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BIOSTAR Announces the new B550MH Motherboard

BIOSTAR, a leading brand of motherboards, graphics cards, and storage devices, today announces the B550MH motherboard that runs the 3rd gen Ryzen processors. Geared towards the business and casual users, the new BIOSTAR B550MH motherboard is designed to be efficient and reliable with bleeding edge technology built to be the best in the market with a new stylish PCB design.

The B550MH motherboard supports up to 64Gb of RAM across 2 DIMMs with the capability of reaching 4400+OC speeds and technologies like PCIe 4.0 that supports 16GT/s bit data transfer rates which is 2 times faster than PCIe 3.0 with backward compatibility, as well as PCIe M.2 4.0 which delivers lower latency on a higher bandwidth of 64 Gb/s which is 2x faster than the old PCIe M.2 3.0 making the new BIOSTAR B550MH motherboard a great choice for many applications.
BIOSTAR B550MH BIOSTAR B550MH BIOSTAR B550MH BIOSTAR B550MH

Lenovo Readies ThinkCentre M75n IoT Fanless Mini PC Powered by Athlon Silver 3050e

Lenovo is giving finishing touches to the ThinkCentre M75n IoT, a fanless compact PC to be used as an IoT node, succeeding the Intel-powered M90n IoT. The new M75n is powered by an AMD Athlon Silver 3050e SoC (6 W TDP), compared to the M90n that uses a 15-Watt Core i3. The IoT box is rated for 24x7x365 operation, which makes it capable of use even as an industrial PC. The 3050e chip offers a 2-core/4-thread CPU, 1.40-2.80 GHz CPU clocks, 4 MB cache, and a basic AMD Radeon iGPU. Connectivity includes a pair of USB 3.1 gen 2 type-A, two type-C, an M.2-2280 slot with PCI-Express and SATA connectivity; an E-key slot for a WLAN module, gigabit Ethernet, and a pair of COM ports. The box measures 179 mm x 88 mm x 34.5 mm.

Cypress Ships its One Billionth USB-C Device

Cypress, an Infineon Technologies Company, today announced that in less than five years, the company has achieved a landmark milestone by shipping its one billionth USB-C device. As the leading provider of USB-C technology, Cypress' leadership position spans a wide range of markets with its controllers used within mobile, computing, and power applications.

Cypress offers the industry's most complete portfolio of USB solutions, including device controllers, embedded hosts, hubs, application-specific bridges, and transceivers. Cypress' EZ-PD portfolio was the first in the industry to support the latest USB Power Delivery (USB PD) 3.0 specification, which enables more robust end-to-end power delivery and charging solutions for laptop and mobile devices. Cypress also offers AEC-Q100 certified versions of its controllers for automotive-grade performance.

Quantum Shenanigan: BioShield Distribution Offers $347 5GBioShield USB Key to Protect From "Harmful 5G Emissions"

On today's episode of "this is just so wrong", the 5GBioShield USB Key: "guaranteed" by its BioShield Distribution manufacturers to protect you from a plethora of harmful frequencies "through a process of quantum oscillation". This USB key has some extra calls to fame, though: not only does it seemingly create a protecting field around you or your "family home", as the company puts it, but it also emits "a large number of life force frequencies favoring a general revitalization of the body." Oh my, the miracles of quantum physics.

BioShield Distribution claims that the 5GBioShield Key "provides protection for your home and family, thanks to the wearable holographic nano-layer catalyser, which can be worn or placed near to a smartphone or any other electrical, radiation or EMF [electromagnetic field] emitting device", whereby "through a process of quantum oscillation, the 5GBioShield USB key balances and re-harmonises the disturbing frequencies arising from the electric fog induced by devices, such as laptops, cordless pho4nes, wi-fi, tablets, et cetera." And get this: these quantum-oscillating-holographic-nano-layer-catalyser-life-force-emitting USB keys are available in a bargain basement-deal of $973 for a pack of three. Oh the temptation!

HP Announces Five New Gaming Orientated Headsets & Earphones

Ayute Co Ltd, is set to launch a series of five new HP gaming headsets and earphones this Friday May 29, 2020. The five new models include the H150, H320GS, H360GS, H500GS BLACK, and H500GS GOLD. The five new models feature prices between 20 - 60 USD and are set to be released in Japan. The H150 are budget earphones with an adjustable boom mic, the H320GS and H360GS are both entry-level gaming headsets with LED lighting while the H500GS BLACK and H500GS GOLD offer a more premium design and features.

Unfixable Flaw Found in Thunderbolt Port that Unlocks any PC in Less Than 5 Minutes

Dutch researcher from the Eindhoven University of Technology has found a new vulnerability in Thunderbolt port that allows attackers with physical access to unlock any PC running Windows or Linux kernel-based OS in less than 5 minutes. The researcher of the university called Björn Ruytenberg found a method which he calls Thunderspy, which can bypass the login screen of any PC. This attack requires physical access to the device, which is, of course, dangerous on its own if left with a person of knowledge. The Thunderbolt port is a fast protocol, and part of the reason why it is so fast is that it partially allows direct access to computer memory. And anything that can access memory directly is a potential vulnerability.

The Thunderspy attack relies on just that. There is a feature built into the Thunderbolt firmware called "Security Level", which disallows access to untrusted devices or even turns off Thunderbolt port altogether. This feature would make the port be a simple USB or display output. However, the researcher has found a way to alter the firmware setting of Thunderbolt control chip in a way so it allows any device to access the PC. This procedure is done without any trace and OS can not detect that there was a change. From there, the magic happens. Using an SPI (Serial Peripheral Interface) programmer with a SOP8 clip that connects the pins of the programmer device to the controller, the attacker just runs a script from there. This procedure requires around $400 worth of hardware. Intel already put some protection last year for the Thunderbolt port called Kernel Direct Memory Access Protection, but that feature isn't implemented on PCs manufactured before 2019. And even starting from 2019, not all PC manufacturers implement the feature, so there is a wide group of devices vulnerable to this unfixable attack.
Thunderspy attack

Huawei Ready to Enter PC Industry with Custom OS and Processor

Since the debut of its plans to create a custom Operating System and make itself independent from everyone, Huawei has been working hard to bring that idea to life. Creating custom software and custom hardware solutions, Huawei's engineers have been rather busy. And now, Huawei aims to be the new player in the Chinese PC industry, replacing the already available solutions that have foreign technology with potential backdoors that could represent a threat to Chinese information security. So to prepare for that, Huawei is creating a custom OS called HarmonyOS that will accompany custom hardware solutions.

The HarmonyOS was announced last year at Huawei Developer Conference 2019 (HDC 2019) as a project Huawei is working on. However, it seems like that project will become some of the more important things the company is working on. A well-known person for tipping about the latest industry news on Weibo said that Huawei is preparing to launch custom PCs very soon for domestic (Chinese) audience. Huawei is supposedly working with major cities and regions in China to supply its infrastructure with new solutions. And what those solutions will be? Well, Huawei plans to combine the HarmonyOS with its already launched Kunpeng Desktop Board.
Huawei Kunpeng Desktop Board Huawei Kunpeng Desktop Board

Kanguru Adds New 256 GB Data Storage To Their Defender Family of Encrypted Flash Drives

Organizations around the world trust their sensitive data to Kanguru Defender Hardware Encrypted Flash Drives for their flexibility, mobility, and security. Kanguru expands on the Defender family with new 256 GB high-capacity drives to help security-conscious organizations get the most out of their investment.

With new 256 GB capacities on Kanguru Defender hardware encrypted USB flash drives, users can freely load enormous amounts of information on a single drive, without the worry of sensitive data getting into the wrong hands. Defender encrypted flash drives maintain the highest military-grade standards for secure data storage, with AES-XTS 256-Bit hardware encryption, FIPS 140-2 Certification, remote management capability, digitally-signed secure firmware and tamper-proof protection.

HyperX Expands HyperX Stinger Headset Lineup with Two New Gaming Headsets

HyperX, the gaming division of Kingston Technology Company, Inc., today announced the release of two new headsets in HyperX Cloud Stinger family, HyperX Cloud Stinger Core + 7.1 and HyperX Cloud Stinger Core Wireless + 7.1 Gaming Headset. Both new Cloud Stinger Core headsets now feature 7.1 virtual surround sound1 via NGENUITY software.

"HyperX is excited to expand its Cloud Stinger gaming headset family with two new 7.1 surround sound headsets for gamers looking for an economic headset," said Nate Almond, audio business manager, HyperX. "With students, parents and gamers working and playing at home more than ever, HyperX has expanded the Stinger product line to offer more affordable headsets."

OWC Unveils the Newest Iteration of its Wildly Popular Mercury Elite Pro External Storage Solution

OWC a leading zero emissions Mac and PC technology company and one of the world's most respected providers of hard drives, SSDs, Mac & PC docking solutions and performance upgrade kits, today announced the latest edition of its legendary Mercury Elite Pro external storage system for Mac, PC, Linux machines, Smart TVs, and PS4 and Xbox consoles. The 3.5-inch USB 3.2 5 Gb/s hard drive system is a modern day workhorse, delivering real-world performance up to 283 MB/s and capacities up to 16 TB to keep pace with the demands of everything from video editing projects, critical business data, and irreplaceable personal content to expanding PS4/Xbox One game storage and enjoying music/video content via a Smart TV.

The Essential External Storage Solution for Everyone
The Mercury Elite Pro kicked off OWC's rich, storied history of storage solution innovations nearly 20 years ago, and it has successfully stood the test of time by continuing to offer an incomparable blend of performance, quality, and value in a single HDD storage solution.
OWC Mercury Elite Pro OWC Mercury Elite Pro

BenQ Launches SW321C 32-inch Monitor

BenQ today announced the latest addition to its monitor family design for professional use. The SW321C, as it is called, is a 32-inch monitor with an IPS panel of 4K (3840×2160p) resolution. The panel itself is a 60 Hz screen with 250 nits of brightness, 1000:1 contrast ratio, 5 ms GtG response time, and it offers 178-degree viewing angles, which is standard for IPS panels. When it comes to the color coverage and the ability to accurately represent them, the SW321C features 95% of the DCI-P3, 99% of the Adobe RGB, and 100% of the sRGB color gamut. It has a 16-bit 3D look-up table (LUT) and features calibration for DeltaE ≤ 2.

The monitor comes with HDR10 specification, however, due to the brightness of 250 nits, it is not capable of performing any serious HDR content editing. Another interesting note is that this monitor supports Hybrid Log-Gamma (HLG) standard, which is an uncommon one. For input, the monitor had support for one DisplayPort 1.4, two HDMI 2.0, and one USB-C port. There is a dual-port USB hub, which has an SD card reader right next to it, making this very useful feature for photographers. Exact pricing and availability of this monitor are unknown, however, it is supposed to hit the market soon.
BenQ SW321C monitor BenQ SW321C monitor BenQ SW321C monitor

Quick Look: Philips PH805 Active Noise Cancelling Wireless Headphones

zAnother day, another audio product quick look. This time, the folks over at Philips get some love with the US launch of their PH805 active noise cancelling (ANC) headphones, the news of which we covered before. The company has gone through big changes over the years, and one of the effects has been regional business units operating independently enough to have separate launch windows for products. Take this very product, for example, which had been out for purchase for a couple of months already last year in Europe and parts of Asia, and Philips USA only just got it in 2020. Somehow, we had no coverage on this to date, but that changes now.

The PH805, also referred to as the PH805BK or TAPH805BK, follows a trend of product names that make little sense, but all you need to know is that this is from the same company and team that brought out the excellent Fidelio series that offered great value for money to those wanting an open-back, over-ear headphones with a neutral signature without any real shortcomings across the frequency range. They are readying the new Fidelio x3 for launch soon, but the PH805 aims to interest a different segment entirely. In particular, the frequent traveler or mobile user that wants a lightweight set of cans with ANC and wireless connectivity. It ships in a retail packaging that is well designed, with the company and product name on the front along with a large render and marketing features throughout, with a clear note on Google Assistant compatibility. Sorry, iOS users! Read past the break for more on the Philips PH805BK, including an unboxing, user experience, and what it costs to get you one of these in the USA.

ADATA Launches SE760 External Solid State Drive

ADATA Technology, a leading manufacturer of high-performance DRAM modules, NAND Flash products, and mobile accessories today announces the launch of the ADATA SE760 external solid state drive (SSD). The SSD features a stylish and compact form factor for easy portability and implements the USB 3.2 Gen 2 interface for excellent read and write performance.

The ADATA SE760 sports a compact, streamlined design that's great for on the go. Its sleek metal exterior with a textured hairline-brushed surface looks and feels great. The SSD implements the USB 3.2 Gen 2 interface, allowing it to reach read/write speeds of up to 1,000 MB/s, which is over 12 times faster than an external hard drive. This blazing-fast performance will allow users to transfer a 10 GB 4K movie in approximately twenty seconds.

MSI Unveils Optix MAGG322CR Monitor with 180 Hz Refresh Rate

Today MSI announced the latest addition to its monitor lineup - the MSI Optix MAGG332CR gaming monitor. With its 180 Hz refresh rate, this monitor is targeting gamers who focus on first-person shooter games primarily. When it comes to the panel characteristics, this monitor is rocking a 31.5-inch anti-glare 1080p display with a 1500R curvature applied to it. The panel type in question is an 8-bit VA panel with Frame Rate Control (FRC) that enables the monitor to achieve a wider color spectrum withing the 8-bit range.

The monitor offers 1 ms Moving Picture Response Time (MPRT) performance, along with the brightness of 300 nits, and a contrast ratio of 3000:1. When it comes to the refresh rate syncing technology, there is VESA's Adaptive-Sync present with AMD FreeSync certification. Marked as "HDR Ready", it is not exactly meeting any requirements due to its 300 nits brightness, however, there is at least a possibility to view HDR content. The display covers 96% of DCI-P3 and 125% of sRGB color gamut. Additionally, for input, there are quite a few options. There is one DisplayPort 1.2a, two HDMI 2.0b connectors, and one USB-C port that supports DisplayPort alternate mode allowing for video input over USB. There is also a USB hub present with two USB 2.0 ports and for audio, there is one 3.5 mm headphone output port. Besides, support for MSI Mystic Light RGB setup is also present.

Acer Unveils the PM1 - a Portable 15.6-inch Monitor

Acer has launched the latest addition to its portable monitor lineup -the PM1 portable monitor. The PM1 features a 15.6-inch IPS panel with 1920x1080 resolution, 15 ms GtG response time, a maximum brightness of 250 nits, and 800:1 contrast ratio. It boasts a 60 Hz refresh rate and wide viewing angles, along with anti-glare coating to prevent any unwanted light reflection. Being an IPS type panel, it has 178 degrees viewing angle so you can easily view content from all sides.

The display itself is a 6-bit panel, so it offers somewhat less color accuracy as it is limited to 262,000 colors. It is powered by a single USB type C cable which provides both the power and video input. When powered by a smartphone, which can not provide enough power, there is a secondary micro-USB port to supply additional power. There is also a hinge at the back of the monitor body to support it when it stands. Pricing starts at $179.99 if you are purchasing from Acer directly or $129.99 from Micro Center.

Philips Launches New Over-Ear Wireless Active Noise Canceling Headphones

Envision Peripherals Inc. (EPI), the Brand license partner for Philips Audio in North America, announces today the latest addition to the Philips audio line with the Philips Wireless over-ear noise cancelling headphone (TAPH805BK). The headphones are now available on Amazon, competitively priced at $199.99 USD. Ideal for at Home, in the Office, or on-the-go, the new Philips (TAPH805BK) headphones provide users with an unparalleled listening experience.

Music or Silence
Eliminate outside noise through a press of a button with Active Noise Canceling mode or flip to Awareness Mode to stay in tune with your surroundings. Users can control volume by swiping up or down on the ear-housing touch control panel. Activate or deactivate Active Noise Canceling or engage in Awareness Mode with a simple press. While carrying out a call over Bluetooth, its built-in mic with echo cancellation keeps sound crystal clear.

Audio-Technica Also Introduces Upgraded SonicSport Wireless In-Ear Headphones

Audio-Technica is also introducing two SonicSport wireless Bluetooth in-ear headphones. The ATH-SPORT90BT features a built-in music player for the ultimate in on-the-go listening convenience and along with the ATH-SPORT60BT includes a number of useful upgrades from previous models. Both headphones offer a host of fitness-friendly features including IPX5 waterproof-rated construction, a built-in mic and controls for smartphone and portable device operation, and stay-in-place designs that keep them secure even during intense workouts. Both feature improved high-sensitivity drivers for impactful, immersive sound and offer longer battery life along with additional improvements.

Audio-Technica's SonicSport ATH-SPORT90BT (SRP: US$159.00) has newly-designed 6 mm drivers with a powerful magnetic circuit and dedicated headphone amplifier, to bring high-quality full-range (20 - 25,000 Hz) audio reproduction to listeners with active lifestyles. The ATH-SPORT90BT includes a built-in 4 GB music player, making it the ultimate portable music device - no need to carry a smartphone around during workouts. The headphones can also be paired with a smartphone or other Bluetooth device if desired.

Razer Presents Tomahawk Gaming Desktop

At this year's CES, Razer presented its Tomahawk gaming desktop based on Intel's Compute Element - an all in one solution that packs CPU, RAM, and storage on the same PCB. The Tomahawk presents a complete solution, meaning that it is a pre-built PC that you can spec out to your liking. Available with up to Intel 9th generation Core i9, 64 GB of RAM and NVIDIA's GeForce RTX 2080 graphics card, the Tomahawk is marketed as a powerful small form factor gaming PC.

When it comes to connectivity options, the Tomahawk is featuring all of the ports that are available on Ghost Canyon NUC 9, meaning two Thunderbolt 3 ports, six USB-A ports, one HDMI and two LAN ports, plus video output from the graphics card. On the PCB than connects the Compute Element and the GPU, there is also one PCIe 3.0 M.2 NVMe SSD slot available. Razer also announced that they will make this case available on its own to please all the DIYers, and it will be called the Tomahawk N1. For now, however, it is a pre-built only.

SecureData Introduces the SecureDrive Duo with Keypad and BT Encryption at CES 2020

We were impressed with SecureData's offerings for the encrypted portable storage market in the form of the SecureDrive BT and SecureUSB BT, and the company took to CES 2020 to announce their latest and greatest in the form of the SecureDrive Duo that combines Bluetooth app-based encryption we saw with the previous drives, as well as keypad-based encryption for on-the-go modification. The new drive retains also all the features of the BT lineup, including FIPS 140-2 Level 3 certification and secure device management. We expect this first of its kind drive to be made available in a variety of storage sizes in both HDD and SSD formats as with the SecureDrive BT, when it is made available for purchase later this year.

Sharp's Dynabook Portégé is World's Lightest 13-inch Notebook

At this year's CES show, Sharp, a company behind Dynabook, unveiled what they call the world's lightest 13-inch notebook weighing in at just 1.9 lbs or 0.86 kilograms for all the metric system folks out there. The Portégé X30L-G as it is called is a 13-inch laptop of many qualities. For starters, it comes equipped with a 13.3-inch, 1080p IGZO display with a peak brightness of 470 nits. At its core, the Portégé X30L-G uses Intel's 10th generation of Core processors, presumably the Comet Lake variants. Onboard is also Intel's WiFi 6 standard for faster internet speeds, while the I/O is petty decent as well with two USB-A, one USB-C, one HDMI and one Ethernet port.

The laptop's chassis is made out of magnesium alloy and it features dust and drops resistance per military testing methodologies, making it a durable design that can take on everyday work. Additionally, there is a battery of unknown capacity that is advertised to last up to 14.5 hours, however, that is based on Dynabook's testing and we will have to wait for 3rd party reviews to confirm. The X30L-G is going to arrive sometime in February for the price of $1600.

Silverstone at CES 2020: Cases, PSUs, and Accessories Galore

Silverstone at CES 2020 took the opportunity to showcase selections of their portfolio for the media, ranging from PC cases in major form-factors, PSUs, and a range of "ease-of-life" and aesthetic-driven accessories. Accessory-wise, there's a range of SSD-related products, such as the MS09 stick, which allows conversion of an M.2 SSD to what basically amounts to a USB 3.1 pen drive; other products in this category include the MS09-Mini and the MS11, which improves support for the NVMe protocol. The ECM26 is a PCIe adapter for M.2 sticks, while the Silverstone TP02-M2 presents itself as a heatsink for installation on non-passive-cooled M.2 SSDs.

Continuing the SSD accessories galore, there are a number of other solutions, including a tool-less NMVe to PCIe adapter (ECM21-E), an ARGB powered one (ECM24-ARGB, which includes a heatsink), a simpler, non-ARGB one with a heatsink (ECM23), and my personal favorite, a docking station for a barebones M.2 drive you may have around, in the form of the TS16 station. The presence of a Power button very surely means this can't be hot-swapped - the risk of data-loss is real.

ASRock Announces Brand new Mars Series of Mini PCs

The leading global motherboard & graphics card manufacturer, ASRock, a pleasure to launch brand new compact Mini PC - Mars Series. Supports up to Intel Core i5 Quad-Core processor, 32 GB DDR4-2666 MHz, PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD, 2.5-inch hard drive, and wireless connectivity; all implies into 0.7-liter chassis with 26 mm height.

ASRock Mars offers abundant USB devices connectivity, features a total of 7 USB ports, including one Type-C port; In addition, the native SD card reader and dual display outputs to provide more productive and convenience.

HyperX Now Shipping Alloy Origins Core Tenkeyless RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

HyperX, the gaming division of Kingston Technology Company, Inc., today introduced a new addition to its award-winning lineup of gaming keyboards - HyperX Alloy Origins Core. Featuring HyperX Red mechanical switches, the new keyboard is built for performance and longevity with a shorter actuation point and 80 million click rating.

Alloy Origins Core maximizes desktop real estate with a space-saving tenkeyless layout for ultimate mouse movement. The keyboard features RGB exposed backlit keys for brighter illumination with radiant lighting effects and five adjustable brightness levels to enhance gaming, day or night. For added durability, stability and flexibility, Alloy Origins Core is built with a full aircraft-grade aluminium body and the USB Type-C to USB Type-A keyboard cable is detachable.

CORSAIR Debuts iCUE LS100 Smart Lighting Strips for Desktop Ambient Lighting

CORSAIR, a world leader in PC gaming peripherals and enthusiast components, today announced the launch of the new CORSAIR iCUE LS100 Smart Lighting Strips, the first in a new ecosystem of iCUE-powered ambient RGB lighting products that vastly expand the possibilities of synchronized RGB lighting. CORSAIR iCUE software has been at the forefront of some of the world's most ambitious and spectacular-looking system builds, and now extends beyond the PC with lighting that illuminates your entire environment. Available in a comprehensive Starter Kit and two sizes of Expansion Kits, LS100 Smart Lighting Strips transform your room with vivid customizable lighting profiles, game and media integration, and audio visualization.

Experience an unprecedented level of immersion with real-time media integration - CORSAIR iCUE software analyzes your video signal and outputs matching colors from the LS100 Smart Lighting Strips on your screen's edges to the surrounding area, taking the action beyond your screen whether you're leading your team to victory on the battlefield or watching your favorite movie. Your ambient lighting setup can also turn your room into a full-scale audio visualizer that brings every beat of your music to life in real-time.

Intel Submits USB4 Support to the Linux Kernel

As we are nearing the launch of USB4, which will feature Thunderbolt 3 like speeds of up to 40 Gbps, PCIe and DisplayPort support within USB-C form factor, there are already drivers showing up to support the new standard and ensure the launch and transition to the newest USB version will go smoothly.

According to the finds of Phoronix, Intel's open-source engineers have been working on a patch to support the new standard in the Linux kernel. Being based on Thunderbolt 3, the bring-up of USB4 isn't very difficult as it allows for a lot of code reuse, making things easier for kernel developers. Only 22 patches were submitted that resulted in under 4,000 lines of new code in total. For now, the support is in the stage of a pull request, so it should go mainstream very soon, most likely with the release of Linux kernel 5.5, if other features like power management are worked out soon.
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