CPU and OS makers go on red alert over Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities

Patch it, patch it real good

Following the revelation by The Register that Intel chips had a serious security flaw, the race is on to beat the hackers who are no doubt working on taking advantage of the security hole. And it’s not just Intel chips that have a problem; some AMD and ARM CPUs are also vulnerable. On top of that, Apple says that pretty much every Mac, iMac, iPhone, and iPad are affected, and they’re working on patches for the problem.

Long story short, the flaws or bugs – which now have the rather villainous monikers of Meltdown and Spectre – could allow hackers to see the CPUs pull in passwords and other sensitive data from storage drives as they work to predict user’s actions. Yes, CPUs and software actually do that. Anyway, the issue has become a full-blown tech crisis and tech giants like Apple, Microsoft, Google and others are racing to close the window on the hackers with software patches.

While many people often wait to update their OS in case there’s some bugginess or other issues, everyone is pretty much saying the same thing right now: When your PC, phone or tablet says there’s an update ready, update it immediately. We’ve got many more details on the Spectre and Meltdown issues, so read up and update your tech ASAP.

Avoid laptop toast

Computer maker HP is facing another problem in addition to flawed Intel CPUs: reports of some HP laptops melting and charring from problems with their batteries have prompted a voluntary recall. HP has posted a list of the affected computers, with total about 50,000 units in the US and about 2600 machines in Canada. The models included in the list go back about two years. HP says the batteries could overheat and pose a burn and fire hazard.

They’ve also posted two downloadable utilities to check your computer to see if it is affected. Obviously, you’ll want to get your HP PC checked out, so go here to get started.

My work here is done

The man with the fattest rolodex in music is leaving Apple, according to numerous reports. Super-producer Jimmy Iovine, who helped craft Apple Music from the old iTunes model and was instrumental in acquiring the Beats by Dre headphone business, is reportedly exiting the Apple Spaceship in August. Coincidentally, that’s when his shares in Apple fully vest, likely making future income problems (if there ever were any) pretty much irrelevant.

According to Business Insider, Iovine never really was a very good fit at Tim Cook’s Apple, where some of his past remarks about women and music were cringe-worthy at best and apology-worthy at worst. Additionally, Apple is steering Apple Music more towards video these days, which is clearly not Iovine’s first love: He’s definitely more of a music guy. So what’s next for Jimmy? No word on specifics but we’d suspect his name will be on some hit records in the near future.

That’s it for this week and next week we’ll be doing DT Daily from the CES show in Las Vegas next week. Be sure to check out our CES preview and we’ll have all the big announcements right here starting on Monday, along with up-to-the second coverage on Digital Trends.com, Facebook and YouTube.

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.

Computing

The guy who invented USB finally admits it’s annoying to plug in

The man behind the team that created USB has finally acknowledged that the design has caused plenty of frustration over the years. But he insists there was a good reason for building it in the way that he did.
Deals

Walmart knocks $600 off of this massive 65-inch TCL Roku 4K TV

Have enough space for a 65-inch television and a credit card with at least $60 on it? Flip the plastic over to the numbered side, because Walmart has knocked $600 off the TCL 5-Series.
Deals

Bestsellers from last year’s Amazon Prime Day and what to expect in 2019

Amazon Prime Day 2019 is looming over the horizon, and right now is a great time to look back at last year's most popular deals to get a decent idea of what to expect in 2019. Take a look at our predictions.
Home Theater

Block the outside world and tune into your own with the best in-ear headphones

Over-the-ear headphones offer top-flight sound, but they're not so easy to take along with you. If you're looking to upgrade your portable sound, check out our favorite in-ear headphones — there's a model for every user and every budget.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Prime’s one-day shipping, Samsung Fold delay, and more

On this episode of DT Live, we discuss the current tech news, including quantum interface, Prime's one-day delivery, the Samsung Fold delay, a browser that pays you in crypto, Tesla's robot taxis, and more.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Spotify hits 100 million subscriptions, simulated asteroid

On this episode of DT Live, we discuss Spotify's latest subscription milestone, NASA's simulated asteroid strike, Amazon's tracking (and firing) of workers based on A.I. results, flying car skyports, and more.
Digital Trends Live

Game of Thrones’ race to the finish line leaves no time to enjoy the scenery

Game of Thrones only has a few episodes left to wrap up its story, and it shows. The series is knocking out important plot points at a frantic pace, and that is to the detriment of what was once a thoughtful and detail-rich fantasy series.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Impossible Burger rollout, Mother’s Day guide, and more

Join us on DT Live as we cover the day’s top tech news, including the Impossible Burger’s nationwide rollout at Burger King, Marriott's plans to compete with Airbnb, Samsung’s vertical viewing TV, our Mother’s Day Gift Guide, and…
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Facebook F8 wrap-up, iPhone 11 mock-ups, and more

On today’s DT Live, we discuss the Facebook F8 developer conference, new mock-ups for the iPhone 11, Hulu grows to 28 million subscribers, Daimler quits the Smart EV car, and “biosolar leaves” may help clean London’s air.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Google I/O preview, Blue Origin rocket test, and more

On the latest episode of DT Live, we preview the Google I/O conference, and discuss the Pixel 3a leak, Blue Origin’s space tourism rocket launch, contact lenses with AR capabilities, Bethesda’s Rage 2 release, and more.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Escooter safety, Swarm A.I., Spotify’s voice-enabled ads

On today’s DT Live, we look into the potential dangers of riding escooters, Spotify’s voice-enabled advertising, Swarm A.I., the induction of Microsoft’s Solitaire into the video game hall of fame, and more.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Google I/O wrap-up, Lyft and Uber strike, and more

On this episode of DT Live, we discuss the Google I/O conference, the Lyft and Uber strike, Amazon’s New York Go store, Germany’s electric delivery truck highway, Japan’s successful rocket launch, and more.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Google and Huawei, Alphabet’s meatball drones, and more

On Monday's episode of DT Live, we discuss the ongoing battle between Google and Huawei, Alphabet’s meatball-delivering drones, Facebook’s secret robot division, deepfake Joe Rogan, and more.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Huawei updates, Starlink launch, and Pac-Man’s birthday

On this episode of DT Live, we discuss the ongoing Huawei saga, Amazon’s social games for workers, Ford's partnership with a robotics company, the Starlink satellite launch, Pac-Man’s birthday, and more.