Hey, good morning! You look fabulous.
The word for the week is “canceled.” As additional cases of the new coronavirus continue to pop up, companies and event planners took steps to try and avoid creating environments where it might spread rapidly. On Friday evening the city of Austin declared a local disaster and called off the 2020 SXSW festival, making it just the latest on the list.
Other companies scaled back on travel and encouraged employees to work from home, while some delivery firms like Instacart and Postmates unveiled new no-contact options.
Bidding for this legendary prototype concluded Friday when someone placed a $300,000 bid. With the buyer’s premium, the person who won the auction will pay $360,000 to own a piece of gaming history.
This week security specialists Positive Technologies disclosed their discovery of a tiny gap in security that could allow attackers with local or physical access to inject malicious code and, eventually, commandeer your PC. The vulnerability is within Intel’s Converged Security and Management Engine (CSME), a part of the chip that controls system boot-up, power levels, firmware and, most critically, cryptographic functions. Since the boot code and RAM are hard coded into Intel’s CPUs, they can’t be patched or reset without replacing the silicon.
The flaw affects chips manufactured over the last five years or so. Intel said that it was notified of the vulnerabilities and released mitigations in May 2019 so they could be included in firmware updates. However, as the researchers explain, “since… the ROM vulnerability cannot be fixed, we believe that extracting this key is only a matter of time. When this happens, utter chaos will reign.”
If you want better photos than a smartphone can deliver but also don’t want a bulky DSLR or mirrorless camera, you may need a compact camera in your life. There’s a wide variety of models out there with different sized sensors, fixed, zoom and superzoom lenses and lots of manual controls (or not).
This week on the Engadget Podcast, we dive into the many ways the coronavirus is affecting the tech industry, all the while remembering to wash our hands and not touch our faces. And for something completely different, Devindra chats with Ann Druyan (starting at 26:59), the co-creator of Cosmos, on the show’s incredible new season. Listen on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Spotify, Pocket Casts or Stitcher.
On paper, the Xbox Series X’s sheer power blows away most gaming rigs today — but what does that mean for PC enthusiasts? To be honest, there’s still plenty we don’t know about the Series X or what the state of PC hardware will be later this year. But based on Microsoft’s spec dump last week, we can start making some educated guesses. Read on to let Devindra Hardawar guide you away (or toward) the next big console race.
NASA has started taking applications for its next round of astronauts, some of them likely to be part of future Moon and Mars expeditions. You’ll have until the very end of March to apply, but make sure you qualify first. NASA says that you’ll need to be a US citizen with either a master’s degree in a STEM field or an equivalent, such as two years of work toward the doctorate in your field, a medical doctorate or the combination of a completed test pilot school program with a STEM bachelor’s degree — deep breath. You’ll also need real-world experience that includes either two years of “progressively responsible” work experience or 1,000 flight hours as a pilot in command.
And then there’s the long-duration spaceflight physical…
But wait, there’s more…
- Amazon is selling the Pixel 4 at its lowest price ever
- TCL’s concept device folds twice to fit a 10-inch screen in your pocket
- The Big Picture: NASA maps show the effect of a quarantine on air pollution
- GM’s cheaper, adaptable Ultium batteries are key to its EV future
- Apple may introduce a 14.1-inch MacBook Pro with a mini-LED screen
- The gadgets that refuse to die
- SpaceX’s Starship rocket prototype collapsed on itself this weekend
- Honeywell says it built the world’s most powerful quantum computer
- Sonos kills its device-bricking ‘recycle mode’
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