The Tech Cor­ner

The Standard Journal - - LOCAL -

The Tech Cor­ner is a tech­nol­ogy news and ad­vice col­umn pre­sented each week cour­tesy of Melvin McCrary at Ge­or­gia Com­puter De­pot in Cedar­town.

Ap­ple has ad­mit­ted it de­lib­er­ately slowed down older iPhones, say­ing the move im­proved per­for­mance. This ends years of spec­u­la­tion, but sparked a flurry of law­suits.

How­ever, a more re­cent study found that what ap­peared to be a clear de­te­ri­o­ra­tion in iPhone 6 hand­sets when they moved from iOS 10.2.0 to 10.2.1. How­ever, hand­sets which got a new bat­tery re­gained much of their f ormer per­for­mance. (Source:

Ap­ple has now con­firmed this, say­ing the up­date will “smooth out the in­stan­ta­neous peaks” in processor use that could trig­ger the shut­down. It says it’s also done the same with the iPhone 7 and will likely do so with other mod­els if and when needed.

More char­i­ta­ble crit­ics have said that even if Ap­ple was act­ing to help users, it blun­dered by not telling them about the change and there­fore fu­el­ing the con­spir­acy the­o­ries that sug­gested ul­te­rior mo­tives.

The l aw­suits claim the up­date and slow­down was a breach of “im­plied con­tract” be­cause Ap­ple didn’t warn users about the pos­si­bil­ity of such a move when they orig­i­nally bought the phones. The claimants also say the slow­down has caused them e c o nomic dam­ages. (Source: states­

Late week, Mi­crosoft is­sued out-of-band up­dates that ad­dress Melt­down and Spec­tre, two se­cu­rity flaws said to be af­fect­ing al­most all CPUs re­leased since 1995.

The Redmond-based OS maker was not plan­ning on re­leas­ing the up­dates un­til next week, on Patch Tues- day, but was forced to roll out fixes af­ter Google went pub­lic with de­tails about the two vul­ner­a­bil­i­ties.

Ac­cord­ing to a Mi­crosoft se­cu­rity ad­vi­sory, th­ese are the Win­dows se­cu­rity up­dates that ad­dress the Melt­down and Spec­tre flaws for var­i­ous Win­dows dis­tri­bu­tions.

The Mi­crosoft up­dates are not all- out fixes. Some Win­dows PCs may re­quire ad­di­tional CPU firmware up­dates to mit­i­gate Spec­tre at­tacks, but the Mi­crosoft up­dates ap­pear to fully-ad­dress the Melt­down flaw. Prob­lems with some anti-virus soft­ware may lead to BSODs. Mi­crosoft also warns that the Melt­down and Spec­tre se­cu­rity fixes are in­com­pat­i­ble with some anti-virus prod­ucts.

Mi­crosoft is only of­fer­ing the Win­dows se­cu­rity up­dates re­leased on Jan. 3, 2018, to de­vices run­ning anti-virus soft­ware from part­ners who have con­firmed their soft­ware is com­pat­i­ble with the Jan­uary 2018 Win­dows op­er­at­ing sys­tem se­cu­rity up­date.

A pa­per, au­thored by a team from the Graz Univer­sity of Tech­nol­ogy in Aus­tria, dis­cussed break­ing KASLR pro­tec­tion of ker­nel code, a se­cu­rity fea­ture used by both Linux and Win­dows.

Af­ter re­searchers pub­lished their pa­per, work on im­prov­ing KASRL spurned the cre­ation of the KAISER project, a se­cu­rity-hard­ened ver­sion of the KASRL fea­ture.

Linux main­tain­ers have al­ready shipped ver­sions of the Linux ker­nel con­tain­ing the said fixes. Mi­crosoft has also re­leased fixes, but only for Win­dows In­sid­ers builds, with patches for main­stream

Win­dows branches ex­pected next week. Cloud providers such as Google, Ama­zon, and Mi­crosoft are set to patch is­sues, with com­pa­nies to an­nounce planned down­time.

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