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Info Advantage has been serving the Upstate New York area since 1993 , providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Details on Massive Hardware Flaws in Intel Processors Released, Fix May Cause Major Computer Slowdowns

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Details for a security vulnerability thought to affect almost every Intel processor made in the last decade have recently been released, and the outlook is not good. While there are updates on the way to fix the flaws, experts believe that a patch may slow down computers by up to 30%.

According to The Register, where the information was first publically released, the Intel vulnerability allows hackers to access areas of the computer that shouldn’t be reachable. The flaws, known as Meltdown and Spectre, directly affects the kernel memory of the Intel chip.

Meltdown breaks the isolation between applications and the OS, allowing hackers to access the memory of programs and the OS itself. Spectre breaks the isolation between different applications down, allowing a hacker to trick error-free programs to leaking information.

These flaws allow apps to detect and read the operating system codes, look into other app’s memory banks, or even leak personal information such as passwords, login information, files, and more.

The patch will make the affected kernel completely invisible, but this comes at a price. According to The Register, making the kernel invisible would add a new process that will increase its overhead, slowing down the computer.

Since the problem is with the hardware itself, nothing short of an OS-level fix will be required for the affected operation systems, including Windows, Linus, and Mac. So far Windows has released an emergency patch for Windows 10, with patches for Windows 7 and Windows 8 to come next week. However, there seem to be some issues caused by some anti-virus softwares that can result in bluescreen errors.

Apple says they have also addressed the majority of their flaws with their last OS update, and they are currently testing new tweaks for their next update. Linux developers have also created a set of patches.

In addition to operating systems, many cloud services companies will need to release updates in order to keep themselves protected against the vulnerability. Microsoft Azure, Amazon AWS, and Google Cloud Platform have all reported that they are working on implementing new updates to bulk up security against Meltdown and Spectre. However, they have all stated that the impact of proposed update and have found that they have very little affect on performance in their benchmark tests.

If you want to know more about how these vulnerabilities may affect you and your business, call us at (585) 254-8710 to learn more about how you can strengthen your technology security.

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How Rugged Are You? A Guide to Rugged Laptops

How Rugged Are You? A Guide to Rugged Laptops

Face it, your laptop isn’t indestructible. There are only so many times you can throw your laptop in a cramped bag or have it drop from your hands before you see some damage. While many laptops can be saved with something as simple as a sturdy case, many modern professionals work in conditions that make it very difficult to protect the technological equipment needed for businesses to run smoothly. That is why many manufacturers are creating lines of ‘rugged laptops,’ which can withstand even the harshest of work conditions.

What Are Rugged Laptops?

A “rugged’’ laptop is a PC that has been designed to withstand very harsh environments and conditions, such as heavy traveling or factory work. These laptops are built to withstand just about anything, including drops, spills, extreme temperatures, and much more. There are a variety of different types of rugged laptops, each built for a specific purpose. Many rugged laptop vendors offer an assortment of rugged laptops that are classified into three ‘levels’ of ruggedness; semi-rugged, fully-rugged, and ultra-rugged. Semi-rugged laptops are typically enhanced versions of commercialized laptops with more protection, where an ultra-rugged laptop is built from the inside-out to resist even the harshest environments.

What Classifies a Laptop as Rugged?

Most rugged PC manufacturers use the MIL-STD-810 environmental durability standards to test how rugged their laptops are. The MIL-STD-810 was originally created in the 1960s by the US Department of Defense as a guideline for designing military-grade technology that can be used in high combat areas. The standard provides a variety of different test methods which can be used to ensure equipment is suitable enough to be used on the field of combat. This includes tests for temperature, vibration, impact, water resistance, altitude, sand or dust, and more. Manufacturers are also known to reference the Ingress Protection Code, which classifies the degrees of sealing protection of electrical equipment, and the NEMA classification, which describes different electrical enclosures and how they hold up in different environments.

Who Should Be Using Rugged Laptops?

While rugged laptops are typically designed for people who work in extreme conditions, just about any business professional can find value in a rugged laptop. While you may not be using your laptop underground or at sea, your personal computer may be taking on more damage than you think. Laptops are often shoved in bags or airplane compartments, or left in places they could potentially get damage, such as a bathroom or kitchen. Therefore, just about anyone who takes their business on-the-go can find benefits from ruggedized laptops.

 

If you’re interested in a more rugged laptop but don’t know what level of protection you need? Contact the technology experts at Info Advantage today at (585) 254-8710 to talk about what technology solutions will best fit your business.

[Photo: DoD]

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RAM Prices Are on the Rise, and Won't Be Getting Better Any Time Soon

RAM Prices Are on the Rise, and Won't Be Getting Better Any Time Soon

The price of desktop RAM has been on the rise in the last few months, and experts believe the trend won’t be stopping any time soon. According to a blog post by Newegg Business, RAM prices have been on the rise since June 2016. Newegg reported that prices jumped up 20-30% over the summer, affecting all desktop memory brands. Since then, prices have continued to gradually climb as supply fell just below the level of demand.

So how much is the cost of RAM rising by? According to PC Part Picker’s pricing history, a 2 x 8GB kit of G.Skill DDR4-2400 RAM cost about $75 at Newegg back in November. At the time, they were the lowest price available. Now, over three months later, the same system can be found on Newegg for $111. These trends have shown persistent for nearly all types of RAM, no matter the make or manufacturer.

There are a few factors that can be blamed for the increase in RAM pricing. One of the major reasons for the price change is the industry shift to DRAM chips for mobile devices, which have been on the rise as smartphones continue advance in technology. According to Nanya Technology president Pei-Ing Lee in an interview with DigiTimes, higher demand for DRAM chips have pushed up both price and production levels. The sudden increase of demand pushed manufacturers to focus their efforts on DRAM production, placing server and desktop memory production on the back burner.

Lee believes this is a trend that will continue throughout 2017, with prices stabilizing by the third quarter (July through September.) However, prices are not expected to go back down any time soon. That means if you’re looking to buy RAM for a new system, or were looking to upgrade your current system, now is the time to buy. Prices are expected to steadily rise in the next few weeks, and demand will only continue to swell as consumers look for the newest in mobile technology.

Looking to upgrade your current RAM but not entirely sure what you need? Contact Info Advantage at (585) 254-8710 today to speak with technology professionals who can help you figure out exactly what your system needs, and at the right price.

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Forget Backdoors, Hackers Can Now Infiltrate Garage Doors

b2ap3_thumbnail_openseasame_hacks_garages_400.jpgHackers have proven that they will do whatever it takes to get to your valuable assets, even if it means taking advantage of physical objects that work alongside a specific frequency. As it turns out, this is exactly how hacking a garage door works, and all it takes is a decade-old communications device to capture the frequency and unlock any garage door that utilizes it.

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Guest — jacksmith
nice information..
Monday, 09 October 2017 11:09
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Tip of the Week: Adjust the Brightness of Your Device’s Screen to Prevent Eye Strain

b2ap3_thumbnail_control_your_brightness_400.jpgComputer monitors have become streamlined in appearance and design over the years. One of the biggest improvements was the addition of the LCD screen, which in comparison to the old CRT monitors is more pleasing to the eye. However, its brightness means that there are side effects that can lead to eye strain and headaches. You can lower your screen brightness to preserve both your eyesight and your sanity, in addition to saving precious battery life.

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