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Self-Erasing Chips could Enhance Security and Curb Counterfeits

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Scientists from the University of Michigan are experimenting with self-erasing chips that make it easier to tell when an electronic device has been tampered with.

The self-erasing chips are capable of sending alerts whenever someone tampers with a sensitive shipment.

The chips were built with a new material that temporarily stores up energy reserves and emits a different color of light as it does so. The chip will erase itself within days using blue light.

At the moment, it is difficult to tell whether counterfeiters have tampered with an electronic device. The device may still operate normally but will be providing a third party with information, according to Assistant Professor Parag Deotare.

A self-erasing bar code on the chip will enable the owner to know when someone opens it and installs a listening device, for example. Bar codes on circuit boards and integrated circuit chips can provide evidence that the items were not tampered with in transit.

The bar codes can also be built to last longer so that they are written into the device for example as software authorization keys.

Researchers laid a three atom-thick semiconductor on a layer of molecules on azobenzenes which shrinks when it comes into contact with Ultra Violet light. These molecules will in turn pull on the semiconductor so that it emits light in longer wavelengths.

You can only read the message when you are looking at it under a specific kind of light. Researchers are also interested in this material as a medium for transmitting secret messages. The message will self-destruct after a while, but it can also be illuminated with blue light which will erase it.

Upon stretching, azobenzene gradually dissipates its stored energy over 7 days as long as it remains in the dark. When exposed to light, this period becomes shorter, and the erased chip can be used to record a different bar code or message.

The semiconductor is very much like nanomaterial but it can emit light in specific frequencies.

Jinsang Kim, a professor of material science and engineering designed the material together with Da Seul Yang, a doctoral student of macromolecular science and engineering. They coated it with the molecules by floating a layer of Nano molecules in water and dropping a silicon wafer into the water so that it comes out coated with the molecules.

Next, the researchers will be working to create a similar material that preserves the message intact for longer than a week and this will improve its use for anti-counterfeit measures.

The Air Force Office of Scientific Research is funding the research, and the University of Michigan is pursuing patents and commercial partners to take this technology to the market.

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Computers

Microsoft and AMD Team up to Offer Goodies to Customers

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If you treated yourself to an AMD-powered Gaming PC or upgraded to one, you could ensure that you were getting genuine Windows 10 and get a fun gift to go with your purchase.

Not all vendors had this offer, so you had to check out the list of partners who have this offer by looking at the table of selected partners. Choose the partner closest to you in India.

Microsoft and AMD partnered to offer consumers a special gift to go with the new AMD powered PC.

All buyers who took advantage of the offer had to write their details on a form.

If you are wondering what else came with the purchase, consumers received gaming accessories like gamepads, keyboards, headsets, and mice.

The offer was on for customers who wanted to upgrade an existing AMD-powered desktop to Windows 10.

Here’s why Genuine Windows 10 OS is so Important

It’s more Secure

When you are working with genuine Windows 10 software, you can download security updates as frequently as they are provided by Microsoft.

Security experts are constantly getting better at sealing loopholes, which means that Microsoft is always releasing new updates to fix issues.

When you are not working with genuine Windows, you will probably be using older versions of Windows that are more vulnerable to hackers and malware attacks.

It works Better

Microsoft is constantly improving on their gaming-related built-in features {and everything else, really). You definitely want to work with the latest version of Microsoft because will give you the best gaming experience you can get.

You Only have to Buy it Once

When you buy genuine Windows 10 Operating System, you own it. You can still use the same OS even when you upgrade to a new Windows PC. The minute you log into your account, you will be able to experience all the benefits of the Windows 10 without having to buy a new one.

List of Gaming Partners

We haven’t fully covered the reasons why genuine Windows 10 is so good for you. Besides these benefits, you are still guaranteed a free gift to go with your purchase. Now is definitely a good time to upgrade.

Customers had to purchase their new AMD Gaming Desktop PC between March 25th, 2021 and March 31st to take advantage of the offer.

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Microsoft to Synchronize Edge release Schedule to Google’s Chrome

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Microsoft is going to change its release time table for Edge to Chrome’s four-week interval between releases that Google announced recently.

Google announced that it would start following a four-week pace just recently and Microsoft had no choice but to follow suit.

“As contributors to the Chromium project, we look forward to the new 4-week major release cycle cadence that Google announced, to help deliver that innovation to our customers even faster,” Edge announced on their company blog on March 12th.

Just a week earlier, Google had announced its intention to release Chrome at a faster pace to keep up with Mozilla’s Firefox which was following a four-week release schedule instead of a four-week schedule.

Chrome 94 is coming out on September 21st. Chrome 95 will launch on October 19th. Microsoft will follow the same cycle. Microsoft announced that the new release cycle will begin with the Edge 94.

It has been customary for Microsoft to come out with a corresponding Edge every two days after a Chrome upgrade.

Google’s updates come out on Tuesdays, and this means that Microsoft’s comes out each Thursday. Edge 94 will therefore come out on 23rd and Edge 95 on October 21st.

Microsoft Edge is an open-source venture that builds and maintains Chrome’s core technologies. From January 2020, Edge has timed its releases to coincide with Chrome’s. It is a better alternative to delaying the release of Edge.

Chrome runs on multiple browsers, but Google has more control over it than Opera, Brave, Edge, or any of the other browsers. Google created Chromium and Google Engineers do most of the work. It is not yet clear what role Microsoft played in accelerating the release of Chrome.

If things go as Google has planned, Microsoft will offer a different version of Edge for commercial users that will last longer in between upgrades.

This release will come out at eight-week intervals instead of four weeks. Security upgrades every two weeks will provide service.

Only those organizations that have the capacity to manage their own machines will access the Extended Stable.

But even Chrome and Edge’s new eight-week release time table seems brief when compared with Firefox’ Extended Support Release that lasts at least a year with only security updates in between.

Microsoft observed yet another milestone on March 9th when it stopped supporting the original Microsoft Edge browser.

The legacy Microsoft Edge was launched with Windows 10 in 2015 but it did not gain traction. Microsoft preferred to dump its own technology for Chromium’s instead of wasting their hard work. The first new Edge for Chromium came out a year and two months ago.

Now that there is no more support for Microsoft Edge, users will run the software at their own risk, without Microsoft to fix hitches. Microsoft is preparing users to take up Edge on Chromium instead of moving to Firefox or Chrome.

This is why the Windows 10 update coming up next month will automatically remove the original Edge and install a new version.

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Consumers could soon get ARM-based Windows 10 PCs for Cheap

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So far, the Windows on Snapdragon program by Qualcomm has focused its attention on premium hardware. But the new 7cx chip is signaling a whole new direction.

The first Widows on Snapdragon portable computers came out in 2017, and since then, it has been obvious that Qualcomm is adopting a different take on portable devices.

Qualcomm’s vision is ‘always on, always connected’ and wants to achieve better PCs that wake instantly from sleep mode and whose batteries last multiple days.

Their ARM-based portable electronic devices are lightweight and fan less. The new Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2 chipset is 5G enabled.

This convenience does not come without its tradeoffs. The Surface Pro X is pricey as are other Snapdragons. At a minimum price of $999, the device goes for well above what would be considered affordable. The pricey Surface Pro X is a modified Snapdragon 8cx.

Snapdragons have developed improved performance and better compatibility with apps of late, but they haven’t quite caught up with normal PCs yet for the most part.

In 2019, Qualcomm came out with the Snapdragon 7c chipset that was more affordable, but the other devices don’t yet have cheaper versions. The cheapest ARM-based Windows device costs $599 which is still expensive as far as budget laptops are concerned.

Qualcomm is still determined to go on improving on the Windows on Snapdragon. Windows Latest reports that Qualcomm is preparing to come out with a different Snapdragon 8cx Gen2 chip soon.

We don’t know much about the next offering from Qualcomm, but the article on Windows Latest explains that the device will have a clock speed significantly faster than the original, at 2.7GHz for all four cores, compared to the 7cx which hits a maximum of 2.4GHz.

The moderately higher speeds may not significantly impact the price since they will not be adopting 5G. Also, processors for ARM-based devices need to have other qualities as well, including power efficiency.

The 7cx Gen 2 may not necessarily come in devices costing less than -£500, and we are yet to see whether it will register satisfactory performance and sufficient compatibility options to pull users from AMD and Intel devices.

If both of these wishes come true, it will make Windows on Snapdragon a major player in the budget laptop market.

There are other companies besides Qualcomm that are developing ARM-based computers. Samsung, Microsoft, and AMD are all working on their own improved models of ARM-based devices.

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