Cold War Group to Probe Russian Hacks of DNC, Voter Databases

Today's topics include the White House's order for a special investigation of suspected Russian hacks of U.S. voter databases, Lenovo's latest laptop and tablet models, Microsoft's sale of MSN China and Nvidia's partnership with Baidu to build an AI platform for autonomous cars.

The White House has ordered a little-known investigative group to carry out detailed examinations of a series of cyber-attacks by suspected Russian hackers against U.S. election data systems. The attacks include breaches of a voter database used by the Democratic National Committee and voter registration sites in Illinois and Arizona.

The group, known as the Foreign Denial and Deception Committee, works within the Central Intelligence Agency and is a holdover from the Cold War. The committee, whose membership and activities are secret, originally was formed to investigate attempts by foreign agencies to counteract foreign intelligence.

Lenovo launched its latest tablets, two-in-ones and laptop computer models on Aug. 31 at the IFA Consumer Electronics Unlimited conference in Berlin, including some with a choice of the Windows or Android operating systems and others with a choice of several configurations.

The new machines include a Yoga Book two-in-one tablet in Android or Windows versions, a Yoga 910 two-in-one laptop, a Yoga Tab 3 Plus 10-inch Android tablet and the Miix 510 2-in-1 Windows PC with a detachable keyboard.

Microsoft has sold its MSN China web portal to XiChuang Technology for an undisclosed amount, the company announced this week.

The company had originally planned to shutter the service, the Redmond, Wash., software maker announced earlier this year. Instead, the company has sold MSN China to XiChuang, whose chief executive, Anderson Liu, formerly served as general manager of Microsoft Online in China. In an Aug. 29 announcement, the companies pledged to work on a smooth transition of MSN China's search advertising business to XiChuang.

"Microsoft is deeply committed to China, offering a range of products including Windows 10, cloud services, and hosting the largest research and development center outside of the U.S.," a Microsoft spokesperson told The Wall Street Journal in a May 9 report.

Nvidia is partnering with Chinese internet company Baidu to create an artificial intelligence-based computing platform for autonomous cars that will include cloud-to-car connectivity and high-definition mapping.

Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang and Baidu CEO Robin Li unveiled the partnership Aug. 31 at the Baidu World Conference in Beijing, saying they will apply technologies from each company to create the platform and build on the work the two have done together over the past four years in the rapidly growing field of artificial intelligence.

Baidu reportedly wants to use the platform for a taxi service in China, though a key part of the plan is to make it open so other tech firms and carmakers can use it for their autonomous driving efforts.

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