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  Technical Updates (Archive) [Page: 7 of 1491]  

03.11.2014 - MS14-012 - Critical : Cumulative Security Update for Internet Explorer (2925418) - Version: 1.0



View Microsoft related news. Severity Rating: Critical
Revision Note: V1.0 (March 11, 2014): Bulletin published.
Summary: This security update resolves one publicly disclosed vulnerability and seventeen privately reported vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer. These vulnerabilities could allow remote code execution if a user views a specially crafted webpage using Internet Explorer. An attacker who successfully exploited these vulnerabilities could gain the same user rights as the current user. Users whose accounts are configured to have fewer user rights on the system could be less impacted than users who operate with administrative user rights.
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03.11.2014 - MS14-013 - Critical : Vulnerability in Microsoft DirectShow Could Allow Remote Code Execution (2929961) - Version: 1.0



View Microsoft related news. Severity Rating: Critical
Revision Note: V1.0 (March 11, 2014): Bulletin published.
Summary: This security update resolves a privately reported vulnerability in Microsoft Windows. The vulnerability could allow remote code execution if a user opens a specially crafted image file. An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could gain the same user rights as the current user. Users whose accounts are configured to have fewer user rights on the system could be less impacted than users who operate with administrative user rights.
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03.11.2014 - MS14-014 - Important : Vulnerability in Silverlight Could Allow Security Feature Bypass (2932677) - Version: 1.0



View Microsoft related news. Severity Rating: Important
Revision Note: V1.0 (March 11, 2014): Bulletin published.
Summary: This security update resolves a privately reported vulnerability in Microsoft Silverlight. The vulnerability could allow security feature bypass if an attacker hosts a website that contains specially crafted Silverlight content that is designed to exploit the vulnerability, and then convinces a user to view the website. In all cases, however, an attacker would have no way to force users to visit a website. Instead, an attacker would have to convince users to visit a website, typically by getting them to click a link in an email message or in an Instant Messenger message that takes them to the attacker's website. It could also be possible to display specially crafted web content by using banner advertisements or by using other methods to deliver web content to affected systems.
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03.11.2014 - MS14-015 - Important : Vulnerabilities in Windows Kernel-Mode Driver Could Allow Elevation of Privilege (2930275) - Version: 1.0



View Microsoft related news. Severity Rating: Important
Revision Note: V1.0 (March 11, 2014): Bulletin published.
Summary: This security update resolves one publicly disclosed vulnerability and one privately reported vulnerability in Microsoft Windows. The more severe of these vulnerabilities could allow elevation of privilege if an attacker logs on to the system and runs a specially crafted application. An attacker must have valid logon credentials and be able to log on locally to exploit these vulnerabilities.
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03.11.2014 - MS14-016 - Important : Vulnerability in Security Account Manager Remote (SAMR) Protocol Could Allow Security Feature Bypass (2934418) - Version: 1.0



View Microsoft related news. Severity Rating: Important
Revision Note: V1.0 (March 11, 2014): Bulletin published.
Summary: This security update resolves one privately reported vulnerability in Microsoft Windows. The vulnerability could allow security feature bypass if an attacker attempts to match passwords to a username.
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03.11.2014 - Trend Micro Virus Definitions - 10.657.50



View Trendmicro related news. The Official Pattern Release or OPR is Trend Micro's latest compilation of patterns for identified viruses. It is guaranteed to have passed a series of critical tests to ensure that customers get optimum protection from the latest virus threats.
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03.11.2014 - Panasonic Toughpad 4K Tablet Perfect For CAD And 3D Modeling



View RealWire related news. TOUGHPAD 4K UT-MA6, the high performance 20 inch 4K tablet from Panasonic promises to transform how engineers and designers workBRACKNELL, UK 11TH MARCH 2014The launch of Panasonic's performance version of TOUGHPAD 4K tablet designed specifically for high end applications promises to transform the way that engineers and designers work.BUILT FOR ENGINEERS AND DESIGNERS:The Panasonic Toughpad 4K UT-MA6 Performance model, a more powerful version of the standard model UT-MB5* launched in Sep 2013, has been designed... Source: RealWire
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03.10.2014 - PostgreSQL Database Appliance from Fujitsu



View PostgreSQL-Press related news.

Fujitsu has released a PostgreSQL based database appliance system, called HA Database Ready SX2. This appliance is capable of achieving up to 180,000 transactions per second, with AES based data encryption. HA Database Ready SX2 combines the Open Source PostgreSQL Database with advanced hardware configuration and Fujitsu's own Smart Software Technology, to deliver high performance and high reliability database systems that will help organizations to achieve high-speed batch processing and data consolidation.

More details can be found at: http://www.fujitsu.com/global/news/pr/archives/month/2014/20140228-02.html

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03.10.2014 - Trend Micro Virus Definitions - 10.655.50



View Trendmicro related news. The Official Pattern Release or OPR is Trend Micro's latest compilation of patterns for identified viruses. It is guaranteed to have passed a series of critical tests to ensure that customers get optimum protection from the latest virus threats.
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03.10.2014 - Juan optimization!



View Replify related news. All luggage went in the hold, no-one had to pay extra, there was no check-in procedure, security checkpoints etc. This is like a cheap LAN connection.
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03.10.2014 - alwaysON and Data Continuity Group announce merger to create a Data Protection & Communication Managed Services & Cloud Application business



View RealWire related news. 10 March 14 - alwaysON Group Limited and Data Continuity Group Limited ("DCG") announced today that they have reached agreement to merge creating an organisation with over £8.5M pa of IT managed services and cloud applications revenues.As part of the transaction Foresight Group VCT Funds is making a significant investment to accelerate product development and to strengthen the balance sheet of the combined Company, and is looking to support further acquisitions for the Group. Foresight... Source: RealWire
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03.10.2014 - AMD Wins Two Industry Awards for Excellence in Sales Operations



View AMD related news. AMD (NYSE: AMD) won two prestigious business awards at the 8th annual Stevie® Awards for Sales & Customer Service, announced¬† Feb. 21, 2014.¬† The AMD Customer Group was named the Gold Stevie winner for
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03.10.2014 - Trend Micro Virus Definitions - 10.653.50



View Trendmicro related news. The Official Pattern Release or OPR is Trend Micro's latest compilation of patterns for identified viruses. It is guaranteed to have passed a series of critical tests to ensure that customers get optimum protection from the latest virus threats.
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03.09.2014 - Trend Micro Virus Definitions - 10.651.50



View Trendmicro related news. The Official Pattern Release or OPR is Trend Micro's latest compilation of patterns for identified viruses. It is guaranteed to have passed a series of critical tests to ensure that customers get optimum protection from the latest virus threats.
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03.08.2014 - Trend Micro Virus Definitions - 10.649.50



View Trendmicro related news. The Official Pattern Release or OPR is Trend Micro's latest compilation of patterns for identified viruses. It is guaranteed to have passed a series of critical tests to ensure that customers get optimum protection from the latest virus threats.
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03.07.2014 - Trend Micro Virus Definitions - 10.647.50



View Trendmicro related news. The Official Pattern Release or OPR is Trend Micro's latest compilation of patterns for identified viruses. It is guaranteed to have passed a series of critical tests to ensure that customers get optimum protection from the latest virus threats.
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03.06.2014 - PHP 5.5.10 released



View PHP related news. The PHP development team announces the immediate availability of PHP 5.5.10. Several bugs were fixed in this release, including security issues related to CVEs. CVE-2014-1943, CVE-2014-2270 and CVE-2013-7327 have been addressed in this release. We recommand all PHP 5.5 users to upgrade to this version. For source downloads of PHP 5.5.10 please visit our downloads page, Windows binaries can be found on windows.php.net/download/. The list of changes is recorded in the ChangeLog.
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03.06.2014 - PHP 5.6.0alpha3 released



View PHP related news. The PHP development team announces the immediate availability of PHP 5.6.0alpha3. This release adds new features and fixes bugs. All users of PHP are encouraged to test this version carefully, and report any bugs in the bug tracking system. THIS IS A DEVELOPMENT PREVIEW - DO NOT USE IT IN PRODUCTION! PHP 5.6.0alpha3 comes with a number of new features, including: A new magic method called __debugInfo() for providing additional debug information for an objectA new config option called clear_env for the FPM SAPIA new function called opcache_is_script_cached()Support for the Windows CA cert store for peer verification when no CA file is availableVarious other ssl related improvements in the curl and openssl extensionsFor more information about the new features you can check out the work-in-progress documentation or you can read the full list of changes in the NEWS file contained in the release archive. For source downloads of PHP 5.6.0alpha3 please visit the download page. Windows binaries can be found on windows.php.net/qa/. Hopefully this was our last alpha for 5.6.0, and our first beta should show up on the 20th of March, which will mark the start of the feature freeze for this version. Thank you for helping us make PHP better.
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03.06.2014 - PHP 5.4.26 Released



View PHP related news. The PHP development team announces the immediate availability of PHP 5.4.26. 5 bugs were fixed in this release, including CVE-2014-1943. All PHP 5.4 users are encouraged to upgrade to this version. For source downloads of PHP 5.4.26 please visit our downloads page, Windows binaries can be found on windows.php.net/download/. The list of changes is recorded in the ChangeLog.
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03.06.2014 - Trend Micro Virus Definitions - 10.645.50



View Trendmicro related news. The Official Pattern Release or OPR is Trend Micro's latest compilation of patterns for identified viruses. It is guaranteed to have passed a series of critical tests to ensure that customers get optimum protection from the latest virus threats.
Full View / NID: 46595 / Submitted by: The Zilla of Zuron

03.06.2014 - Logitech Confirms High End of FY 2014 Financial Outlook, Raises FY 2015 Outlook, Introduces Long-Term Financial Model



View Logitech-Press related news. Dateline City: NEW YORK & LAUSANNE, Switzerland Company Hosts Analyst and Investor Day for an Update on its Turnaround NEW YORK & LAUSANNE, Switzerland--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Prior to a meeting today with financial analysts and investors in New York City, Logitech International (SIX: LOGN)(Nasdaq: LOGI) announced: Language: English Contact: Logitech InternationalJoe GreenhalghVice President, Investor Relations – USA510-713-4430orNancy MorrisonVice President, Corporate Communications – USA510-713-4948orLaura ScorzaSr. Public Relations Manager – Europe+41-(0) 21-863-5336 Ticker Slug: Ticker: LOGN Exchange: SWX Ticker: LOGI Exchange: NASDAQ read more
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03.06.2014 - Logitech Announces $250 Million Share Buyback Program



View Logitech-Press related news. Dateline City: NEW YORK & LAUSANNE, Switzerland NEW YORK & LAUSANNE, Switzerland--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Logitech International (SIX:LOGN)(Nasdaq:LOGI) today announced that its board of directors has approved a new share buyback program, which authorizes the Company to invest up to $250 million to purchase its own shares, subject to the approval of the Swiss Takeover Board. Language: English Contact: Logitech InternationalJoe GreenhalghVice President, Investor Relations – USA510-713-4430orNancy MorrisonVice President, Corporate Communications – USA510-713-4948orLaura ScorzaSr. Public Relations Manager – Europe+41-(0) 21-863-5336 Ticker Slug: Ticker: LOGN Exchange: SWX Ticker: LOGI Exchange: NASDAQ read more
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03.05.2014 - European ISV event attracts top speakers



View RealWire related news. [London, 5 March 2014] With fundamental shifts currently impacting the marketplace, many Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) are reviewing their position in the market and the optimum strategies for future development. On March 26 in London they will get a unique opportunity to glimpse the future, hear some outstanding presenters and discuss new ideas on markets and the dramatic changes affecting their industry. IT Europa's seventh European ISV Convention is a pan-European event that brings together... Source: RealWire
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03.05.2014 - Trend Micro Virus Definitions - 10.643.50



View Trendmicro related news. The Official Pattern Release or OPR is Trend Micro's latest compilation of patterns for identified viruses. It is guaranteed to have passed a series of critical tests to ensure that customers get optimum protection from the latest virus threats.
Full View / NID: 46591 / Submitted by: The Zilla of Zuron

03.04.2014 - Microsoft Dynamics delivers essential business solutions through apps, devices and services



View Microsoft-Press related news.

ATLANTA — March 4, 2014 Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq “MSFT”) on Tuesday opened its sold-out Microsoft Dynamics Convergence 2014 conference with a keynote address from Kirill Tatarinov, executive vice president, Microsoft Business Solutions. The event offers attendees hundreds of sessions showcasing new innovations the company will deliver in the coming months that will help businesses succeed in a customer-centric world.

In his keynote featuring Microsoft Dynamics customers Chobani Inc., City Harvest Inc., Delta Air Lines, Lotus F1 Team, New Belgium Brewery Co. and Weight Watchers International Inc., Tatarinov called on businesses to change their approach and adopt a customer-centric view to enable them to deliver meaningful customer interactions. In this era of the customer, he underscored the importance of technology combined with cultural changes in the organization as critical for businesses to gain insight into their customers’ needs and deliver experiences that help build lasting relationships.

To help businesses deliver amazing customer experiences, Microsoft unveiled a comprehensive set of new capabilities across its business solutions portfolio. The additions will allow organizations to take advantage of cloud services, run agile operations that exceed customer needs, and help engage them on their terms across the Web, social, apps and mobile fronts to help fuel growth.

“Technology has changed the social fabric, transforming how we engage, connect and interact with one another,” Tatarinov said. “In this era of the customer, experience is the new currency. Microsoft is best positioned to help businesses deliver amazing experiences for people at work and on the go.”

Business applications through devices and services

At the event, the company showcased Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 (expected to be available May 1, 2014), its ERP solution for enterprises. This update introduces a new end-to-end apps and services framework, allowing businesses to develop and distribute modern apps for specific scenarios and mobile devices that can easily and securely connect with Microsoft Dynamics AX. Adding to the growing number of mobile apps, the company announced a new app for shop floor operators that lets them report on production jobs with touch-enabled Windows devices. Customers and partners can learn about Microsoft Dynamics AX’s apps and mobile capabilities at http://blogs.msdn.com/b/dax/archive/2014/03/03/microsoft-dynamics-ax-2012-r3-devices-and-services-framework.aspx.

To rapidly serve more customers in new segments and emerging markets, Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 adds support for deployment on Windows Azure via infrastructure as a service. This capability delivers high availability of data and disaster recovery data, as critical business data is stored in the cloud and can be retrieved by businesses virtually anytime, anywhere. Pre-configured environments are also available on Windows Azure for businesses to speed deployment, and significantly reduce time to value from Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3, for demonstration, development, testing and production usage.

Powered by Windows Azure, this release of Microsoft Dynamics Lifecycle Services introduces new solutions for serviceability and support to help organizations improve the predictability of implementations and provides them with the agility required to keep up with ever-changing business environments. Early adoption of this service has demonstrated that customers have been able to significantly reduce time spent to define, develop and operate their business application. For example, in cases where early adopter customers needed incident support, more than 65 percent of them were able to address issues and questions on their own through the use of this service.

Reinforcing the value Microsoft Dynamics AX is delivering to businesses, Microsoft released a commissioned Forrester Consulting TEI (Total Economic Impact) study. Based on customer surveys and interviews, Forrester determined that a composite organization using Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 had a three-year ROI of 92 percent, a payback period of 21 months and benefits of over $6 million,* highlighting the real benefit and time to value this solution delivers to customers.

Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 is a significant step for the entire industry toward the future of ERP, with apps, devices and services in the cloud as cornerstones of its new capabilities. The advancements it offers in business logic and data model, cloud and new apps, and services and devices scenarios all set the stage for continued future innovation evolving directly from the functionality being delivered today.

Delta Air Lines, a Customer Excellence Award winner for the Enterprise category at Convergence 2014, is an example of a Microsoft customer that is using devices and services to deliver amazing experiences to their customers. Designed and developed by Avanade on the Microsoft Dynamics for Retail mobile point-of-sale platform and running on Nokia Lumia devices powered by Windows Phone 8, Delta is transforming its passengers’ in-flight experience and bringing flight attendants closer to the company’s 160 million plus customers per year.

“Delta’s mission is to provide safe and efficient transportation and outstanding customer service on over 5,000 flights a day to our customers on six continents,” said Joanne Smith, senior vice president – In-Flight Service, Delta. “Technology innovation is essential to helping us connect with our customers and deliver an experience that exceeds their expectations. Partnering with Microsoft gave Delta an opportunity to equip our more than 19,000 in-flight professionals with a combination of devices and services to offer more personalized service on board every flight.”

Delivering on the promise of rapid innovation to more than 40,000 customers and nearly 4 million Microsoft Dynamics CRM users, the company today reinforced the upcoming capabilities in the latest release of Microsoft Dynamics CRM expected in the second quarter of 2014. This release introduces Microsoft Dynamics Marketing to help businesses drive and manage their marketing campaigns, Microsoft Social Listening to empower more employees with deeper insights, and new capabilities such as the Unified Service Desk to help businesses engage with and care for customers in a personalized manner on virtually any device, anywhere.

Giving customers more value, Microsoft Social Listening will be offered at no additional charge as part of the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online professional licenses; on-premises customers will be offered Microsoft Social Listening for an additional $20 per user, per month.** Microsoft is also introducing a new Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online Enterprise license, priced at $200 per user, per month.** This offers customers all functionality offered in the professional license and access to Microsoft Dynamics Marketing and the new Unified Service Desk. More information about the new pricing and packaging structure can be found at https://community.dynamics.com/crm/b/crmconnection/default.aspx.

Business m omentum

As part of the event, Microsoft also announced that the next update of Microsoft Dynamics GP, due in the second quarter of 2014, will deliver new identity management and workflow capabilities, together with new self-service companion apps later this year. Demonstrating new capabilities in Microsoft Dynamics NAV, the company previewed new mobile capabilities for Microsoft Dynamics NAV that are expected to be delivered with its next update in the fourth quarter of 2014.

The company highlighted the investments being made by leading global businesses and system integrators (SIs) such as Accenture and Avanade, IBM and Hitachi Ltd., in building global Microsoft Dynamics practices, giving customers high-quality resources to implement their business applications worldwide. Microsoft also continues to expand the number of global independent software vendors (GISVs) building industry solutions based on Microsoft Dynamics, announcing a new GISV partnership with JustEnough for demand planning and an expansion of its existing partnership with Dominion, a company that focused on automotive dealer solutions.

More information

More information about Microsoft’s Dynamic Business vision can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/dynamics/about.aspx. More information and news from Convergence 2014 is available at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/presskits/dynamics. The opening keynote presentation and general session keynote speeches are available on the new virtual event platform for Convergence 2014 at http://www.microsoft.com/dynamics/convergence/atlanta14. Those who want to follow and engage with the Microsoft Dynamics Twitter community can do so at @MSFTDynamics and @MSFTConvergence using #Conv14.

About Microsoft Dynamics

At the heart of every successful business are the people who make things happen. Microsoft Dynamics designs modern business solutions that empower individuals with intuitive tools that allow them to do their best work. Our proactive, easy-to-use business applications adapt to the way people and systems work, enabling businesses to rapidly deploy and be forward-looking in an ever-changing world.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

* Total Economic Impact Study of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012, a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Microsoft, December 2013

** CRM Online list price shown per user, per month in USD; actual pricing might vary by geography. Other fees may apply for add-on services, such as additional storage, testing and production instances. Prices are exclusive of any fees you may incur to procure Internet connectivity.

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://www.microsoft.com/news. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://www.microsoft.com/news/contactpr.mspx.

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03.04.2014 - Logitech Introduces Harmony Keyboard Control to Simplify Streaming Content in the Living Room



View Logitech-Press related news. Dateline City: NEWARK, Calif. — March 4, 2014 New Logitech Harmony Smart Keyboard and Harmony App Feature One-Touch Activities, Plus Closed-Cabinet Control of Game Consoles and Streaming Devices Today Logitech (SIX: LOGN) (NASDAQ: LOGI) announced the Logitech Harmony® Smart Keyboard, a keyboard and touchpad combination specially designed for controlling streaming media in your living room. This new keyboard simplifies text entry, so you can search for shows, navigate menus and browse the Web on a PC or Mac® connected to your TV or Internet-connected media devices, such as Apple TV®, Roku® or Xbox® One. Language: English Ticker Slug: Ticker: LOGI Exchange: NASDAQ Multimedia Contacts Jessica Monney, 510-713-5830jmonney@logitech.com read more
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03.04.2014 - Qumu Adds Speech Search to the Qumu Video App for SharePoint 2013



View RealWire related news. Qumu's upgraded enterprise video integration brings more power to Microsoft® SharePoint 2013® San Bruno, CA - March 4, 2014 - Qumu (NASDAQ: QUMU), the leading business video platform provider, today announced the inclusion of Speech Search along with several other features to the expanded functionality of the Qumu Video App for Microsoft® SharePoint 2013®. Building on Qumu's award-winning Video Control Center platform, the Qumu Video App for SharePoint delivers a seamless, integrated enterprise video solution... Source: RealWire
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03.04.2014 - AMD Announces New AM1 Platform



View AMD related news. AMD (NYSE: AMD) today announced the introduction of its AM1 platform featuring the AMD quad-core and dual-core “Kabini” APU into the component channel for system builders. Combined with motherboards from leading manufacturers, the new AM1 platform will deliver award-winning Graphics Core Next (GCN) architecture...
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03.04.2014 - Trend Micro Virus Definitions - 10.641.50



View Trendmicro related news. The Official Pattern Release or OPR is Trend Micro's latest compilation of patterns for identified viruses. It is guaranteed to have passed a series of critical tests to ensure that customers get optimum protection from the latest virus threats.
Full View / NID: 46583 / Submitted by: The Zilla of Zuron

03.03.2014 - The wild west of cryptocurrencies



View AMD related news.
Once upon a time, there was an unassuming little invention called “Bitcoin.” Bitcoin was invented by Satoshi Nakamoto, a gentleman for which we have no records—no proof that he ever existed. Or perhaps it was a group of developers working under the Nakamoto name, but this cannot be proven either. Though the origins of the 2009 invention remain (forever?) shrouded in mystery, one thing remains absolutely certain: the cryptocurrency was born and is growing into an undeniable force in the modern computing landscape.

 JUST WHAT IS A CRYPTOCURRENCY, ANYWAYS?A cryptocurrency is a digital system of currency that relies on cryptography to verify transactions and generate new currency for the cryptocurrency economic system.

 That’s still a bit stiff, so let’s look at it another way: someone (or a group) created a currency that records every financial transaction to a public record. Let’s call this record the “blockchain.” Every trade, every donation, every purchase, every financial transaction is a matter of public knowledge.

 crypto.pngThis blockchain is an enormously complicated bundle of data. Thousands or potentially millions of people are contributing to it every day, so maintaining the integrity of that data is vitally important. Cryptocurrencies maintain integrity of that data by asking users to donate the horsepower of their computer to help solve puzzles. The first user to successfully complete the puzzle (i.e. verifying a transaction) generates new currency in the system and receives Bitcoins as a reward. Contributing compute power to solving these puzzles is called “mining,” and the reward goes into a secure file on your system called the “wallet.”

 AN INTERLUDE ON HASHINGThe puzzles solved by a user’s PC are “cryptographic” in nature, which is to say that they are based on the same encryption algorithms you might use to secure sensitive information. A basic principle in an encryption system is the concept of the “hash,” or a fabulously complicated string of numbers and letters that anonymously represents your data, but is reversible by the person that originally encrypted that information. Cryptosystems are used by these currencies as the method of proving a transaction was legitimately completed. This is called “proof of work.”

 There are many sorts of encryption systems out there: AES, SHA-256, Scrypt, Blowfish, and many more. Each cryptosystem uses different mathematics to achieve the creation of a hash. For our primer today, we can stop a little short by stating that Bitcoin exclusively uses two rounds of the “SHA-256” system for creating the hashes that encrypts its transactions, whereas alternatives like Litecoin (and many others) use 12 rounds of SHA-256 followed by a 13th round with Scrypt. The act of creating hashes is intuitively known as “hashing,” and this work is best done by a GPU in many of today’s cryptocurrencies.

 Finally, before we can show the process of a transaction, you must know that a single piece of information, like the information associated with a transaction between two parties, can generate thousands of different hashes when you begin to encrypt that data with a given cryptosystem. No two hashes are ever alike. Cryptocurrencies rely on that randomness by forcing systems to repeatedly compute new hash values for the information contained in a transaction until one is created that matches a specific pattern expected by the currency. The first user to create a hash that matches the expected pattern wins the prize: coins! And coins are the general name for a unit of money in a cryptocurrency.

 EXAMPLE: A USER’S FIRST CRYPTOCURRENCY TRANSACTION

  1. Bob installs software related to the mining of a specific cryptocurrency (let’s call it  the “ExampleCoin”) and creates his first wallet file. The file is stored on his PC, and contains a record of his ExampleCoin addresses.
  2. ExampleCoin addresses are strings of letters and numbers that refer to a quantity of ExampleCoins owned by Bob. Bob can create a new address for each transaction to help improve security, and Bob can always check the value of his ExampleCoin addresses by inspecting his wallet file with the ExampleCoin software.
    1. NOTE: Each new address generated by Bob creates two lines of text: a “private key” that must never be shared with anyone, and a “public key” that Bob may freely share to engage in transactions. These addresses are called “key pairs” in cryptocurrency parlance.
  3. Bob’s friend Sally is also an ExampleCoin user, and wants to send him one ExampleCoin as a welcoming gesture.
  4. Bob generates a new ExampleCoin key pair for this transaction. The ExampleCoin software automatically and securely stores the private key, while Bob gives the public key to Sally.
  5. Sally enters Bob’s public key into her own ExampleCoin software and tells her software to transmit one coin to Bob.
  6. Once the transaction is committed, all of the data associated with that transaction is publicly broadcast to every user in the ExampleCoin network. This information includes: Sally’s public key, Bob’s public key, the transaction amount, and a digital signature based on Sally’s private key.
  7. Before the funds become associated with and available to Bob, the ExampleCoin network must prove their transaction was legitimate. The funds are essentially placed in escrow, secured with a “puzzle” that other users must solve to release the funds.
  8. That puzzle is the creation of a hash for the Sally/Bob transaction that matches a certain pattern. The matching pattern verifies the digital signature from step 6, and proves without a shadow of a doubt that Sally really owned the coins she sent to Bob. This is “mining” in action!
    1. NOTE: Every user will generate thousands of hashes before luckily happening upon one that matches the desired pattern.\
    2. NOTE: Hashes are created by a separate application, called a “miner,”that is different from the ExampleCoin software. Users must have both a miner and the wallet software installed to effectively participate in mining. The below image is cgminer 3.7.2, one of the most popular applications for mining cryptocurrencies with a graphics card.
      cgminer.png
  9. A matching hash value is eventually found to verify the transaction, which usually takes about 10 minutes. The ExampleCoin network reassigns the funds to the public key Bob provided, and the entire transaction is added to the end of the public blockchain.
  10. The lucky user that generated the matching hash with his mining application receives a significant share of ExampleCoins as a reward for being first to solve the puzzle.
    1. NOTE: Dedicating more hardware to mining helps increase the likelihood that you can be first to verify a transaction and receive your own coins as a reward. This is why a great GPU, like an AMD Radeon™ R9 Series product, is so important.

 Just in case you missed it, here's how mining plays its role as the central mechanism in cryptocurrencies: mining is the lone authority in validating legitimate transactions, and it also creates new coins that enter into circulation. Mining is the process that makes any cryptocurrency system trustworthy and grow, and it's a never-ending process as users are constantly committing new transactions.

 Finally, it’s worth mentioning that cryptocurrencies do not always deal in whole coins, as we have demonstrated here in our example transaction. Because cryptocurrencies are purely digital, users can own fractions of a coin out to eight decimal places: 0.00000001 ExampleCoin. This is no different than the US dollar, which tracks fractions out to two decimal places in everyday transactions (e.g. 0.05 dollars, or five cents).

 WHAT TO DO WITH CRYPTOCURRENCIESOnce you have some cryptocurrency on-hand, you can, under certain limited circumstances, spend it! For example, internet retailer Overstock.com just began to accept Bitcoins as an acceptable form of payment alongside the US and Canadian dollars. Or you can visit a cyrpto currency exchange and cash your cryptocurrency out for “real” money, just as you would convert one currency to another on your way out of the airport in a foreign country. Others are useing cryptocurrencies to “tip” users as a “thank you” for services rendered or information provided.overstock.png

 More recently, users mined and donated $30,000 US dollars’ worth of Dogecoins to the Jamaican bobsled team, which couldn’t afford the trip to Sochi after qualifying for the Olympics for the first time in 12 years. The donation of $30,000 put the Olympic hopefuls within spitting distance of their $40,000 goal, and inspired the Jamaican national Olympic committee to sponsor the team’s travel in full. Additional funds, including the Dogecoins, were used for equipment costs and other upkeep at the 2014 games in Sochi!

 Based on the rousing success of the donation drive with Team Jamaica, Dogecoin users also rallied in January to support members of the Indian Olympic team, donating $6,500 USD in just three hours.

 AN UNCERTAIN AND UNDENIABLE FUTURE2013 was a momentous year for cryptocurrencies, as evidenced by the shift from “obscure hobby” to “subject of debate in US congress.” Media coverage, currency speculation, and gold rush mentality all helped contribute to the exponential growth of Bitcoin, which surged from just $30 US at the start of 2013 to more than $1100 US at its peak. As of the date of this article, one Bitcoin trades for a not insubstantial $548 US.

 Correspondingly, Bitcoin’s explosive popularity erected barriers to entry that triggered the boom for the Scrypt-based currencies like Litecoin or Dogecoin, which have now become famous and popular in their own right. Users not content with the form and functionality of these coins have gone on to make their own derivative cryptocurrencies—a seemingly never-ending process that has ultimately spawned hundreds of varieties.

 The ultimate goal, form or function of cryptocurrencies in our digital society and economy is equal parts unknown and inescapable. In fact, it’s unclear if cryptocurrencies will survive at all, and anyone investing in this form of exchange does so at their own risk.  But it’s a future shaped by all of us, and the free spirit of self-made progress has always struck a chord through the narrative of humanity. And this once-strange pet project sent anonymously in the world may have a significant role to play in the years ahead.

 Please stay tuned for part two where we’ll explore in detail how AMD Radeon™ hardware helps provide a technological advantage for users participating in cryptocurrency mining!

 


 Robert Hallock handles Technical Communications for Desktop Graphics & Gaming at AMD.His postings are his own opinions and may not represent AMD’s positions, strategies or opinions. Links to third party sites are provided for convenience and unless explicitly stated, AMD is not responsible for the contents of such linked sites and no endorsement is implied.Additionally, AMD does not endorse, recommend or promote the use of any peer-to-peer Internet currency or the “mining” thereof. Internet currencies are highly speculative and participation in the use or collection of such currency is undertaken at the users own risk. Please ensure that your hardware (and in particular your cooling solution) is sufficient for the processor-intensive nature of Internet currency mining.

 MAGE PERMISSIONS:Licensed under CC-BY-2.0 for commercial sharing and adapting. Original photo property of Flickr user btckeychain.

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