HP buys Bromium to apply virtualization security

HP acquired security company Bromium, announcing the purchase on Thursday afternoon. Much as Intel, AMD, Nvidia, Microsoft, and other major vendors hoard key pieces of computer technology, HP may be trying to corner the market on a unique piece of browser technology it already uses.

Bromium technology already underlies HP’s Sure Click feature, which locks every individual browser tab inside of its own virtual machine. Theoretically, any piece of malware on the tab can’t “see” anything more than the tab upon which it resides, protecting the browser as well as the PC host.

Bromium also supplies what it calls Secure File technology, which does the same for each individual download—Office documents, PDFs, and the works. If the file isn’t marked as trusted, it will be opened in what Bromium calls a micro virtual machine.

We’ve previously looked at how virtualization seems to be a key Microsoft technology within the company’s own Windows Server products, and how virtualization-dependent features could translate into the consumer space via Windows 10 Pro. A central component of that is Windows Sandbox, which dramatically expands what Bromium is doing. Instead of wrapping each file in a virtualized environment, Sandbox virtualizes the entire Windows OS, building a Windows PC within a PC. Microsoft doesn’t have a direct analog to Bromium’s technology.

According to HP, the Bromium technology will be used in conjunction with its existing Sure Sense AI-driven antimalware solution on the Elitebook 800 G6; its Sure View display technology; and Sure Start, a secure boot technology. HP didn’t disclose how much it paid for Bromium.

Abigail Smith is an inventive person who has been doing intensive research in particular topics and writing blogs and articles on  Printer Customer Support and many other related topics. He is a very knowledgeable person with lots of experience. If you’re not running A/V protection right now and you want more than what Windows Defender offers, this is a great buy.

Astro C40 review

The Astro C40 gaming contoller comes from a company far better known for its headsets. For years, save for the odd dabble in lifestyle gear, headsets have been Astro’s claim to fame.

Maybe it’s time that changes, though. I’ve spent the last month or so playing around with the Astro C40, and while it’s not a perfect device, it’s clear Astro’s trademark attention to detail could benefit all sorts of premium peripherals.

Happiness, held

Of course, it’s going to cost you. Astro’s headsets are generally not cheap. Neither is the C40, retailing for a staggering $200. For context, that’s about three times the cost of a normal PlayStation 4 controller, and $50 more than Microsoft’s high-end Xbox One Elite Controller.

It also has some tricks I haven’t seen anywhere else. The C40’s main gimmick? It’s a PlayStation 4 controller that’s happy to accommodate Xbox fans. By default the C40 ships with the PlayStation 4’s standard layout, meaning two analog sticks side by side. Dig around in the case and you’ll find a small hex driver though, with which you can remove four screws and subsequently a boomerang-shaped plastic faceplate.

Once removed, the analog sticks and D-pad pop right out. In a matter of seconds you can rearrange this PlayStation 4 controller so it has the offset analog sticks of an Xbox controller.

The C40 isn’t the first PlayStation controller with staggered sticks—the SCUF Vantage line I mentioned earlier features an Xbox-like layout. The ability to go back and forth is new though, as you could just as easily swap back to a PlayStation layout for certain titles.

Will you? Hard to say. I feel like it’s probably a change you make once and then it’s done. I strongly prefer the Xbox’s stick arrangement, and I’m sure Sony’s DualShock 4 devotees feel the same in reverse. It’s hard to imagine anyone going through the cumbersome unscrew-and-swap process day after day, but…well, the option’s there.

As a side note, Bluetooth is usually reserved for high-end desktop motherboards, so it’s great to have a device that works seamlessly with what’s in the box. No additional Bluetooth dongle purchase required—nor do you need to buy a separate proprietary wireless dongle, as you would for the Xbox One Elite Controller. Factor that in, and you’ve narrowed the price gap between the C40 and Elite.

It’s worth noting that the C40’s battery life is fantastic. Sony’s first-party controllers are notorious for pretty poor battery life. Even brand new, you’re lucky to see six to eight hours per charge. Astro lists the C40 at 12 hours or more, depending on rumble intensity and so forth.

Anyway, the rest is pretty standard for high-end controllers, even if it seems like a novelty to those upgrading. The C40 includes three pairs of analog sticks: concave, convex, and a set of taller sticks, one concave and the other convex. I’ve heard scattered reports that wear and tear on sticks is happening faster than you’d expect, but I haven’t noticed any problems myself yet.

Astro also includes force graphs for the triggers and sticks, and it’s here you can really dig into the C40 and make it your own. For instance, you could make it so moving the stick even 20 percent of the way is equal to a full 100-percent tilt, or give yourself a larger dead zone for additional finesse. The same goes for the triggers: Those generally need less tweaking, but you can make sure you have a 100-percent pull at the trigger stops no matter what game you’re playing.

My one complaint: You need to plug in the C40 to tweak it, but if you have the wireless dongle plugged in as well then the software defaults to trying to update the dongle’s firmware, with no way to click past and see the controller settings. You need to unplug the dongle. Not a huge deal, but it’s definitely confusing and unintuitive. At first I thought I’d somehow bricked the C40.

Bottom line

The only thing that holds me back from wholeheartedly recommending the Astro C40 is its price. $200 is a lot of money, even for a high-end controller. To its credit, the C40 does more than the Xbox One Elite Controller and SCUF’s various offerings, but is it enough? Hard to say—especially on PC, where the Xbox controller is still the default for most games.

Abigail Smith is an inventive person who has been doing intensive research in particular topics and writing blogs and articles on  Printer Customer Support and many other related topics. He is a very knowledgeable person with lots of experience. If you’re not running A/V protection right now and you want more than what Windows Defender offers, this is a great buy.

Select the Desktop That’s Right

With a wide variety of desktop PCs on the market — ranging from traditional towers, to all-in-ones, to custom media and gaming rigs, to Mini PCs and Workstations — selecting a system that addresses user needs can feel like a daunting challenge. “Will the amount of memory or storage in the device suit my needs?” or “Does the system support the hardware peripherals I’ve grown accustomed to using?” or “Will the hardware I select set me up for success down the road?” are some of the many questions that will arise as prospective PC users weigh the market options when selecting a device.

At the heart of the computer is the central processing unit (CPU), and processor core count in the market has increased in recent years. As an example, Intel has seen the top end of its High End Desktop (HEDT) processor market leap from 10 cores in 2016 to a whopping 28 last year with the introduction of the. The amount of CPU cores may only continue to increase.

More CPU cores and the hyper threading capability that comes with them can offer an opportunity to boost performance for demanding workloads like 3D rendering, simulations, and video post-production. But conversely, increasing the core count may interfere with the performance of less-demanding applications that don’t need a lot of cores and threads. So two questions should come to mind when selecting your next PC: “How am I going to use my computer?” and “Do more cores always mean better overall processor performance?”

Core to the CPU – Your Use Case

For mainstream desktop users or those who don’t need special software to do their jobs, more cores may not be the most sensible option. However, for power users or performance-first gamers, there are a number of use cases where having a machine with a high-core processor can make resource-intensive tasks much more pleasant and productive.

Gamers: Most games don’t utilize a lot of cores and are much more dependent on CPU frequency for the best experience. If you’re a gamer looking for buttery smooth gameplay, your best option will be a processor with high frequency like the 9th Gen Intel® Core™ i9 desktop processor that can reach 5 GHz out of the box. It will perform better than higher-core-count machines that have lower frequency speeds to deliver the gameplay you need to turn your fast-twitch muscle movements into instant game satisfaction – whether you’re playing on your desktop or in VR. As a bonus, it also offers eight cores and 16 threads so budding streaming stars can get the optimal gameplay with up to 5 GHz frequency and the power for recording, encoding, and streaming all at once.

Content Creators & Workstation Professionals: Are you an architect, filmmaker, engineer, scientist, video blogger, or other type of content creator? As professional software is generally optimized to leverage more cores that can churn through many tasks simultaneously to get things done quickly – yet still needs relatively high frequencies – the power of a double-digit core machine with high frequency is likely the best option. These types of prosumer desktop and professional workstations, such as those that run on an Intel® Core™ X-series or Intel® Xeon® processors, are designed to scale performance needs and tackle heavily threaded, I/O workloads so you can quickly complete content-rendering tasks and high-performance challenges – while remaining focused on content strategy or next month’s business project.

While there are plenty of good reasons to seek out a high core count, it’s important to understand the balance between high-core-count platforms and the technology required to optimize those systems.

Abigail Smith is an inventive person who has been doing intensive research in particular topics and writing blogs and articles on  Printer Customer Support and many other related topics. He is a very knowledgeable person with lots of experience. If you’re not running A/V protection right now and you want more than what Windows Defender offers, this is a great buy.

Use GPU-accelerated VideoProc

More and more people are using mobile phones, 4K ultra high-definition (UHD) cameras, GoPro action cameras, drones, and other devices to shoot exciting video. But when it comes to sharing and displaying the output, the results can often be disappointing, lacking the polish of professional footage. Now, whether you’re a novice or a pro, you can take advantage of VideoProc on your Windows PC to utilize full hardware acceleration to process and touch up your footage.

Turning raw footage into polished videos

Editing raw footage into content you’re proud to share can be daunting. Tools that claim to be “easy to use” typically lack the necessary features to really make video shine; and those that offer a range of sophisticated features can be too complicated and time-consuming to master. VideoProc is an all-in-one application that combines DVD/video conversion along with important editing features needed to turn video footage into polished, quality output you can be proud of.

With VideoProc, producing a finished product is as simple as inputting the source video, choosing a target output format, adding any desired special effects, and clicking “RUN.” Using default settings generates great results, but you can adjust and customize videos and audio like a pro.

What you can do with VideoProc

VideoProc combines DVD and video conversion with essential tools and simple linear editing to make the most of any video shot with smartphones, GoPro, DJI, camcorders, or other 4k cameras. The results can easily be played with various devices and imported to post-editing apps.

You can cut a video, delete unwanted segments, or rearrange clips in any sequence before uploading. You’ll see how easy it is to stabilize shaky video, remove noise, and correct fisheye lens distortion. Before you know it, you’ll be able to convert downloaded videos and merge your selected footage with other content. Trim, split, and flip the video with a full set of easy-to-use editing tools.

With VideoProc you can confidently output high-quality video and music, even adjusting song quality, audio codec, channel, sample rate, and bit rate. VideoProc also works as a DVD conversion tool, enabling users to convert and back up home DVDs and commercial DVDs speedily.

Firing up video editing

VideoProc can take advantage of full GPU hardware acceleration on a PC to ensure smooth video editing and transcoding without compromising quality. The software examines your PC hardware to provide the fastest possible video processing speed while maintaining the lowest possible CPU usage.

VideoProc can process videos and video folders in bulk, including 4K UHD/8K clips. You’ll be able to resize large video footage with a better than 90% compression ratio.

Abigail Smith is an inventive person who has been doing intensive research in particular topics and writing blogs and articles on  Printer Customer Support and many other related topics. He is a very knowledgeable person with lots of experience.

Ryzen gets a boost, Windows 10’s future, and Q&A

In this episode of The Full Nerd, Gordon Mah Ung, Alaina Yee, Mark Hachman, and Adam Patrick Murray talk about the Ryzen boost bug fix and what’s left for Windows 10 this year.

The discussion kicks off with Gordon telling everyone they don’t have to immediately ask for the manager, which is what he feels some did with the Ryzen boost bug. Mark is eventually able to chime in with actually useful information on what will happen for the rest of the year in Windows 10 land.

Speaking of audio, you can subscribe to The Full Nerd in iTunes (please leave a review if you enjoy the show). We’re also on Stitcher, Google Play, or you can point your favorite podcast-savvy RSS reader to:

You can also join the PC-related discussions and ask us questions on The Full Nerd’s Discord server. Finally, be sure to follow PCWorld on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitch to watch future episodes live and pick our brains in real time!

Abigail Smith is an inventive person who has been doing intensive research in particular topics and writing blogs and articles on  Printer Customer Support and many other related topics. He is a very knowledgeable person with lots of experience. If you’re not running A/V protection right now and you want more than what Windows Defender offers, this is a great buy.

Alienware m17 with a GeForce RTX 2060

There’s a fantastic Dell Alienware gaming laptop available at a solid price today. Rakuten is selling an Alienware m17 for $1,200 with the coupon code DELL200. That’s $200 off the regular price and hundreds of dollars less than you’ll usually find laptops with a GeForce RTX 2060 selling for. To use the coupon you have to sign-up for a Rakuten account.

In addition to the display, it’s rocking a 2.6GHz six core, twelve thread Core i7-9750H. It has 16GB of RAM, a 256GB M.2 SSD, and a 1TB hybrid hard drive. For graphics, it’s rocking Nvidia’s wonderful GeForce RTX 2060, which is more than potent enough to drive the 60Hz screen at full speed with every visual setting cranked to the max. This laptop should keep playing games at satisfying frame rates for a long, long while.

Nvidia’s GPU also supports real-time ray tracing capabilities. Ray tracing allows for more realistic behavior of light in games that support it. The end result is more vivid-looking scenes, and while it doesn’t sound like much, the difference can be dramatic.

The Alienware m17 packs two USB 3.1 Type-A slots, one USB SuperSpeed 3.1 Type-A port with charging support, HDMI 2.0 out, mini-DisplayPort out, Thunderbolt 3, and ethernet. There’s also an Alienware Graphics Amplifier Port if you ever want to use this with an external graphics card; however, with a GeForce RTX 2060 built-in you likely won’t feel the need for years.

Abigail Smith is an inventive person who has been doing intensive research in particular topics and writing blogs and articles on  Printer Customer Support and many other related topics. He is a very knowledgeable person with lots of experience.

Apple Watch Series 4

Apple Watch Series 4: GPS+Cellular

Apple is probably going to introduce a “new” Apple Watch next week, although word on the street says the refresh involves a change in casing material rather than features that would justify a name like “Series 5.” Even so, ahead of the event, Amazon is slashing the prices for the existing Series 4 models, and this includes both the GPS and GPS+cellular models.

Below you’ll find the standout deals, which represent the lowest prices we’ve seen. You’ll find some other discounted models if you dig a little in the options, but we’ve seen those listed for better prices before.

Want more information? Be sure to read our review of the Apple Watch Series 4 from last October. As we said at the time, “this is the Apple Watch that finally feels like it delivers on the promise Apple has been building toward for the last four years.”

Abigail Smith is an inventive person who has been doing intensive research in particular topics and writing blogs and articles on  Printer Customer Support and many other related topics. He is a very knowledgeable person with lots of experience.