Mt. Gox, once the world's biggest bitcoin exchange, abruptly stopped trading on Tuesday, shaking investor confidence in the digital currency that is struggling for legitimacy. A form of electronic money independent of traditional banking, bitcoins started circulating in 2009 and have become the most prominent of several fledgling digital currencies. The virtual currency relies on a network of computers that solve complex mathematical problems as part of a process that verifies and permanently records the details of every bitcoin transaction that is made. Unlike traditional currencies, where a central bank decides how much money to print based on goals like controlling inflation, no central authority governs the supply of bitcoins. Like other commodities and currencies, its value depends on people's confidence in it. How volatile is it? The dollar price of bitcoins quoted on online exchange Bitstamp spiked from around $30 a year ago to more than $1,100 in December as … [Read more...] about What is bitcoin and how does it work?
How computer chips are made
Manpower crucial for the local chip industry Ngoc Tran The local microprocessor industry has begun its first steps of development with some plans to develop chip factories, including one by Saigon Industry Corporation to build a large-scale plant in the Saigon Hi-tech Park with the assistance of scientists from Switzerland. The Saigon Times Daily talked to Duong Minh Tam, Deputy Manager of the Saigon Hi-tech Park, about the future of the HCMC microprocessor industry. The Saigon Times Daily: Could you tell us about the heading of HCMC’s microprocessor industry? Duong Minh Tam: The microprocessor industry consists of several sections, the most sophisticated ones being the like of Intel or AMD microprocessor sets. Of course, it is hard for us to reach such a level because the construction of a medium-sized factory for producing transistorized microprocessors requires an investment of US$1-3 billion. And we cannot have the required manpower, either. With experience gained in the … [Read more...] about Manpower crucial for the local chip industry
Samsung Electronics has built global leadership in mobile phones, but in a fickle industry looks more vulnerable than its nemesis Apple Inc without an 'ecosystem' - software, services, content and customer support - to keep its users loyal. "They need to move out of that mentality of just selling people a device," says Rachel Lashford, Singapore-based managing director of mobile for Canalys, a consultancy. "They need to get their head around the idea that they're no longer just a hardware company." … [Read more...] about Samsung challenge: sold the phone, how to keep the customer
WHAT IS MELTDOWN? AND SPECTRE?These are the names given to two flaws which have been detected in most of the micro processors in use today, be it on computers, tablets, smartphones or game consoles. They are among the first flaws ever found to affect the running of every IT system in the world.Meltdown appears for now to affect mostly chips built by US giant Intel, according to sector specialists Kaspersky Labs and Symantec.The flaw could allow attackers to break down the barrier between user apps and the heart of the operating system, according to Kaspersky Labs, "enabling them to potentially steal data from the memory of running apps".Anybody exploiting the flaw would get access to a complete cartography of all the files present in the device's memory at the time of the attack, by hijacking a process that was originally designed to optimise processor performance.The Spectre threat is potentially even bigger because it concerns all chip makers: AMD and AMR as well as Intel.WHAT IS A … [Read more...] about Flawed computer chips and how to fix them
Amid a frantic rush to patch a computer security flaw, experts struggled Thursday to determine the impact of a newly discovered vulnerability which could affect billions of devices worldwide. Cybersecurity researchers called for computer systems to urgently install updates a day after the release of details of the so-called Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities affecting the chips powering most modern PCs and many mobile devices. Researchers on Wednesday published details of the flaw, which unlike many other vulnerabilities stems from the chip itself and how it safeguards private data stored on computers and networks. The researchers at Google showed how a hacker could exploit the flaw to get passwords, encryption codes and more, even though there have been no reports of any attacks using the vulnerability. "The full extent of this class of attack is still under investigation and we are working with security researchers and other browser vendors to fully understand the threat and … [Read more...] about Tech firms rush out patches for ‘pervasive’ computer flaw