Archive for October 12, 2018

Details Of What Hackers Accessed From The Latest Pwnage Of Facebook Are Out…. You Should Really Join Team #DeleteFacebook

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 12, 2018 by itnerd

Two weeks ago the news hit that Facebook had been pwned (again) by hackers. Today we have good idea of what they accessed. But first, a quick reminder of how the hackers got in. Hackers took advantage of a security flaw in Facebook’s “View As” code, which is a feature designed to let people see what their profile looks like to someone else. The Facebook access tokens that hackers were able to obtain by doing that are basically digital keys that allow people to stay logged in to Facebook. With that out of the way, here’s what the hackers had access to:

  • Hackers used a set of accounts that they controlled that were connected to Facebook friends. An automated technique was used to move from account to account, allowing them to collect access tokens in September 2018.
  • Hackers were able to obtain timeline posts, friend lists, groups, and the names of recent Messenger conversations from an initial 400,000 people. People in this group who were Page admins of a Page that had received a message from someone on Facebook had the content of their messages stolen.
  • After stealing data from the 400,000 people attacked first, Facebook used their friends list to steal access tokens for approximately 30 million people.
  • For 15 million people, attackers were able to access name and contact details that include phone number and email address.
  • For 14 million people, hackers were able to access the same information as well as other data that includes username, gender, location, relationship status, religion, hometown, current city, birthdate, device types used to access Facebook, education, work, the last 10 places where they checked in, websites, people, Pages they follow, and 15 most recent searches.
  • An additional 1 million people had their access tokens stolen but no information was obtained.

Translation: This is not trivial in the least.

People can find out whether or not they were affected through the Facebook Help Center. And they’re going to get emails that will tell them what was accessed in their specific cases.

There’s one more thing of interest. Apparently the FBI is investigating and Facebook has been ordered not to speak about who might have been behind the hack. That sounds curious. No?

If this is not enough to have you the #DeleteFacebook camp, nothing is going to. Because clearly Facebook can’t be trusted to keep your data safe.

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ASUS Launches Intel Z390 Series Motherboards

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 12, 2018 by itnerd

Almost exactly one year after introducing six-core Coffee Lake processors alongside Z370 motherboards, Intel is back with more cores, higher clocks and the new Z390 chipset. The new 9th Generation Intel Core processor family offers up to eight cores and 16 threads of parallel processing horsepower that’s perfect for content creation, heavy multitasking, and other demanding workloads. With clock speeds as high as 5GHz on the flagship Core i9-9900K, these new processors also raise the bar for gaming performance, especially if you’re streaming, recording, and chatting simultaneously.

ASUS is excited to support this new generation of Intel processors with a wide variety of new motherboards based on the Intel Z390 chipset. The collection is led by a diverse cast from the Republic of Gamers that elevates gaming and overclocking to new heights. ROG Strix offers more streamlined alternatives that include a mighty Mini-ITX model, while TUF Gaming focuses on the essentials to hit more affordable price points. Outside the gaming sphere, the Prime family serves up signature ASUS features in a professional package, and the WS sets the stage for serious workstations and prosumer builds.

There’s an ROG or ASUS Z390 motherboard for everyone, whether you’re a seasoned veteran who tunes to perfection, a hardcore gamer obsessed with performance, or a first-time builder seeking a seamless PC experience.  For further details about our ROG lineup please visit ASUS ROG. The buying guide with complete specifications and images for the entire lineup of Z390 motherboards is located at Edge Up ASUS.

Automated intelligence optimizes performance

The latest 9th Generation Intel Core processor family arrives with a trio of unlocked processors ripe for overclocking, and our motherboards have learned new tricks for tapping into their potential. ASUS AI Overclocking makes automatic tuning faster and smarter than ever before. Available in Windows or directly through the UEFI, it profiles the CPU and cooling to predict the optimal configuration for each individual system. We created a proprietary algorithm that rates the quality of the silicon to see where your chip lands on the spectrum. The onboard intelligence also watches system vitals like temperatures, fan speeds, and power draw to evaluate cooling performance. Dedicated hardware makes the monitoring seamless, and you can allow continuous training that adapts to upgrades, seasonal ambient temperature changes, and dust buildup over time.

AI Overclocking is available on the Prime Z390-A, WS Z390-PRO, and all ROG models except for the Strix Z390-H Gaming. It’s not the only automated solution, either. Our newest 5-Way Optimization software offers an alternate approach to one-click tuning that simulates a human overclocker by increasing clock speeds, tweaking voltages, and testing stability before pursuing higher frequencies. This technique gets the CPU extremely close to the maximum speed that can be attained with manual tuning, and connected fans can also be calibrated as part of the process. TUF Gaming and lower-end ROG Strix and Prime models that lack 5-Way still have OC Tuner, which uses predefined profiles to hit higher speeds at the touch of a button. Auto-tuners are perfect for fresh recruits who are new to overclocking, and they provide experts an easy way to quickly assess a system before proceeding with manual tuning.

Memory tweaks increase speed and improve stability

Memory frequencies continue to climb, and our Z390 motherboards have evolved to keep pace. They feature OptiMem II, which reimagines memory traces from the ground up—literally. OptiMem II adds a dedicated ground plane and surrounding ground trace with via stitching to reduce interference for the traces connecting the CPU and memory slots. It also routes traces through different PC layers to cut down on crosstalk. These changes combine with our T-Topology trace layout to enable DDR4 speeds in excess of 4266MHz with all slots populated, even if you’re using RGB-infused RAM.

Memory is often to blame if systems fail to boot, so years ago we developed a MemOK! feature that rolls back to safe defaults and adjusts memory parameters to get the system to POST. This failsafe usually has to be activated by pressing a button on the board, but MemOK! II adopts a toggle-based switch that lets you turn it on once. When a memory-related POST problem is detected, MemOK! II automatically applies multiple profiles to bring your system to life.

Smarter cooling for both liquid and air

The higher power consumption and heat output that comes with additional CPU cores makes liquid cooling a requirement for serious overclocking, so all of our Z390 motherboards have one AIO pump header preconfigured for the all-in-one liquid coolers seen in most custom builds. Models in the middle of the range and up include another header for the stand-alone pumps used in custom loops, and ROG goes even further with dedicated sensors for monitoring coolant temperatures and flow rate.

Fan Xpert 4 manages complete system cooling capable of adapting to any workload. System fans plugged into the motherboard are typically limited to reacting to changes in the CPU or motherboard temperature, which isn’t ideal for gaming and other workloads that heat up the graphics card more than other components. With Fan Xpert 4, the motherboard can react to changes in the GPU temperature on select graphics cards to provide smarter system cooling for a broader range of scenarios.

Let your Aura Sync shine

RGB lighting has revolutionized how people personalize their PCs, and Aura Sync is the most complete implementation on the market. It synchronizes colours and effects across a diverse cast of system components and peripherals from ASUS and our partners, enabling cohesive illumination for your entire battlestation with just a few clicks. Developers can also use the Aura SDK to harness the lighting with their own software; for example, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 has special Aura effects that enhance immersion by reacting to in-game events and environments.

Extensive connectivity inside and out

At least two M.2 slots are available across our Z390 lineup, which gives you the flexibility to run dual NVMe SSDs without connecting any cables. Alternatively, you can install a primary SSD and use the second slot for Intel Optane Memory that accelerates access to a much larger hard drive. More of our boards are equipped with accompanying M.2 heatsinks to reduce SSD temperatures and ward off thermal throttling with sustained transfers.

The ROG Maximus XI Extreme and Gene support up to four M.2 drives, half of which are sandwiched between new heatsinks on our latest DIMM.2 module. DIMM.2 takes advantage of the Z390 platform’s support for SSD RAID arrays attached to the CPU, which avoids the DMI bottleneck between the processor and chipset.

Intel Gigabit WiFi is available on select of ROG, Strix, and TUF Gaming models. The 802.11ac Wave 2 solution connects directly to the chipset via Intel’s CNVi interface. It supports 2×2 MU-MIMO and can push throughput well past 1Gbps on compatible routers like the ROG Rapture GT-AC5300. We use reliable Intel Gigabit Ethernet controllers on virtually every board in the Z390 series, and the ROG Maximus XI Extreme and Formula take networking to the next level by adding Aquantia controllers capable of reaching 5Gbps.

All-new for this generation, the ASUS Node header allows monitoring and control via other devices connected to ROG, Strix Z390-E, Strix Z390-F, and Prime-A boards. Multiple devices can connect simultaneously, opening up interesting possibilities for DIY gear.

Subtle details

Several new board enhancements extend across the lineup, like overvoltage and ESD protection that help protect the boards from electrical damage. The VRMs are all digital, right down to the entry-level Prime models, and the PCIe slots are secured with extra solder to hold tightly under the strain of heavy graphics cards. Further SafeSlot reinforcement strengthens the walls and anchoring hook starting in the TUF Gaming series, where there’s a greater chance of running a monster GPU cooler, and pre-mounted I/O shields simplify installation on ROG and Strix motherboards.

More refinement is found inside the UEFI, which offers a streamlined interface for beginners and an advanced mode with more options for experts. Integrated search functionality makes it easy to find the setting you’re seeking within seconds, and any changes are summarized before you exit or save, so you can quickly double-check before pulling the trigger. Anyone can update the latest UEFI with the firmware’s integrated EZ Flash 3 tool, which automatically downloads and installs the right BIOS for your board.

Driver discs are rarely used, so our Q-Installer software lets you download all of the latest drivers and utilities for your board with a single click, or select only the ones you want. Our new Armoury Crate utility combines useful functions for multiple ASUS products in a single UWP app. Introduced this summer with new ROG laptops, Armoury Crate is expanding into Z390 motherboards and other components.

ROG raises the bar for Z390 motherboards

Since its inception way back in 2006, the Republic of Gamers has set the standard for gaming and enthusiast motherboards. We created the category, and with each new generation our designers and engineers refine the formula in pursuit of faster performance, more customization, and a better overall gaming experience.

For Z390, the Maximus XI series embraces the dark side with blacked-out boards in multiple sizes and variations. It leads with the unparalleled Maximus XI Extreme for dream builds, which is followed by armour-clad near twins in Maximus XI Formula and Code. The Maximus XI Gene rethinks our approach to microATX, and the Maximus XI Hero strikes the right balance in three different flavors.

Democratizing the republic with ROG Strix

ROG Strix fills the space below the Maximus series with more affordable options that retain the look and feel people have come to expect from the Republic of Gamers. These models keep must-have features for gaming and overclocking but are not as extreme as their ROG siblings. In the Z390 series, the Mini-ITX Strix Z390-I Gaming is joined by three full-sized ATX boards: the Strix Z390-E, Z390-F, and Z390-H Gaming.

Build a true battlestation with TUF Gaming

TUF offers a new direction for gaming hardware that combines builder-friendly features with battlestation-ready themes. Its unique aesthetic and focus on reliability and gaming essentials are shared by a growing collection of additional hardware we developed in-house, plus contributions from a broader TUF Gaming Alliance made up of industry titans that produce compatible parts. You can already buy matching memory, coolers, and power supplies along with a TUF Gaming case, and additional hardware is on the way.

The TUF Gaming Z390 series spreads across five different models that are ultimately very similar. You can choose between the TUF Z390-PRO Gaming and Z390-PLUS Gaming for ATX along with the TUF Z390M-PRO Gaming for microATX, with WiFi-equipped versions thrown in for good measure.

WS and Prime do more than just gaming

The recent resurgence of PC gaming is partly responsible for the litany of gaming boards in our lineup, but desktops can do a lot more, especially with eight CPU cores at their disposal. Our WS and Prime motherboards are more businesslike in their approach, with an eye toward professionals and prosumers building powerful machines geared more for productivity instead of play. They also appeal to enthusiasts and even gamers who want many of the same features with an entirely different look.

The WS Z390 PRO loads up on expansion capacity for Coffee Lake workstations, while the Prime Z390-A hits the sweet spot ASUS aficionados expect with each new generation. Basic builds can get by with the Prime Z390-P and Z390M-PLUS.

AVAILABILITY & PRICING

The Z390 series motherboards are available from October 8, 2018 in Canada from select retailers. Please contact your local ASUS representative for further information.

For further information, product images and specifics on the ROG, ROG Strix, Prime, WS and TUF Gaming motherboards, please check the our buyer’s guide at Edge Up ASUS.

ASUS Republic of Gamers Announces Strix GL12CX

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 12, 2018 by itnerd

ASUS Republic of Gamers (ROG) has announced Strix GL12CX, a full-featured factory-overclocked and liquid-cooled gaming desktop featuring up to the latest eight-core 9th Generation Intel Core i9-9900K processor and NVIDIA GeForce RTX graphics. The 9th Gen Intel Core processor is fully unlocked for further fine-tuning via the ROG Armoury Crate software, which also lets users customize the Aura Sync lighting inside and out. To complement the hot-swap SSD bay demanded by esports tournaments, there’s an innovative DIMM.2 module that can hold dual SSDs cooled by dedicated heatsinks. With cutting-edge components and extensive connectivity housed in an easily upgradeable design, Strix GL12CX offers a jaw-dropping gaming experience today with room to grow into tomorrow.

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Locked and loaded with the latest processor and liquid cooling

Strix GL12CX is built with the most powerful components available, starting with the best processor for gaming: the new 9th Gen Intel Core i9-9900K processor. With 8 cores and 16 threads, the new Intel processor is capable of delivering high-frame-rate gaming while simultaneously live-streaming, recording gameplay, and juggling chat and other applications. It’s also ideal for creative professionals, delivering incredible performance in multithreaded workloads such as rendering, transcoding, and other tasks.

Only the best processors make it into Strix GL12CX. Each processor is subjected to a series of stress tests to ensure the high factory overclock. A custom Cooler Master CPU liquid cooler, along with an extra 90mm fan at the back on the overclocked models then help to keep processor temperatures in check, preventing heat-induced hitches and slowdowns in performance, all while operating at a stunning 4.9GHz overclock on all cores and threads.

The fastest processor for gaming finds its GPU counterpart in NVIDIA’s latest and greatest Turing architecture. Known as the GeForce RTX series, Turing mixes CUDA cores for traditional rasterization with RT cores for ray-traced effects and Tensor cores that accelerate noise removal through Deep Learning Super Sampling.

Innovative lighting and storage

Strix GL12CX has sharp angles on the front and top of the case, evoking the gashes on a katana on armor. The included Armoury Crate software allows for the customization of the RGB lighting that spills out of the intake and exhaust vents. ASUS Aura Sync technology also allows users to synchronize the system lighting with compatible peripherals such as mice, keyboards, and even monitors. The Aura Sync lighting can also reach to in-game events and environments in compatible games such as the new Call of Duty: Black Ops 4.

Strix GL12CX has a hot-swap SSD bay — developed for esports gaming — that’s hidden behind the case’s magnetic front cover, allowing for quick swapping in of profiles and games without needing to shut down the system to install a new drive with the required tools. The hot-swap bay also greatly simplifies storage upgrades for all users. Finally, Strix GL12CX includes the innovative ASUS DIMM.2 module that slots into the system’s new Z390 motherboard. This expansion card uses a memory-style slot to provide two M.2 connections for SSDs. Since heat can slow down the performance, the DIMM.2 module has integrated heatsinks for each SSD. These two additional connections allow for dual NVMe drives and RAID configurations, or one can be used for expansion while the other can be used for Intel Optanememory to accelerate a large hard-disk drive (HDD).

Extensive connectivity

Strix GL12CX was designed with extensive connectivity to support all gamers’ gear and needs. In addition to the front hot-swap SSD bay, other front panel ports include a 2-in-1 card reader, two USB 3.1 and two USB 2.0 ports. Strix GL12CX also features an optical disk drive to serve any legacy DVD needs. The back offers a total of six USB ports along with five audio jacks and a digital S/PDIF connector for compatible receivers. The 802.11ac Wave 2 Wi-Fi card is capable of greater-than-gigabit speeds and also includes Bluetooth 5.0 to connect to all the latest peripherals in supported low-energy modes, output to more than once device at a time and makes connections at greater distance and with greater throughput than before.

To find out more about Strix GL12CX, check out this ASUS ROG post.

AVAILABILITY & PRICING

ASUS ROG Strix GL12CX is immediately available for pre-order with availability in November.

ASUS Gets Several Good Design Awards Wins

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 12, 2018 by itnerd

ASUS has announced that nine of its products have won several prestigious Good Design Awards in recognition of excellence in design and engineering.

The awards highlight the continued ASUS commitment to quality design and innovation. The winning products showcase the In Search of Incredible brand promise, which pursues perfection in all areas with the ultimate goal of delivering an incredible consumer experience and empowering luxury for everyone.

The Good Design Award is organized by the Japan Institute of Design Promotion (JDP) and is now in its 61st year. It is one of the four major design awards recognized by the International Design Alliance. This year, JDP received over 4,789 entries from around the world. More information can be found at: www.g-mark.org/about/.

 

Good Design Award 2018 winners

ASUS ZenBeam S2

ASUS ZenBeam S2 LED Projector is the second generation of mobile S series of projectors, featuring a lightweight 497g design, 350 lumen maximum brightness, 720p resolution, 2D keystone adjustment and autofocus. Simple yet powerful, ZenBeam S2 delivers what users care about most: high mobility, easy setup and an intuitive interface.

ZenBeam S2 has a built-in 6000mAh battery that provides up to four hours of continuous projection and acts as a portable power source. With DLP technology, it projects a vivid 80-inch image at a distance of two meters. ZenBeam S2 offers a comprehensive set of connectivity features that can project content from various input sources via USB-C, HDMI or devices with wireless mirroring connectivity. SonicMaster technology provides excellent sound quality to accompany the projection images.

 

ASUS Gimbal G3M-B1

ASUS G3M-B1 is the first foldable gimbal stabilizer for smartphones that lets users capture smooth, professional-quality video of their precious moments anytime, anywhere. With 3-axis stabilization technology, 360-degree horizontal pan and intuitive operation via integrated buttons or the companion smartphone app, ASUS Gimbal G3M-B1 provides exceptional control and ease of use. Its ultraportable, compact form factor and minimalist design offer the perfect combination of features, aesthetics and mobility for users who want to capture the best-quality video with their smartphone.

 

ASUS VG49V

ASUS VG49V is an impressive 49-inch Dual Full HD gaming monitor. The monitor’s VA panel stretches a super-ultra-wide 32:9 aspect ratio over an 1800R curve that brings the far edges closer for a more immersive experience. The 3840 x 1080 resolution is exactly twice as wide as 1080p, which is why it’s dubbed Double Full HD or DFHD. Users get double the horizontal space of a Full HD monitor, which is tons of width to expand games deep into their periphery and view multiple open windows and tabs.

ASUS VG49V also features the exclusive GamePlus hotkey for in-game enhancements and GameVisual for optimized visuals. TÜV Rheinland Certification provides flicker-free performance, and Low Blue Light technology ensures a comfortable viewing experience during extended viewing sessions.

 

ASUS ProArt PQ22UC

ProArt PQ22UC is the world’s first 21.6-inch OLED 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) monitor with 204ppi pixel density and HDR support. Top-of-the-line OLED technology with pure RGB stripes ensures color purity and allows ProArt PQ22UC to deliver extremely high color saturation with 99% DCI-P3 coverage for greater color accuracy. ProArt PQ22UC also features true 10-bit color depth, achieving a contrast ratio of 1,000,000:1 for darker blacks and brighter whites. With a fastest response time of 0.1ms, ProArt PQ22UC provides a smoother experience without any motion blur for outstanding performance when showing animations or other moving content. And with HDR support, ProArt PQ22UC ensures HDR content can be created and displayed with consistent high quality, providing an unprecedented viewing experience.

 

ASUS ProArt PA34VC

ASUS ProArt PA34VC is a 34-inch curved IPS monitor with UWQHD (3440 x 1440) resolution and a 21:9 aspect ratio designed for creative professionals, gamers and home entertainment. It features excellent color accuracy and fluid visuals with support for Adaptive Sync and refresh rates up to 100Hz. ASUS calibrates each monitor before it ships to guarantee a Delta-E color difference of less than 2. Users can further adjust the calibration if they desire, and ASUS ProArt Calibration Technology lets users save color profiles directly to the monitor itself instead of relying on their PC.

To connect to multiple input sources, ProArt PA34VC comes with DisplayPort 1.2, a pair of HDMI, and three USB 3.0 ports. Two Thunderbolt™ 3 ports including daisy-chain capability with USB-C™ connectors provide additional flexibility with power delivery and up to 40Gbps transfer speeds for plenty of throughput to work with content on external storage devices.

 

ASUS Mini PC PB Series

ASUS Mini PC PB Series features up to desktop-grade CPU performance in a compact size. Available with Intel®Core™ T Series, Pentium®Gold or Celeron®processors and fanless designs, the ASUS MiniPC PB Series can fulfill a wide range of needs for performance, efficiency and silent operation. A slim and extensible design with optional stackable modules for optical disk drives and other components make the ASUS Mini PC PB Series perfect for a wide range of business uses. The PCs can be operated in horizontal or vertical orientation and can be mounted on the rear of a display for maximum flexibility for business scenarios. An easy-access, slide-open chassis enables users to perform quick and easy component upgrades, and flexible I/O ports enable various connectivity options for different needs.

 

ASUS Mini PC PN Series

ASUS Mini PC PN Series, powered by Intel Core, Pentium Silver or Celeron processors, is line of mini PCs featuring a compact form factor with a volume of only 0.62 liters and a sliding chassis design for easy component upgrades. This new design enables users to quickly swap storage — the HDD or M.2 SSD — and memory in two simple steps with just a screwdriver. ASUS Mini PC PN Series also offers flexible I/O ports that provide connectivity to fit a wide range of applications. Its compact size and ability to be attached to the back of a monitor with a VESA mount make ASUS Mini PC PN Series an ideal fit for any living room or workspace.

 

ASUS ZenBook S

ZenBook S (UX391) is a premium 13.3-inch ultraportable Windows 10 notebook that not only delivers effortless portability, powerful performance and no-compromise connectivity for discerning on-the-go users, but also is tested to meet military-grade MIL-STD-810G durability standards. With an ultrathin 12.9mm profile and ultralight 1kg all-metal unibody, the sophisticated ZenBook S is finished in prestigious Deep Dive Blue or elegant Burgundy Red with Rose Gold diamond-cut edges, complete with the iconic Zen-inspired spun-metal finish for a luxurious look and feel.

ZenBook S incorporates the innovative new ErgoLift hinge that automatically tilts the keyboard by 5.5’ for the ultimate typing comfort. The raised chassis also improves airflow and enhances audio performance. Powered by 8th Generation Intel Core processors and a superfast PCIe®x4 SSD, ZenBook S also features up to a 4K UHD NanoEdge touchscreen and delivers up to 13.5 hours battery life for all-day performance. For ultrafast connectivity, two of the three USB-C ports support Thunderbolt™ 3 technology. ZenBook S features Amazon Alexa support for easy voice-controlled assistance.

 

ASUS ZenFone 5 Series

The ZenFone 5 (ZE620KL) and 5Z (ZS620KL) share the same chassis and external components, giving them an identical appearance. The fundamental difference between the two models are the System-on-a-Chip (SoC) processors they bear: The ZenFone 5 is the first globally-announced smartphone to use the Qualcomm®Snapdragon™ 636 Mobile Platform with its smooth, responsive, power-efficient performance and AI capabilities, while the ZenFone 5Z is one of the world’s first smartphones to use the elite Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 Mobile Platform with a full suite of AI-enhanced features powered by the Qualcomm Artificial Intelligence Engine (AIE). ZenFone 5 series are two exciting 6.2-inch dual-camera smartphones that are the first ever ZenFone to harness the power of artificial intelligence (AI). ZenFone 5 series revolutionize mobile photography, giving users a simpler, smarter way to capture and share every magic moment.

ZenFone 5 series have an intelligent dual-camera system that adapts and learns, delivering perfect photos every time. With its flagship Sony®IMX363 sensor, 120° wide-angle secondary camera and AI-enhanced camera features — including AI Scene Detection, real-time portrait effects, AI Photo Learning and real-time beautification — ZenFone 5 series encourage creativity and free users to concentrate on their subjects rather than the cameras.

Crafted to perfection with premium materials, ZenFone 5 series have strikingly beautiful ultraslim-bezels, all-screen designs, featuring stunning 6.2-inch displays with a 90% screen-to-body ratio in glass-covered bodies that are as small and compact as most standard 5.5-inch phones.