Our taxes in practice — FBI pays hackers to open terror iPhone

The iPhone 5c believed to contain evidence from the San Bernadino shootings is in the news yet again. This time, the FBI supposedly sent cash to hackers for help — are they serious?

Secret sources tell WaPo that a mysterious gray-hat gang got paid by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. In return, the hackers provided a zero-day vulnerability in iOS 9 (or perhaps more than one). The bug(s) were then exploited to permit the FBI to break into a Syed Farook’s iPhone 5c.

In IT Blogwatch, bloggers visualize panic on the streets of Cupertino. Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment. Not to mention: That Led Zeppelin knock-off allegation is old news

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Computerworld

All-metal and $299, Acer’s Chromebook 14 targets IT pros

Acer this week announced a new Chromebook that shows just how these machines keep getting better and better.

The eyebrow-raising feature of the Acer Chromebook 14 is its all-aluminium chassis — and a $ 299 price.

This latest Acer system is part of an emerging trend in the Chromebook world to build systems for business users, or people who just want something that feels substantial. From the specs alone, there’s a lot to like.

This Acer Chromebook includes 4GB memory; 32GB of eMMC storage, a lower cost memory typically used in tablets and smartphones; and 12 hours of battery life at full HD via the 1920 x 1080-pixel display.

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Computerworld

Servers with Nvidia’s Tesla P100 GPU will ship next year

Nvidia’s fastest GPU yet, the new Tesla P100, will be available in servers next year, the company said.

Dell, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Cray and IBM will start taking orders for servers with the Tesla P100 in the fourth quarter of this year, Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang said during a keynote at the GPU Technology Conference in San Jose, California.

The servers will start shipping in the first quarter of next year, Huang said Tuesday.

The GPU will also ship to companies designing hyperscale servers in-house and then to outsourced manufacturing shops. It will be available for in-house “cloud servers” by the end of the year, Huang said.

Nvidia is targeting the GPUs at deep-learning systems, in which algorithms aid in the correlation and classification of data. These systems could help self-driving cars, robots and drones identify objects. The goal is to accelerate the learning time of such systems so the accuracy of results improves over time.

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PCWorld News

What’s in HPE’s persistent memory?

Memory and storage have been separate in computers for decades, but that’s changing.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise took a step toward merging the two with its new “persistent memory” announced this week. A persistent memory module combines 8GB of DRAM and 8GB of flash in a single module that fits in a standard server DIMM slot.

DRAM operates at high speed but it’s relatively expensive, and if a server shuts down unexpectedly any data in DRAM is lost. Flash is slower but it’s nonvolatile, meaning it retains data when the power source is removed.

HPE says its persistent memory modules, known as NVDIMMs, combine the speed of DRAM with the resilience of flash.

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Computerworld