Microsoft is laying off 10,000 employees

Jan 18, 2023 - 7:47 PM - by Reverend
Microsoft plans to lay off 10,000 employees as part of broader cost-cutting measures, the company said in a securities filing on Wednesday, making it the latest tech company to reduce staff because of growing economic uncertainty.

Speaking before the layoff announcement at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, on Wednesday, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said that the company was not immune to a weaker global economy.

“No one can defy gravity and gravity here is inflation-adjusted economic growth,” he told WEF founder Klaus Schwab in a livestreamed discussion.

In a memo to staffers Wednesday, Nadella also cited changing demand years for digital services years into the pandemic as well as looming recession fears.

“We’re living through times of significant change, and as I meet with customers and partners, a few things are clear,” he wrote. “First, as we saw customers accelerate their digital spend during the pandemic, we’re now seeing them optimize their digital spend to do more with less.”

Microsoft had approximately 221,000 full-time employees globally as of June 30, 2022, according to a US Securities and Exchange Commission filing, with some 122,000 of those staffers based in the United States.

Nadella said the job the cuts represent less than 5% of the company’s total workforce and the reductions will be complete by the end of its fiscal third quarter this year, which ends in March.

He said the company will incur a $1.2 billion charge in its second quarter related to “severance costs, changes to our hardware portfolio, and the cost of lease consolidation.”

“These decisions are difficult, but necessary,” Nadella wrote.

  0 Replies | 1,020 Views

The Sony Walkman returns as hi-res streaming player

Jan 17, 2023 - 10:32 AM - by Reverend
The iconic Sony Walkman is set to return as a hi-res streaming player.

The device was first released in 1979, selling over 500,000 units in its first year. It became a huge leap forward in portable music consumption and sold over 400million units across its multiple forms.

Now, with cassette sales growing in the US in 2022, the Walkman has returned as a hi-res streaming player.

Available in two models – the NW-ZX707 and NW-A306 – Sony claim the new Walkman offers “evolutionary sound” and allows listeners to download music to the device or stream via Wi-Fi.

Sony adds that you can also use “your favourite streaming and music apps right on your Walkman or connect to a PC to access your music collection”.

A product description adds: “The evolving algorithm now delivers even greater benefits for CD-quality (16 bit 44.1/48kHz) lossless codec audio. Restoring acoustic subtleties and dynamic range provides a richer, more complete listening experience.”

  0 Replies | 1,169 Views

Twitter says leaked emails not hacked from its systems

Jan 13, 2023 - 8:40 PM - by Reverend
Twitter has denied that emails alleged to be linked to millions of its users' accounts were obtained using a hack.

In its first statement on the matter, it wrote "there is no evidence" the data came from a flaw in its systems.

The records were instead probably a collection of data "already publicly available online", although it urged users to be wary of bogus emails.

The firm which raised the alarm about the alleged leaks, Hudson Rock, said it disputed Twitter's findings.

Alon Gal, the cyber-crime intelligence company's co-founder, said: "I urge security researchers to conduct a thorough examination of the leaked data and rule out Twitter's conclusion of the data being an enrichment of some sort which did not originate from their own servers."
Bug bounties

In December, Ireland's Data Protection Commission (DPC) Twitter's lead regulator in the EU, announced it was investigating a leak of data linked to 5.4 million accounts.

Twitter says it matched data revealed by a security flaw caused by a system update in June 2021.

The flaw meant, Twitter says, that if someone obtained an email address or phone number, the faulty system could be used to identify any Twitter accounts that were connected to them.

Twitter says it investigated and fixed the fault when it was warned about it in January 2022 through a "bug bounty" scheme that rewards researchers who alert it to security problems.
Hacker forum extortion

In December, Hudson Rock reported that a hacker called Ryushi was attempting to extort Twitter using the threat of an even bigger leak.

Ryushi claimed to have a trove of leaked emails and phone numbers associated with over 400 million user accounts, and offered to "sell" them exclusively to Twitter.

The flaw in Twitter's system was how Ryushi claimed to have obtained the data.

Following reports of the threatened extortion, the DPC said it would "examine Twitter's compliance with data protection law in relation to that security issue

BBC News
  0 Replies | 1,300 Views

AMD's Radeon 7000 series bring RDNA 3 to laptops

Jan 06, 2023 - 1:19 PM - by Reverend
AMD used its CES 2023 press conference to detail the new Ryzen 7000 CPUs and to announce that Radeon 7000 GPUs are coming to laptops.

AMD unveiled four new Radeon RX 7000 series graphics cards - the RX 7600M XT, RX 7600M, RX 7700S, and RX 7600S - S for efficiency, M for performance (the same nomenclature as on the RX 6000 series). These cards will directly rival Nvidia's RXT 3060 laptop GPUs so expect more powerful Radeon 7000 GPUs later on in 2023.

The Radeon 7000 series laptop GPUs all have 8GB GDDR6 memory and a 128-bit memory interface. All four cards are based on the RDNA 3 architecture, but built on the TSMC's 6nm process, instead of the newer 5nm one.

The RX 7600M XT is the most powerful new mobile GPU in the series and can use up to 120 watts of power. AMD says its 8GB mobile GPU beats the 12GB Nvidia desktop RTX 3060 in Hitman 3 with 184fps to the 3060's 160fps.

AMD continues that the RX 7700S can reach 87fps in Cyberpunk 2077 and 147sfps in Death Stranding at maxed-out 1080p graphics.

AMD is developing a new DLSS upscale, called Smart Shift RSR, which will reportedly be "decoupled from the GPU". It's expected to add more performance sometime in the first half of 2023.

Expect to see the Radeon 7000 series graphics in laptops from February. It will be in the AMD Advantage editions of the Alienware M16 and M18, and Asus' TUF Gaming A16.
  0 Replies | 1,306 Views

Support for Windows 7 and 8 fully ends in January, including Microsoft Edge

Jan 05, 2023 - 10:47 AM - by Reverend
Microsoft's Chromium-based Edge browser was an improvement over the initial version of Edge in many ways, including its support for Windows 7 and Windows 8. But the end of the road is coming: Microsoft has announced that Edge will end support for Windows 7 and Windows 8 in mid-January of 2023, shortly after those operating systems stop getting regular security updates. Windows 7 and 8 support will also end for Microsoft Edge Webview2, which can use Edge's rendering engine to embed webpages in non-Edge apps.

The end-of-support date for Edge coincides with the end of security update support for both Windows 7 and Windows 8 on January 10, and the end of Google Chrome support for Windows 7 and 8 in version 110. Because the underlying Chromium engine in both Chrome and Edge is open source, Microsoft could continue supporting Edge in older Windows versions if it wanted, but the company is using both end-of-support dates to justify a clean break for Edge.

If you thought that Windows 7 had already stopped getting security updates, you’re not wrong. Most people stopped receiving general-purpose security updates for Windows 7 back in 2020, around a decade after its original release. But because Windows 7 was so popular with businesses, Microsoft took the unusual step of offering three additional years of optional, paid update support for the operating system. Those updates are ending now, too; a similar program is not being offered for the significantly less popular Windows 8, which is just past its 10-year anniversary.

Edge will continue to run on Windows 11 and the later releases of Windows 10, as well as supported versions of macOS, Linux, iOS, and Android.

Ars Technica
  0 Replies | 1,213 Views

Intel Launches 'World's Fastest Mobile Processor' With 24 Cores

Jan 05, 2023 - 10:41 AM - by Reverend
Intel has announced the launch of its 13th-generation processor lineup, which is headlined by the flagship Intel Core i9-13980HX, a 24-core 5.6GHz laptop chip that Intel says is the "world's fastest mobile processor" in terms of clock speed.

Apple no longer uses Intel chips in its Macs, with the exception of the Mac mini and the yet-to-be-updated Mac Pro with Intel Xeon chips, but Intel is now a direct competitor, supplying processors that compete with Apple's own M-series Apple silicon chips.

Intel claims that the 5.6GHz turbo boost clock speed of the new Core i9 chip is the fastest mobile processor as of December 2022, with 11 percent faster single-thread performance and 49 percent faster multitask performance over the prior-generation Intel Core i9-12900HK chip. The Intel Core i9-13980HX features eight performance cores, 16 efficient cores, and 32 threads, along with support for up to 128GB RAM.

The prior-generation chip outperforms everything but the M1 Ultra on multi-core Geekbench benchmarking tests (barely beating out the M1 Max), but it cannot compare when it comes to power efficiency as Apple silicon chips consume much less energy. The new Intel Core i9-13980HX from Intel will likely be faster than current Apple silicon chips, but designed for performance-focused power-hungry laptops that do not directly compete with Apple's Mac lineup.

It is worth noting that Intel has long offered faster turbo boost clock speeds than Apple silicon chips, as the M2 reaches just 3.5GHz. Intel last year made the same "fastest mobile processor" claims for the Intel Core i9-12900HK, comparing it to the *M1 Max*, but it did get beat by the *M1 Ultra* that Apple debuted later in the year. Apple is working on *M2* Pro, Max, and Ultra chips that could better compete with the 2022 Intel Core i9-13980HX.

Intel also announced the launch of a suite of more efficient 13th-generation P-series and U-series chips with up to 14 cores that will be available for thinner, lighter laptops.

  0 Replies | 1,091 Views

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