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Acer UM09G71 Battery www.all-laptopbattery.com

A bigger proposition than some of its rivals, although still distinctly mobile at 1.4kg, the Qumi Q7 is slim, with an elegant white casing and silver grey trim. Inputs include two HDMIs, VGA, composite video and phono stereo, USB and an audio minijack output. There’s 2GB of usable onboard memory.At 1.5m the Q7 will throw an image just under 1.4m across. Native resolution is WXGA 1280 x 800. Compared to the others in this group, it’s a clear winner when it comes to image clarity, but that is reflected in its asking price. Details just ping from the screen, and it does skin tones extremely well.It’s the best option here for gaming and movies. I queued up The Hunger Games Mockingjay – Part One and could happily have watched the whole thing through – it’s unusual for a portable in that it makes a half-decent stab at retaining shadow detail. Brightness is quoted at 1000 ANSI lumens, with contrast at 30,000:1 (at just over 100 inches).

The audio system is perfectly functional, although you’ll probably not notice any stereo separation. It also runs quietly, with just a controlled whirr. The onboard media player is comprehensive. Sound and vision file compatibility is good, and there’s an Office Viewer, with PDF support. The Q7 runs quietly in Eco mode, with just a controlled 33dB whir. In high brightness this jumps to 38dB. All things considered, the Qumi Q7 is deeply impressive… if you can dig that deep.Canon’s LV-X300ST is a good deal larger than all the other projectors in this group, not least because it utilises a conventional lamp rather than an LED light source, but at 2.8kg it still warrants the sobriquet of portable.This an XGA short throw model (0.61:1 projection ratio), ideal for when space is limited. Build quality is high. The gloss white cabinet sports silver buttons on top, should you not want to use the credit card style remote zapper. Backside inputs comprise an HDMI, dual D-Subs, RS232 control, composite video, S-Video (something of a rarity these days), audio in/out minijacks and Ethernet port.The unit is also Crestron Connected, meaning that it will work out of the box with Crestron control and automation kit. This is clear indication that Canon sees its major appeal lying with the corporate/education marketplace. At just 1m from a wall or screen it’ll throw up a large, bright images, 1.8m diagonal; pull back to get an even larger 4:3 image.

The projector is nothing, if not, really, really bright, and is easily usable in even a brightly lit room. Rated at 3,000 ANSI lumens with a contrast of 2300:1, it offers searing peak whites. You can mute these by switching off TI’s brilliant Colour mode, but the result isn’t as deliciously dynamic. Colours are suitably cranked too. Native resolution is 1024 x 768. There’s a honkingly loud (10W) onboard speaker – good for the board room, but you’d really never choose to use this for any recreational pursuit. As a consequence though, operational noise is rather high at 36dB.Superlight at 0.28kg yet heavy on features, including integrated Wi-Fi, the titchy PicoPix PPX3614 is something of a pocket rocket of a projector. Connectivity includes a USB reader, mini HDMI connector (this is actually pretty annoying, but at least an adaptor cable is provided in the box), SD card reader, USB 2 mini port and a 3.5mm headphone jack.You can also stream to the Pico wirelessly. Just active the Wi-Fi hotspot and your mobile device with DLNA app will see it. It ships with a simple IR credit-card style remote, but there’s also a touchpad on the top of the unit. An onboard lithium-ion battery will power the unit for around two hours.

It rivals the Asus S1 for transportablility, measuring just 105 x 105 x 31.5mm. For optimum image stability, there’s a handy tripod bush on the undercarriage. The USB media reader itself is super useful, compatible with a wide range of multimedia files. It’ll also read office documents (PDF, ppt/pptx, excel and .doc).Native resolution is 854 x 480, and brightness is rated at 140 lumens. But these specs belie the astoundingly bright and vibrant images the PicoPix delivers. Optimum screen size is around 100/120-inches, but you’ll need a long throw (over 2m) to achieve that. Still, it’s great for pop-up movies and, I’d imagine, perfect for summer garden cinema. There’s also an onboard 1W sound system, offering merely functional bleatings and operational noise is whisper quiet. Overall, the PPX 3614 is a high value, generally stonking little handheld which if you shop around can easily be found for £350.

Millions of flawed BIOSes can be infected using simple two-minute attacks that don’t require technical skills and require only access to a PC to execute.Basic Input/Output Systems (BIOS) have been the target of much hacking research in recent years since low-level p0wnage can grant attackers the highest privileges, persistence and stealth.LegbaCore researchers Xeno Kovah and Corey Kallenberg revealed the threat to El Reg ahead of a presentation How Many Million BIOSes Would You Like to Infect? at CanSecWest tomorrow.Because almost no one patches their BIOSes, almost every BIOS in the wild is affected by at least one vulnerability, and can be infected, Kovah says.The high amount of code reuse across UEFI BIOSes means that BIOS infection can be automatic and reliable.The point is less about how vendors don’t fix the problems, and more how the vendors’ fixes are going un-applied by users, corporations, and governments.

Kovah and Kallenberg’s talk aims to both highlight the dangers and capabilities of BIOS attacks and the need for system administrators to apply vendor patches, something which they say is not being done.They will demonstrate attacks against BIOS on Gigabyte, Acer, MSI, HP, and Asus, using the LightEater implant running the privacy-focused Tails platform to siphon GPG keys from memory to a flash chip.LightEater, according to Kovah, reveals the naïveté of claims that Tails and other live operating systems can protect users from dedicated or nation-state attackers.The LightEater attack would take an unskilled attacker such as a maid or border guard two minutes of physical access to a target laptop.Then we’ll boot up the infected HP system and show how LightEater can use the Intel Serial Over LAN technology to exfiltrate data from SMM (System Management Mode), without needing a NIC-specific driver. And we’ll show the uber1337 ‘rot13′ encryption which will blind network defenders to what the SMM attacker is exfiltrating, he says.Kovah says misconfigured BIOS access controls present more of a threat than vulnerabilities such as exploitable buffer overflows.Those flaws are homogeneous. Using tiny signatures built from 10 machines the pair found the code hooks attackers need to build reliable SMM implants across thousands of BIOS images.This shows empirically that attackers wouldn’t have to reverse engineer each BIOS model or revision. Simple pattern matching can make it so that tools can just assemble BIOS implants for any model on demand, Kovah says, adding he expects that attackers already know this.

The need for better BIOS security is starting to sink in with top vendors (Lenovo, Dell and HP) moving to squash flaws in their gear. ASUS Kovah says a good example of those which had not patched or acknowledged BIOS flaws.Some BIOSes are woefully insecure. The pair found Giagbyte’s BIOS had borked access controls that did nothing to prevent attacks.So, we didn’t even have to do anything special; we just had a kernel driver write an invalid instruction to the first instruction the CPU reads off the flash chip, and bam, it was out for the count, and never was able to boot again, Kovah says.The duo will reveal an automated scripts they supplied to vendors that can detect dangerous attacks against SMM capable of reading and writing to all system memory.BIOS attacks surfaced on the public record from the research community but as leaked Snowden documents reveal it was the National Security Agency that likely first exploited the vector.The research pair says the attacks should serve as a boot in the arse for governments and corporations to apply BIOS patches if only to make life more difficult for less-resourced hostile spy agencies.

I personally find it very ironic that things like Tails gained popularity as OPSEC tools thanks to Snowden, while at the same time Snowden’s leaks showed that the NSA had the capability to defeat such mechanisms if they wanted to. The scenario’s a hauntingly familiar one. You’re the IT person who’s just been told by the boss: “We’re moving the kit to insert name of whatever data centre he’s signed up with in a panic>, now get on and do it.”I’ve done more than my fair share of migrations from on-premise systems to data centres – and more often than not the move has been driven by some disaster or other that’s hit the office and nobbled one or more important applications.If you’re putting your corporate systems in the data centre, you presumably still need to be able to connect to them from the office and to be sure that the apps are as responsive and snappy as the users need them to be. Although you can theorise that it’s OK for things to be a little slower than they were with an on-premise installation, the reality is that the users won’t be convinced and so you have to be sensible about connectivity.

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