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Someone is putting lots of work into hacking Github developers


Enlarge (credit: MGM)

Open-source developers who use Github are in the cross-hairs of advanced malware that can steal passwords, download sensitive files, take screenshots, and self-destruct when necessary.

Dimnie, as the reconnaissance and espionage trojan is known, has largely flown under the radar for the past three years. It mostly targeted Russians until early this year, when a new campaign took aim at multiple owners of Github repositories. One commenter in this thread reported the initial infection e-mail was sent to an address that was used solely for Github, and researchers with Palo Alto Networks, the firm that reported the campaign on Tuesday, told Ars they have no evidence it targeted anyone other than Github developers.

“Both messages appearing to be hand-crafted, and the reference to today’s data in the attachment file name IMHO hint at a focused campaign explicitly targeting targets perceived as ‘high return investments,’ such as developers (possibly working on popular/open-source projects,)” someone who received two separate infection e-mails reported in the thread.

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Intel is keeping Moore’s Law alive by making bigger improvements less often


Gordon Moore’s original graph, showing projected transistor counts, long before the term “Moore’s law” was coined. Moore’s original observation was that transistor density doubled every year; in 1975, this was revised to doubling every two years. (credit: Intel)

Intel took half a day this week to talk about processor manufacturing technology. The company still believes in Moore’s Law and says the principle will continue to guide and shape the microchip industry. But the way the law works is changing. The company also wants to change how people talk about manufacturing processes, because current terminology—wherein the node size is used to characterize a particular process—no longer serves as a good guide to how many transistors can be packed into a chip.

Moore’s Law—the observation by Intel co-founder Gordon Moore that the number of transistors in an integrated circuit would double every two years, and correspondingly, the cost per transistor would halve over the same time frame—guided microchip manufacturing for around three decades. During that period, process node shrinks, each one bringing a doubling of the number of transistors by making everything 0.7 times smaller, were all it took to fulfill Moore’s Law. Backed by this easy scaling, computer performance increased at a rate unrivaled by any other human technological innovation.

This scaling started to falter in the 2000s when it became increasingly difficult to shrink integrated circuits simply by switching to a smaller process node. But this didn’t bring about an end to Moore’s Law; instead, the industry used additional techniques, such as strained silicon, high-κ metal gates, and FinFETs. The doubling of transistor density or halving of transistor cost continued to take place every two or so years.

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Review: Windows 10 Creators Update is quite a small major update


Enlarge / The announcement of the Creators Update in October 2016.

The next big update to Windows 10 is nearly upon us: Windows 10 version 1703, known as the Creators Update, will be published to Windows Update next Patch Tuesday, on April 11th.

The final build is—probably—15063. That build is already available to insiders and should soon become available for the Windows 10 Media Creation tool, but we also know that there are going to be some patches materializing some time between now and when that happens. There’s a small chance those patches will bump the build number; more likely, they will instead bump the patch number, which is currently a pristine and perfect 0 on the desktop. The mobile build has already been bumped to 15063.2 to handle an installation problem when upgrading from version 1607.

Version 1703 has been branded the “Creators Update” (without an apostrophe). Frankly, this made more sense in the context of its grand unveiling than it does now; when the Creators Update was revealed, Microsoft also introduced its new Surface Studio desktop computer, and promised that a range of affordable virtual reality headsets would be developed for Windows 10. With the Surface Studio being a machine unambiguously designed for digital artists, and with virtual reality needing a wealth of new 3D applications to truly shine, the “Creators Update” branding was an obvious nod to these new hardware form factors.

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