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Microsoft had recently released security updates to mitigate the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities from its systems. However, it was found that these security updates impact the system performance of computers and servers. Adding more to the difficulties, Microsoft has now said that it is offering Windows security updates released on January 3rd to only those devices that are running antivirus software from partners who have their software updated with January 2018 Windows operating system security update. In its security notes, Microsoft stated that compatibility issues occur with the anti-virus applications which make unsupported calls into kernel memory of Windows. The unsupported calls make the device unable to boot, showing the blue screen errors (stop errors). Thus, the users running incompatible antivirus applications in their system won’t receive the security updates issued by Microsoft. Microsoft and Intel had responded to the Meltdown and Spectre malicious actors which…
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To protect users from the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities, Microsoft had recently released security updates for its systems. However, these security updates slow down the performance of some computers and servers. More than a week ago, security researchers discovered the Meltdown and Spectre malicious actors which were affecting all mobile devices and computers. These attacks take place in three variants- Variant 1 (Spectre), Variant 2 (Spectre), and Variant 3 (Meltdown). Microsoft currently supports 45 editions of Windows, and have issued security updates for 41 of them already. Talking about slow system performance, the tech giant said that Variant 1 and Variant 3 don’t affect much, but Variant 2 seems to have more performance impact on devices. Windows 10 users with 2016-era CPUs or newer won’t see much performance impact as the benchmarks show single-digit slowdowns that are reflected in milliseconds. While the Windows 10, Windows 8, and Windows 7 users with 2015-era CPUs or…
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Microsoft has announced the general availability of its Accelerated Networking (AN) for Azure virtual machines (VMs). The AN can be used for both Windows and latest distributions of Linux. How does Accelerated Networking work? In AN, the software defined networking (SDN) of Azure is moved from CPUs, into the SmartNICs (smart networking interface) based on FPGA (field programmable gate-array). It enables a single root I/O virtualization (SR-IOV) to a VM, which lessens the compute cycles by end user applications. Hence, the load on VMs is reduced, along with the decrease in inconsistency in latency. Benefits of Accelerated Networking The Accelerated Networking will speed up the networking throughput of Azure VMs up to 30 Gbps. Low latency Reduced jitter Reduced CPU usage Supported versions AN supports Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter and Windows Server 2016, and these VMs- D/DSv2, D/DSv3, E/ESv3, F/FS, FSv2, and Ms/Mms. AN was available in public preview only till 4th…
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After announcing the serverless and DevOps capabilities for Kubernetes community, Microsoft has now shifted its focus to the Kubernetes ecosystem and has announced collaboration with Heptio and Tigera. Heptio will bring its Kubernetes disaster recovery and migration solutions to Azure with Heptio Ark, while Microsoft and Tigera will jointly contribute to Project Calico, to simplify network security for Windows Containers. Heptio Ark Ark project works through Kubernetes API, and is a solution for managing backups and disaster recovery. It’s also a useful source to move workloads across on-premise and public cloud environments. These capabilities of Ark will be available to Azure customers, and will help them not only backup and restore content in AKS (Azure Container Service), but also the snapshots that are created using ark will persist in Azure and will be encrypted at rest. Calico Calico, the community-based, free and open source solution, is maintained by Tigera, and enables…
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A week after Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced per-second billing for EC2 and EBS instances, Google said that starting Tuesday, per-second billing is available on a number of its cloud services, including Compute Engine.
Paul Nash, group product manager, Compute Engine, said that its per-second billing option is now available on Compute Engine, Container Engine, Cloud Dataproc, and App Engine flexible environment VMs.
"These offerings join Persistent Disks, which has been billed by the second since its launch in 2013, as well as committed use discounts and GPUs; both of which have used per-second billing since their introduction," Nash said in a blog post.
The changes come shortly after Google introduced network tiers which allow customers to save money by opting for less performance.
Unlike AWS' per-second billing, which is only available to instances running Linux, Google per-second billing is applicable to all VMs, including Preemptible VMs and VMs running Windows Server, Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) and SUSE Enterprise Linux Server.
"In most cases, the difference between per-minute and per-second billing is very small — we estimate it as a fraction of a percent," Nash said. "On the other hand, changing from per-hour billing to per-minute billing makes a big difference for applications (especially websites, mobile apps and data processing jobs) that get traffic spikes. The ability to
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Troon, SCOTLAND – MaidSafe, developer of the world’s first and only autonomous data network, is announcing the Authenticator Release of the SAFE Network. This Alpha 2 release includes a new mechanism for access control (the Authenticator) that integrates mobile platform support, as well as updated demonstration apps. MaidSafe’s progress underlines its commitment to making the security of data its paramount concern from the outset.

The Authenticator provides secure network access, which is now enforced by the network, automating the protection of data. It is bundled with the SAFE Browser, and in addition to supporting Windows, OSX and Linux, it now also incorporates support for Android, with iOS support in the works. While these moves into mobile are a technology preview they are designed to show how the SAFE Network accommodates mobile devices. In the coming months, MaidSafe will provide mobile developers with the tools and documentation to start developing SAFE mobile apps.


The updated desktop tutorial applications are SAFE Mail and the Web Hosting Manager. SAFE Mail provides end to end encrypted email using the public key of the recipient to encrypt the message, so only the recipient can read its contents. The Web Hosting Manager allows users to create their own public ID enabling users to upload and publish content instantly. The two Android example applications are the Authenticator, which provides network access, and SAFE Messages, which facilitates end to end encrypted mail.

“We’re delighted to announce the next milestone for the SAFE Network, which has required a methodical and rigorous approach at all times to ensure we are protecting data from the outset,” said David Irvine, founder and CEO, MaidSafe. “We have made a huge investment in time and resources to get to this point, which we believe has given us a unique technical advantage. The SAFE Network is based on over 11 years R&D, 20 granted patents and 12 pending and 19 test networks. We’re confident, that unlike the blockchain alternatives, our network is the first and only autonomous one that can protect data.”

Work on future Alpha releases is continuing as MaidSafe expands its global development team to progress critical functionality such as an autonomous secure routing layer. This will see the network architecture become more decentralised. It will enable users to run routing nodes and provide secure transient data. There is also on-going work on secure autonomous storage with user run vaults facilitating a much broader range of decentralised apps.

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