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"Inexact" chips save power by fudging the maths

"Computer scientists have unveiled a computer chip that turns traditional thinking about mathematical accuracy on its head by fudging calculations.

The Rice University researchers say their “inexact” chip could be useful because it uses dramatically less power than conventional accurate processors.

The scientists claim the prototypes unveiled are 15 times more efficient because they allow occasional errors and could be used in some applications without having a negative effect."

Retailer calls rivals' bluff on "HDMI scam"

"These stores are trying to trick people into thinking they need an HDMI lead costing over £100 after buying a Full HD TV. This is simply not the case. You shouldn't be spending more than £4 on an HDMI cable," it said. "An HDMI cable is an HDMI cable," Kogan added. "It's a digital cable. You either get a picture or you don't. Don't get conned into buying a 'fancy' HDMI cable because it will make no difference!"

Why Mozilla needs to pick a new fight

"I can feel the rope being slipped around my neck, but before you kick away the stool, give yourself over to wistfulness for just a moment. Imagine if Mozilla decided tomorrow to build an office suite. Imagine all those ideas. Imagine how brilliant that could be. Just imagine. Now imagine Firefox 4. Honestly, which one of those are you most excited by?" | more

Do we really need a firewall on our desktops?

From a business point of view I agree with this guy, but we know the admins are often slackers and they are the cause of most security failures. It never hurts to be extra safe in my rule book, but what are your thoughts on this matter?

How much smaller can chips go?

"The complexity of a modern processor is almost beyond comprehension. A working 1GHz core on ARM’s latest Cortex A9 processors occupies less than 1.5mm2, using the 65nm production process. To put that into perspective: a nanometre is a billionth of a metre, which means a nanometre is to a tennis ball what a tennis ball is to the planet Earth. “Microscopic” doesn’t even come close.

Touchscreens open to smudge attacks

Greasy fingerprints can take the shine off a new touchscreen handset, and the smudges they leave behind could also leave it open to hacking, according to researchers.

When touchscreen devices are held up to the face, they pick up oil from the skin, explained researchers from the University of Pennsylvania at the Usenix security conference. The next time the password is entered, the pattern can be traced – and photographed – in the resulting smudges.

Windows vs Ubuntu: in a nutshell

You may recall how Dell dug itself into an almighty hole last month, after proclaiming that Ubuntu was safer than Windows, before swiftly changing its mind and declaring itself more neutral than Switzerland.

Well, now the PC maker’s had time to think the matter through, another page has appeared on the Dell website, condensing the whole Windows vs Ubuntu debate into about 100 words.

From Dell’s perspective the choice is clear. You should choose Windows if (and I swear I’m not paraphrasing here):

Microsoft man: "My job is to destroy IE6"

The man in charge of Internet Explorer has told PC Pro that he's been tasked with destroying IE6.

Internet Explorer 6 continues to be the most used browser version in the world at the ripe old age of nine. IE6's position as the default browser in Windows XP means many companies still cling to the browser. The continued use of old hardware in developing nations and consumer inertia have also contributed to IE6's longevity.

McAfee to pay for PC repairs after patch fiasco

McAfee has offered to pay for the PC repairs of consumers affected by last week's faulty antivirus update.

The problematic patch falsely identified the SVCHOST.EXE Windows file as a virus, causing PCs running Windows XP SP3 to crash or enter endless reboot cycles. Among those affected were US police forces and Intel.

If you have already incurred costs to repair your PC as a result of this issue, we're committed to reimbursing reasonable expenses

Microsoft refuses to patch infected XP machines

Microsoft has revealed that its latest round of patches won't install on XP machines if they're infected with a rootkit.

Back in February, a security patch left some XP users complaining of endless reboots and Blue Screens of Death. An investigation followed and Microsoft discovered the problems occurred on machines infected with the Alureon rootkit, which interacted badly with patch KB977165 for the Windows kernel.

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