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EcoQos Can Help Your PC Run Quieter for Longer

Chris Rausch

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Everyone wants the most out of their computer – and Microsoft is giving Windows 10 Insiders the chance to take control of hardware performance in addition to software control through the task manager.

EcoQos is a new feature introduced in Insider Preview Build 2135 that adds an additional option to the Windows Task Manager. Under the “Processes” tab, users can right-click on a process and select “Eco Mode” from the menu. This automatically balances the resources allocated to the process to allow for more performance in more resource-intensive tasks. Part of this feature is also to allow developers to provide performance profiles that make it simple for the processor to adjust performance accordingly, similar to a laptop battery’s and “power saver” or “high performance” modes.


This new feature can help to cut down on the amount of processor power required, which will help to use less battery on laptops and less electricity on desktops. Controlling the power consumption can also keep operating temperatures down, protecting the hardware and minimizing the cooling requirements. As a result, EcoQos can help to cut down on fan noise and minimize power usage associated with cooling. 

Power consumption can be cut by up to 90% with the introduction of this feature according to Microsoft, which will be a major benefit to the 1 billion Windows 10 devices that are currently active. EcoQos is aimed primarily at mobile processors, but is expected to include all types of computers over time.

In my 4+ years as a professional tech copywriter, I've written about everything from laptops & routers to the software that facilitates billions in online sales each day. If it relates to, connects to, or belongs on the Internet, I'm in. Equipped with my Associate's in Computer Science and a computer I assembled myself (no big deal), I write about all things hardware, software, gaming, and digital tech to keep you up-to-date on important news, releases, and tips & tricks.

Cybersecurity

Peloton Hacking Vulnerabilities Identified in High-End Exercise Bikes

Tara Ragone

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McAfee has identified vulnerabilities in Peloton’s exercise bikes that gives hackers the ability to activate malware and spy on users of the product. McAfee’s threat team stated that hackers could exploit the bike’s USB ports and create fake apps that would reveal users’ personal data to them. Peloton bikes located in public gyms are seen as the most vulnerable since they are open to so many users.

It has been implied that a hacker would not be capable of reaching set goals to use the microphone and camera on Peloton’s bikes to spy without physically accessing the screen. Even though malware realistically would need to be installed in person though, the hackers could later access the products remotely at any desired time. McAfee’s researchers did manage to gain unauthorized access to the products’ features, thus validating the alleged threat(s).


Unfortunately, the most expensive Peloton bikes with sophisticated additions that other products do not have are what renders them susceptible to cyberattacks. One of the emphasized scares of this situation is that hackers can be anywhere, meaning they could potentially install malware during construction of the product or upon its delivery.

McAfee relayed that although they informed Peloton about the vulnerabilities months ago, it took the company weeks to respond. However, McAfee seemed to keep quiet on the matter until the affected company was prepared to take action and respond to the issue formally.

Peloton’s response was that the bikes are not for commercial use and that a perpetrator would need direct access to the product in order to succeed in a hack. The company further stated the vulnerabilities have been addressed and are no longer a threat. Peloton went on to release a mandatory software update for users that is intended to disable hackers from accessing the machines and seeing anything without permission. 

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Cybersecurity

Ukrainian Criminal Ransomware Group Brought Down by Authorities

Tara Ragone

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A ransomware gang, known as Clop, has been brought down by law enforcement due to a collaborated operation carried out by Ukraine, the United States, and South Korea. The Cyber Police Department of the National Police of Ukraine validated that 21 residential searches in Kyiv and regions close by resulted in the apprehension of six suspects. It is explained that accusations made against the actors consist of extorting victims twice by first demanding a ransom be paid and then by leaking stolen data if payment is not received.

The Ukraine police announced that the acts of malice were committed against American and South Korean servers. It is thought the cybercriminals have succeeded in extorting at least half a billion dollars from their victims. Organizations that are said to have been subjected to Clop’s illicit actions include large universities in Maryland, Florida, Colorado, and California. This bulk arrest is being referred to as the first apprehension of a ‘prolific hacking’ group victimizing Americans. 


Law enforcement was able to seize computers, cash, and cars at the time their arrests were made on Clop affiliates. Clop was apparently able to achieve their goals through the exploitation of vulnerabilities found in File Transfer Appliance (FTA), which is a product designed by Accellion that allows users to share files. A deep website created by Clop contains the stolen information from the organizations that failed to comply with their ransom demands. 

While authorities are glad to have several members of Clop in custody, they were confronted with limitations due to only approaching the cash and money laundering aspects of the crimes. Additionally, law enforcement does not feel confident that any of the masterminds of Clop were caught being that they are suspected to have residencies in Russia. Presidents Biden and Putin discussed cybersecurity during their Geneva meeting, and there are hopes Russia will enact stronger protocol to combat electronic crimes.

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Amazon

Facebook, Google, And More Pressure SEC to Require Business Climate Reports

Brandon Marcus

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Seven of the biggest technology companies in the world are urging the federal government to hold them accountable about climate change. 

Amazon, eBay, Facebook, Google parent company Alphabet, and more sent a letter to Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Gary Gensler on Friday, asking that the SEC require businesses to regularly reveal issues related to climate change to shareholders and the public. 


The coalition’s letter stated that the companies “believe that climate disclosures are critical to ensure that companies follow through on stated climate commitments and to track collective progress towards addressing global warming and building a prosperous, resilient zero-carbon economy.” It marks one of the most high-profile attempts by big tech to spur more self-responsibility and involvement from their sector and follows other instances of the industry being vocal about the need to address climate change.

Perhaps the biggest request in the letter is regarding greenhouse gases. The companies claim that the SEC should require businesses to report on these gas emissions in an annual report that provides transparency to anyone involved in the company and any potential customers as well. 

Additionally, the group of businesses stated that they have purchased 21 gigawatts of clean energy in their quest for a fully renewable economy. 

The letter doesn’t come as a major surprise, since many major tech companies have long been adamant about fighting climate change. However, even the most vocal companies have been criticized for their lack of tangible action. Recently, some of these companies – such as Amazon – have put forth plans to show how serious they are about tackling the pressing issue. Jeff Bezos launched the “Climate Pledge” in September 2019, which included plans for Amazon to use 80% renewable energy by 2024 before transitioning to complete zero emissions by the year 2030. 

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