AMD Debuts Virtualized Graphics Cards and Quiet Chips

Today's topics include AMD’s introduction of their new quiet chips, the extension of Microsoft Office 365 FastTrack Service to more SMBs, UC Berkeley students sue Google for scanning their emails without consent and the NSA's advice on defending against nation-state attackers.

On Feb. 1, Advanced Micro Devices unveiled virtualized graphics cards that can be installed in data center servers and delivered as needed to a range of devices. A day later, officials introduced two new desktop processors that feature the AMD's new Wraith Cooler thermal system. The combination of the two new technologies will generate less than a 10th of the noise of previous chips.

Microsoft’s FastTrack, an Office 365 user on-boarding and support services suite for businesses, is now available to small and midsize organizations. In a Feb. 1 announcement, the company announced that it would be expanding the FastTrack services for use in SMBs with 50 to 149 seats of Office 365 enterprise and small business plans. Microsoft hopes that its FastTrack expansion will affect the end-user IT planning strategies of a large number of SMBs across the globe.

Four students from the University of California at Berkeley have sued Google for allegedly scanning their Gmail messages without obtaining prior permission. The students allege that between November 2010 and April 2014, Google scanned and processed the content of every email sent or received by them from a Google Apps for Education user account.

The students at UC Berkeley are seeking $10,000 in damages for each student. The law firm handling the case, Gallo LLP, plans to accept similar suits from Harvard, Yale, UC Santa Cruz, San Diego State and the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

At a session at the USENIX Enigma conference in San Francisco on Jan. 28, Rob Joyce, chief of The National Security Agency's Tailored Access Operations, discussed how advanced persistent threats target organizations. He also discussed what techniques can be used to defend against those attacks.

Joyce stressed the importance of understanding the devices and security technologies within networks in order to better understand these threats. The NSA made Enigma session public on YouTube, allowing anyone with Internet access to view the information on how to defend against nation-state adversaries.

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