A curious observer’s guide to quantum mechanics, pt. 3: Rose colored glasses 

Patrick

Getty Images / Aurich Lawson

One of the quietest revolutions of our current century has been the entry of quantum mechanics into our everyday technology. It used to be that quantum effects were confined to physics laboratories and delicate experiments. But modern technology increasingly relies on quantum mechanics for its basic operation, and the importance of quantum effects will only grow in the decades to come. As such, physicist Miguel F. Morales has taken on the herculean task of explaining quantum mechanics to the rest of us laymen in this seven-part series (no math, we promise). Below is the third

DDoSers are abusing Microsoft RDP to make attacks more powerful

Patrick
Enlarge / Hacker attacking server or database. Network security, Database secure and personal data protection

DDoS-for-hire services are abusing the Microsoft Remote Desktop Protocol to increase the firepower of distributed denial-of-service attacks that paralyze websites and other online services, a security firm said this week.

Typically abbreviated as RDP, Remote Desktop Protocol is the underpinning for a Microsoft Windows feature that allows one device to log into another device over the Internet. RDP is mostly used by businesses to save employees the cost or hassle of having to be physically present when accessing a computer.

As is typical with many

Facebook says ‘configuration change’ caused some users to be logged out unexpectedly

Patrick

Facebook says some users were logged out of their accounts unexpectedly Friday due to a “configuration change,” and the issue has been fixed as of Saturday morning.

“On January 22, a configuration change caused some people to be logged out of their Facebook accounts. We investigated the issue and fixed it for everyone earlier today. We’re sorry for the inconvenience,” a Facebook company spokesperson said in an email to The Verge.

CenturyLink, Frontier missed FCC broadband deadlines in dozens of states

Patrick
Enlarge / A CenturyLink service van parked in Santa Fe, New Mexico, on May 2, 2019.

CenturyLink and Frontier Communications have again failed to meet broadband-deployment deadlines in dozens of states after taking money from the Federal Communications Commission.

When the FCC awarded Connect America Fund Phase II grants in 2015, CenturyLink accepted $505.7 million in annual support over six years in exchange for deploying broadband with 10Mbps download speeds and 1Mbps upload speeds to 1.17 million homes and businesses in 33 states. Frontier accepted $283.4 million in annual support over six years to deploy service to 659,587 homes and

Samsung will reportedly make 3nm processors at expanded Texas plant

Patrick

Samsung is considering spending over $10 billion to build an advanced new logic chipmaking plant in Austin, Texas, Bloomberg is reporting. The plant may be capable of making processors as advanced as 3nm, and would be Samsung’s third worldwide to use extreme ultraviolet lithography technology in its chip production. If the plans go ahead, construction at the plant could begin this year, with operations commencing as soon as 2023.

An advanced US-based Samsung fabrication plant could provide Samsung a foothold in getting new contracts from US customers amidst ongoing trade tensions between the US and China. The move would

Samsung is making “very large quantities” of 90Hz OLED displays for laptops

Patrick
Enlarge / The 2020 Samsung Galaxy Chromebook, which had a 4K OLED display.

Samsung

The world’s biggest OLED manufacturer is making a push for more OLED laptop screens. A press release from Samsung Display says the company is making “very large quantities of 14-inch, 90Hz OLED displays destined for laptops and notebooks, beginning in March.” Apparently, Samsung has a lot of orders coming in, and the company says that “several global IT companies are expected to release new laptops or notebooks with 90Hz OLED screens this year.”

Usually, faster-refresh-rate displays are the realm of gaming laptops, where you can get

Samsung Galaxy S21 review: Its value is its strength

Patrick

This year, power users are no doubt super excited about the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra. It has all the specs, all the cameras, and all the juice you need to power through a day (or two) of heavy smartphone use. While that’s great for the enthusiast crowd, they represent but a tiny fraction of the overall smartphone-buying population. Most people don’t need all those bleeding-edge specs and features (or all that money drained from their bank accounts).

Enter the Samsung Galaxy S21. This phone isn’t for power users. In fact, if you’re a power user, I can guarantee that

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra review: the real deal

Patrick

Samsung’s “Ultra” phones are meant to be the absolute pinnacle of the company’s (non-folding) mobile technology. And so the Galaxy S21 Ultra — the third Ultra phone after the S20 and Note 20 Ultras — spares very few expenses. The price is lower than before, starting at $1,199.99, but the phone itself is a perfect example of what happens when Samsung goes all-out.

It’s also a perfect example of how Samsung often whiffs on its first attempt at something but presses on anyway, eventually achieving the original vision it couldn’t the first time. The original Galaxy S20 Ultra from last

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