Western Digital closes factory due to declining demand for consumer HDDs

Western Digital will close a hard disk drive factory in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia. The closure comes in response to the declining demand for consumers HDDs. The factory, that is located close to Malaysia's capital Kuala Lumpur, should cease operation by the end of 2019. However, by that time a second SSD factory in Penang, Malaysia should have become operational.

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Intel and Micron to end joint development of 3D Xpoint memory by 2019

Intel and Micron today announced they will stop working together on the production of 3D Xpoint memory after the second half of 2019. Until then, both companies will continue to work together on the development of the second generation of 3D Xpoint technology. 

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Arusoft releases DeUHD 1.0.3.3, speeds up opening of new discs

Arusoft today released version 1.0.3.3 of its Ultra HD Blu-ray (UHD BD) ripping software, DeUHD. This version adds a new decryption method that speeds up the process of opening new discs  and this version also solves an AACS 2.1 decryption problem.

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Data on 440 million phone calls stolen from spyware developer

SpyHuman, a company from India that develops commercial Android spyware, has been hacked. During the hack, millions of phone calls and the content of intercepted SMS messages were stolen. SpyHuman sells an "Android Monitoring Solution" that can be used to track employees and children.

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Samsung starts mass production of 5th generation 96-layer V-NAND

Samsung has announced it started mass production of its fifth generation V-NAND. The chips are only available in a capacity of 256 gigabit (32 GB). Samsung claims that its latest generation V-NAND chips are up to 40% faster than the previous generation.

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VideoLAN patches vulnerability related to playing Adobe Flash (.SWF) files

The developers of the popular open source VLC player warn for a vulnerability in their software that makes it possible for an attacker to execute malicious code with user account privileges. To become a victim of such an attack, a malicious Adobe Flash file has to be opened with VLC.

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Windows Defender receives signatures updates on Windows 7 again, after 3 week pause

Windows Defender on Windows 7 has not received signature updates for the last three weeks. For a yet unknown reason, Microsoft didn't update the signatures of the built-in anti-malware application the last 21 days. 

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Seagate announces BarraCuda SATA consumer SSDs

Seagate has released a new line of 2.5" SATA SSDs that will be sold under the BarraCuda name. The BarraCuda drives will be available in capacities of 250GB, 500GB, 1TB and 2TB. Seagate will first sell the drives exclusively through Amazon Prime, in September of this year they should become available for everyone.

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Arusoft releases DeUHD 1.0.3.2 with new installation setting

Arusoft has released version 1.0.3.2 of its Ultra HD Blu-ray (UHD BD) ripping software, DeUHD. This version adds the ability to choose whether to install a DeUHD drive during installation. And, as usual, the new version adds support for several new UHD BD discs and different versions of already supported titles.

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Apple users pay up to 30% too much for online music streaming services

Users who subscribe to online music streaming services from an iPhone or iPad app, pay up to 30% more than users on other platforms. Existing subscribers can save money by canceling the in-app purchased subscription.

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Microsoft to provide users more details on what they share with Windows 10 error reports

Windows 10 will provide users more details on what they share with Microsoft when they submit an error report. The new feature will be part of the Diagnostic Data Viewer, a tool that allows users to view what kind of diagnostic data Microsoft collects about their system to identify and solve crashes and other disruptions.

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Malwarebytes report: Adware and crypto miners biggest threats for businesses and consumers

Adware and crypto miners were the biggest threats in the second quarter of this year, according to anti-malware vendor MalwareBytes.

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Android malware tries to infect Windows PCs through images folder

Security researchers from the Chinese antivirus vendor Qihoo 360 have discovered Android malware that tries to infect Windows computers. The Android malware pretends to be WhatsApp or Telegram and is distributed through .APK file downloads, not through Google's Play Store. 

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Dutch anti-piracy organization develops software to catch larger amount of pirates

Dutch movie and music pirates will soon risk a higher chance to get caught for copyright infringement. Dutch anti-piracy organisation 'Stichting Brein' will no longer only focus on the initial uploader, it will also start to target frequent seeders. The organisation has developed special software to find such users.

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Microsoft fixes 2 year old bug in Windows 10 calculator

It took Microsoft two years before it fixed bug in the calculator built-in to Windows 10. The calculator in Microsoft's latest operating system provided incorrect results with rounding errors for the square root of a perfect square.

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Ghostery starts to show advertisements in the browser

Anti-tracking browser extension Ghostery has started to show advertisements in the browser. Ghostery calls the advertisements 'Ghostery Rewards' and promises that the privacy of users is maintained. The advertisements are provided by its sister company MyOffrz.

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Microsoft working on modernizing Windows 10 user interface

Microsoft is working on modernizing the graphical user interface (GUI) of Windows 10. The company calls its design language "Fluent Design". Where in the Windows 10 April 2018 Update the focus was on transparency, the next large Windows 10 update should bring more shadows to the GUI.

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Netflix to introduce Ultra tier and lower number of simultaneous streams for other plans

Netflix is considering an additional, more expensive, subscription tier that allows more users to stream Ultra HD video at the same time. Together with the introduction of the new tier, Netflix downgrades the number of simultaneous streams for the Premium and Standard plan. 

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Chinese court temporarily bans sales and production of Micron memory products

Micron is temporarily no longer allowed to sell and manufacture DRAM and NAND memory and related products in China. The American company lost a lawsuit in the Asian country from Taiwanese competitor United Microelectronics Corporation (UMC).

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WhatsApp adds feature that only allows admin to send messages in group chat

WhatsApp has introduced a new feature to group chats. When enabled, only admins are able to send messages to a group. This should be especially useful for groups where users can receive important announcements and information, including parents and teachers at schools, community centers, and non-profit organizations, according to Whatsapp.

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All recent Android devices affected by critical and unpatched RAMpage vulnerability

Nearly all Android devices sold since 2012, are vulnerable to a new attack called RAMpage. The attack is a variant on the infamous Rowhammer attack and makes it possible for a malicious app to get full control over the device, without requiring any permissions.

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SD Association announces standards that allows for 985 MB/s transfers and up to 128TB in capacity

The SD Association today announced the SD 7.0 specification which introduces SD Express and SD Ultra Capacity (SDUC). Products utilizing the new SD Express standard can make use of the PCIe interface and the NVMe protocol and should be able to achieve throughputs of up to 985 MB/s. SDUC allows for storage capacities of up to 128 Terabyte.

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New Skype desktop app adds video calls in HD and video recording

Microsoft has released a new desktop app for Skype, its chat and video call application. With the new app, that is available for Windows, Mac and Linux, users can participate and record video calls with up to 24 users in HD.

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Senators want FTC to investigate smart TV privacy policies

Two American senators have called for the American FTC to investigate smart TV privacy policies. According to senators Blumenthal and Markey, smart TVs have ushered a new era of innovation and interaction, but the technological advancement should not come at the expense of privacy.

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After decades of hardly any changes, Microsoft is adding several new features to Notepad

Windows 10 will get an updated version of Notepad, the basic text editor that comes with Windows by default since Windows 1.0. The new version allows users to zoom text in Notepad, has an improved search and replace feature and supports wrapping of words. The new version is probably the biggest update ever to Notepad.

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WhatsApp bug causes multi-gigabyte uploads on cellular network

A bug in the backup function of WhatsApp has caused a huge increase in cellular data usage for some users. The backup bug caused WhatsApp to upload huge amounts of data to the cloud, unfortunately in some case also when only a mobile network was available.

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Microsoft to launch Surface 3 successor and iPad competitor on the 13th of July (updated)

Till now, there was no successor to the relative cheap 2-in-1 laptop/tablet Surface 3 from Microsoft, that was first introduced in 2015. However, that might change this year with the introduction of a device that is for now called the Surface Lite. This should be a tablet with a 10-inch display of which the cheaper models should cost around $400.

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Report: Majority of Americans still buys DVDs and Blu-ray discs

The vast majority of Americans who consume video content, still purchases and rents physical discs. From the consumers who both purchased physical and digital video content, 86% continued to purchase DVD and Blu-ray discs.

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Secret always-on, mailbox activity recording system, discovered in Office 365

Office 365 allows administrators to read a hidden activity log of email users. The feature is enabled by default. There were rumors the feature would exist but it was secret until now. It allows Office 365 administrators to exactly see what actions an individual user performed in their email account for the last six months.

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Windows 10 not vulnerable to recent zero-day exploit thanks to platform hardening and exploit mitigations

Windows 10 is not vulnerable to two zero-day exploits that were discovered in a test PDF document uploaded to VirusTotal by a cybercriminal at the end of March this year. Microsoft also hasn't detected any attacks that exploit the known vulnerabilities in Windows and Adobe Acrobat Reader, the company writes on a blog on its website.

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Scary database containing up to 400 personal characteristics of 230 million Americans leaked

A database with 340 million unique records of American marketing and data aggregation company Exactis have been leaked. The database contains records with information on millions of Americans including their email address, home address, age, interests and habits, and even the age and gender of their children. 

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Popular quiz app on Facebook made personal data of 120 million users publicly available

A Belgian security researcher has discovered that personal data of more than 120 million Facebook users worldwide was publicly accessible to third parties. The data was collected by a quiz app called Nametests that is developed by the German company Social Sweethearts. The leak existed for several years and data remained accessible even when the app was uninstalled.

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Consumer organization: Tech companies show deceptive privacy screens

Privacy setting screens that Facebook, Google and Microsoft provide to users are misleading, according to research from the Norwegian consumer organization Forbrukerradet. The settings they show are not actually helpful and come at the expense of the user's privacy.

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