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Intel says hardware changes will block Spectre and Meltdown

Hope you can wash dishes

Did you get that shiny new Samsung Galaxy S9 smartphone and can’t get Samsung Pay to work? Well, you’re not alone. Reports are cropping up that owners of the new halo phone are unable to use the tap-to-pay feature because, well, the phone won’t let them. Android Headlines says Samsung user forums and social media posts indicate the phone is giving users a warning that Samsung Pay “is not supported on this device.”

The problem doesn’t appear to be limited to any one carrier, or either the regular or Plus version of the new phone, although at the moment, the issue does seem to only be affecting phones sold in the U.S. Samsung just started shipping the phones last week, with other countries are set to get the handsets shortly. Some good news, though: Users complaining to Samsung say they’ve been told a fix is in the works and will roll out soon in an update.

Bits and band-aids

If you thought the hacker holes and problems caused by the flaws in Intel and other CPUs – commonly known as the Specter and Meltdown vulnerabilities – had been fixed, well, not quite. Software patches continue to be deployed, but Intel is now saying they are working on actual hardware fixes for the problems. Intel’s CEO posted up a message on their site that says they are working to redesign parts of upcoming runs of CPUs to use a partition to plug the gaps.

Meanwhile, software updates and fixes will continue to be made available, and Intel also says they have firmware updates that now cover everything they’ve made for the last five years. Microsoft is also issuing fixes through OS updates, although any changes should be pretty invisible to most users. We’ve got links to check to see if your PC is updated and download fixes, and it’s not just Intel chips that are at risk.

Steering into trouble

Ford has issued a wide-ranging recall for a serious problem: Steering wheels coming loose. While people are driving. Ford says the recall affects 1.3 million vehicles, including Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ models going back to 2014. Problems with bolts holding the steering wheels to the steering column have apparently resulted in the steering wheels coming loose at inopportune moments.

One driver said his steering wheel came off and just fell into his lap while he was fortunately in a parking lot, and another owner said they bumped the wheel with their knee while getting into the car and it just… popped off. So far, only one injury has been reported from the problem. Ford is also recalling 6,000 Fusion and Focus cars for a transmission problem. Get all the details on Ford’s and several other recalls in this post.

We’ve got more news on our Facebook page and YouTube channel, and be sure to tune in to this week’s DT podcasts: Trends with Benefits (general tech shenanigans)  on Thursdays, and Between the Streams (movie and TV topics) every Friday.

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