pretty much all of them are made in the same area denote a similar approach to soldering batteries in.

This leads to one conclusion, planned obsolescence.If you want your laptop to still be mobile when the battery fizzles out, forget about it. Buy new instead. Pick your manufacturer, even those famed for building 'tank' laptops that last forever, all you need is a fresh battery, upgrade the RAM, and a new HD or SSD and away you go.

Economy experts widely agree that the global markets are not growing anymore as they should in their opinion, so one could assume that steps like these are a way to enforce consumerism so this business model stays somewhat alive.

Amazon's new $60 Echo Dot with Clock answers one of the most common Alexa questions

Found on CNet News on Monday, 30 September 2019
Browse Hardware

A new Echo Dot with a digital clock display was among the many products Amazon unveiled at its annual product announcement event Wednesday in Seattle.

The display is primarily a clock, but you can also use it to show countdowns for timers and see the outside temperature when you ask Alexa about the weather.

As an alarm clock, it includes an automatic snooze option. When your alarm goes off, you'll be able to tap the top and start a nine-minute snooze.

So the newest, coolest, must-have selling feature is a function that does every $1 alarm clock made in China?

About Our Galaxy Fold Teardown

Found on iFixit on Monday, 29 April 2019
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After two days of intense public interest, iFixit has removed our teardown of Samsung’s Galaxy Fold.

We were provided our Galaxy Fold unit by a trusted partner. Samsung has requested, through that partner, that iFixit remove its teardown. We are under no obligation to remove our analysis, legal or otherwise. But out of respect for this partner, whom we consider an ally in making devices more repairable, we are choosing to withdraw our story until we can purchase a Galaxy Fold at retail.

Samsung has successfully censored a 3rd party article by abusing its power. Only if it was not for an archive.

New Intel Chip Bug Can Expose All Data on a Computer to Hackers

Found on eWEEK on Saturday, 30 March 2019
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The role of the VISA technology is to provide a flexible signals analysis processor that can be used in debugging of computer hardware, primarily computer system boards.

They said that a vulnerability they’d previously discovered, (INTEL-SA-00086) that allowed them to run unsigned code in the Intel Management Engine, also allowed them access to the VISA hardware.

Other research has shown that access to the management engine may be possible through a network connection. If that turns out to be the case, then remote hacking becomes possible because physical access is no longer required.

Intel chips have more and more problems. It looks like they are a security nightmare for critical hardware.

Here's why your AirPods battery life is getting worse, and what you can do about it

Found on Apple Insider on Saturday, 23 March 2019
Browse Hardware

It's impossible to be completely statistically accurate about how long AirPod batteries last because it depends on too many things. If you make or receive phone calls via your AirPods, for instance, you will of course drain the battery faster. If you take them out and leave them on your desk without playing anything, they will drain anyway.

Those 2016 AirPods first gave us that baleful low battery sound after one hour and 19 minutes. We got a second at one hour and 59 minutes. Then at two hours, 6 minutes, they died.

"If you've got a dead or dying battery in an AirPod," said the same source inside Apple, "bring it in to the Apple Store with your proof of purchase if you didn't buy it directly from us, and store-stock depending, you'll walk out for a replacement single bud with a new battery for $49."

First they remove the cables for the headphones and replace it with quickly dying batteries, then they charge you for fixing that failures. You can think what you want about Apple, but they have good marketing to steal your money out of your pockets.