Panasonic Unveils Toughbook CF-20 Mark 2 Rugged Laptop with 17-Hour Battery Life - TheExtremeTech
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Panasonic Unveils Toughbook CF-20 Mark 2 Rugged Laptop with 17-Hour Battery Life

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Panasonic’s Toughbook laptops are legendary for their ability to withstand a range of challenging conditions. And even though they are typically heavy and quite expensive, there’s a niche segment of users for whom the Toughbooks are just the right devices. So that’s why Panasonic continues churning out more of these laptops.

The company has announced the new CF-20 Mark 2. This Toughbook is an updated version of their smaller 10.1-inch Toughbook, the CF-20. As you would expect, the new Toughbook CF-20 Mark 2 has some modern features that make it better than the previous iteration.

To begin with, the Toughbook CF-20 Mark 2 features a 10.1-inch screen in a rugged, 2-in-1 convertible tablet form factor. Talking about the specifications, this laptop is powered by seventh-generation Intel Core i5-7Y57 vPro processor, 8GB RAM, and a 256GB SSD.

panasonic toughbook

The display on the front is a touchscreen panel with a resolution of 1920 x 1200 pixels, and it also works with gloves. The laptop is also available in an optional 4G LTE connectivity, which makes sense considering the fact that these laptops are made to be used out in the field.

Read Also: Google is launching a new digital store to sell cloud-based softwares

The Panasonic CF-20 Mark 2 is rated for military grade MIL-STD-810G specification. A quick Google search on MIL-STD-810G specification will tell you that you’ll be able to use this laptop in extreme conditions. And it is also IP65 certified for dust and water resistance.

Talking about some of the features, this new Mark 2 model comes some modern features like Windows Hello with both visual and Iris sensors. This new model also an improved camera and better keyboard. The new CF-20 Mark 2 also has 17-hours extended battery life, thanks to the second battery.

With all that being said, sadly, the Toughbook 20 won’t be sold directly to the consumers by Panasonic. In case you are interested in picking it up, you can head over to one of authorized Panasonic resellers or online stores. And as mentioned earlier, these laptops aren’t cheap either. The new Panasonic CF-20 Mark 2 is priced at $3,099. That’s definitely more than what you would pay for a normal laptop, but hey, all the extra cash will keep your laptop protected for a long time.

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Reliance JioFiber with Free 100Mbps Internet to be Launched in March: Report Says

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After several months of rumors, speculations and alleged leaks, JioFiber, the much-hyped Fiber broadband network from Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio, may finally see the light of day this March, according to reports today.

The JioFiber service could apparently launch as early as next month, as per a report in DNA. While the exact launch date for the JioFiber service is yet unknown, the story suggests that the company will look to disrupt the country’s broadband market with lucratively-priced high-speed offerings, just like it did with its LTE services back in 2016.

What we do know, however, is that Jio will offer India’s first large-scale, commercial Gigabit services, something the company has long been testing in at least 10 cities around the country including, but not limited to, Mumbai, Delhi-NCR, Ahmedabad, Jamnagar, Surat and Vadodara.

jiofiber

One thing to note here is that the March-end date that is being touted, is unlikely to be the full-fledged commercial launch of JioFiber. Just like it did with its LTE services back in 2016, Jio is expected to have a soft launch next month, whereby the company will offer free services to customers till the official launch at a later date.

Read Also: New Skype Bug Could Provide Unrestricted Access to Hackers

Earlier rumors suggested that the pricing of the JioFiber will start at Rs. 500 for 600GB of data at 100Mbps, although, you’ll do well to take these figures with more than just a pinch of salt. It remains to be seen if Jio can do to the home broadband market what it did to the cellular market over the past couple of years.

The company already has a lot of goodwill among consumers because of the way it handled the roll out of its 4G services (all the petabytes of free data didn’t hurt either), so it will be interesting to see if the company can finally also democratize home broadband, which has traditionally suffered from slow speeds, reliability issues and absurdly high pricing. If it can, expect the likes of Netflix, Hotstar and Amazon Prime Videos gain even more traction in the days to come.

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‘Drive-by’ Crypto-Mining Affecting Millions of Android Users: Malwarebytes

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If you haven’t been paying attention to the rising scourge of crypto-mining scripts on websites hijacking your computer hardware to mine cryptocurrencies, you should.

From Facebook to YouTube, nobody is apparently safe from this growing menace, with recent reports even suggesting that thousands of government sites in the UK were recently targeted by crypto-mining malware. Now, security researchers at Malwarebytes are reporting that they have found evidence that millions of Android devices may have become part of the largest “drive-by crypto-mining campaign” targeted specifically at mobile devices.

According to the research published on the company’s official blog yesterday, the fact that most people do not use any web-filtering or security applications on their smartphones is being exploited by a section of cyber-criminals to run crypto-mining scripts for Monero (XMR), one of the leading cryptocurrencies right now.

“In a campaign we first observed in late January, but which appears to have started at least around November 2017, millions of mobile users (we believe Android devices are targeted) have been redirected to a specifically designed page performing in-browser cryptomining”.

Read Also: FBI, CIA, NSA Warn Americans Against Buying Huawei Smartphones

The exploit uses forced redirects and Trojanized apps, which are not new, but in a curious bit of social engineering, they are honest about being crypto miners. While most cyber-criminals would keep this fact hidden, this new wave of miners is being clear about its purpose. The attackers claim the mining is being done to pay for server traffic, and will continue to do so until the visitor can prove they are human and not ‘bots’, by solving a captcha.

crypto-mining

As can be seen in the above screenshots, the sites ask visitors to solve a captcha and till then will use the phone’s resources to mine Monero.

Malwarebytes has listed the affected domains and also the sites with redirect you to these domains. It would be wise to block these from your network if you have the know-how. Ominously, the company warns that the problem is going to get worse with more such mining attacks likely to hit the web.

“The first (domain) was registered in late November 2017, and new domains have been created since then, always with the same template”. With cryptocurrencies bouncing back from a slump off-late, it would be interesting to see whether this particular modus operandi will continue in the same vein even after its discovery.

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New Skype Bug Could Provide Unrestricted Access to Hackers

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A new bug has been discovered in Skype’s updater which can potentially allow hackers to gain complete access to a user’s system. First reported by security expert Stefan Kanthak at Seclists.org, the bug can be exploited to gain unrestricted access to every part of the operating system.

According to Kanthak:

“Once installed, Skype uses its own proprietary update mechanism instead of Windows/Microsoft Update…[Because] Skype periodically runs ‘%ProgramFile%\Skype\Updater\Updater.exe’ under the SYSTEM account, when an update is available, [the] Updater.exe copies/extracts another executable as ‘%SystemRoot%\Temp\SKY.tmp” /QUIET’.”

Kanthak goes on to explain that it is because of the aforementioned executable that the updater is vulnerable. Hackers can make use of DLL highjacking as the executable loads at least one DLL file called ‘UXTheme.dll’ from its application directory instead of loading its from the Windows system directory.

Read Also: FBI, CIA, NSA Warn Americans Against Buying Huawei Smartphones

If a local user is able to place the UXTheme.dll or any of the other DLLs loaded by the vulnerable executable, the user will be able to gain access to the SYSTEM account. Microsoft has already ways to avoid the vulnerability, but Kanthak claims that the company’s developers seem to be ignoring the issue.

Kanthak adds that he alerted Microsoft about the bug back in September, but the company has not released a fix. According to Seclists’ reported timeline of the bug, Microsoft is expected to release a fix in a newer version of Skype, instead of rolling out a dedicated security update, as the latter option would be too painstaking giving the company’s development cycle.

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