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charlesarthur : asus   14

The Asus ZenBook Pro Duo is an extravagant laptop with two 4K screens • The Verge
Sam Byford:
<p>The ZenBook Pro Duo has not one, but two 4K screens. (At least if you’re counting horizontal pixels.) There’s a 15-inch 16:9 OLED panel where you’d normally find the display on a laptop, then a 32:9 IPS “ScreenPad Plus” screen directly above the keyboard that’s the same width and half the height. It’s as if Asus looked at the MacBook Pro Touch Bar and thought “what if that, but with 32 times as many pixels?”

Unlike the Touch Bar, though, the ScreenPad Plus doesn’t take anything away from the ZenBook Pro Duo, except presumably battery life. Asus still included a full-sized keyboard with a function row, including an escape key, and the trackpad is located directly to the right. The design is very reminiscent of Asus’ Zephryus slimline gaming laptops — you even still get the light-up etching that lets you use the trackpad as a numpad. HP tried something similar recently, too, though its second screen was far smaller.

<img src="https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/k64i9604zUHT0f0LTvzfC3YoNDU=/0x0:2040x1360/1520x0/filters:focal(0x0:2040x1360):no_upscale()/cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_asset/file/16301703/DSC00617.jpg" width="100%" /></p>


OK, so the photo shows the use for the second screen. But it's just wild.
asus  screen 
11 weeks ago by charlesarthur
Asus was warned of hacking risks months ago, thanks to leaky passwords • TechCrunch
Zack Whittaker:
<p>A security researcher warned Asus two months ago that employees were improperly publishing passwords in their GitHub repositories that could be used to access the company’s corporate network.

One password, found in an employee repo on the code sharing, allowed the researcher to access an email account used by internal developers and engineers to share nightly builds of apps, drivers and tools to computer owners. The repo in question was owned by an Asus engineer who left the email account’s passwords publicly exposed for at least a year. The repo has since been wiped clean, though the GitHub account still exists.

“It was a daily release mailbox where automated builds were sent,” said the researcher, who goes by the online handle SchizoDuckie, in a message to TechCrunch. Emails in the mailbox contained the exact internal network path where drivers and files were stored…

…The researcher’s findings would not have stopped the hackers who targeted Asus’ software update tool with a backdoor, revealed this week, but reveals a glaring security lapse that could have put the company at risk from similar or other attacks. Security firm Kaspersky warned Asus on January 31 — just a day before the researcher’s own disclosure on February 1 — that hackers had installed a backdoor in the company’s Asus Live Update app. </p>


That's two strikes against Asus; not looking good. Security is hard, especially when you do it badly.
asus  github  hacking  security 
march 2019 by charlesarthur
Hackers hijacked ASUS software updates to install backdoors on thousands of computers • Motherboard
:
<p>Researchers at cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab say that ASUS, one of the world’s largest computer makers, was used to unwittingly install a malicious backdoor on thousands of its customers’ computers last year after attackers compromised a server for the company’s live software update tool. The malicious file was signed with legitimate ASUS digital certificates to make it appear to be an authentic software update from the company, Kaspersky Lab says…

…The researchers estimate half a million Windows machines received the malicious backdoor through the ASUS update server, although the attackers appear to have been targeting only about 600 of those systems. The malware searched for targeted systems through their unique MAC addresses. Once on a system, if it found one of these targeted addresses, the malware reached out to a command-and-control server the attackers operated, which then installed additional malware on those machines.

Kaspersky Lab said it uncovered the attack in January after adding a new supply-chain detection technology to its scanning tool to catch anomalous code fragments hidden in legitimate code or catch code that is hijacking normal operations on a machine. The company plans to release a full technical paper and presentation about the ASUS attack, which it has dubbed ShadowHammer, next month at its Security Analyst Summit in Singapore. In the meantime, Kaspersky has<a href="https://securelist.com/operation-shadowhammer/89992/"> published some of the technical details on its website</a>.</p>


Asus, you won't be surprised to hear, hadn't responded by publication time.
asus  infection  malware 
march 2019 by charlesarthur
ASUS Z390 motherboards automatically push software into your Windows installation • TechPowerUp
<p>During testing for our Intel Core i9-9900K review we found out that new ASUS Z390 motherboards automatically install software and drivers to your Windows 10 System, without the need for network access, and without any user knowledge or confirmation. This process happens in complete network-isolation (i.e. the machine has no Internet or LAN access). Our Windows 10 image is based on Windows 10 April 2018 Update and lacks in-built drivers for the integrated network controllers.

Upon first boot, with the machine having no LAN or Internet connectivity, we were greeted by an ASUS-specific window in the bottom right corner of our screen, asking whether we'd like to install the network drivers and download "Armoury Crate". This got us curious and we scanned the system for any files that aren't part of the standard MS Windows installation. We discovered three ASUS-signed files in our Windows 10 System32 folder, which, so it seems, magically appeared on our harddrive out of thin air. Upon further investigation we also found a new, already running, system service called "AsusUpdateCheck."

These files could not have come from either our Windows image or the network, leaving the motherboard's 16-megabyte UEFI BIOS as the only suspect.</p>


🤔
asus  motherboard 
october 2018 by charlesarthur
European Commission Antitrust fines four consumer electronics manufacturers for fixing online resale prices • EC
<p>Asus, Denon & Marantz, Philips and Pioneer engaged in so called "fixed or minimum resale price maintenance (RPM)" by restricting the ability of their online retailers to set their own retail prices for widely used consumer electronics products such as kitchen appliances, notebooks and hi-fi products.

The four manufacturers intervened particularly with online retailers, who offered their products at low prices. If those retailers did not follow the prices requested by manufacturers, they faced threats or sanctions such as blocking of supplies. Many, including the biggest online retailers, use pricing algorithms which automatically adapt retail prices to those of competitors. In this way, the pricing restrictions imposed on low pricing online retailers typically had a broader impact on overall online prices for the respective consumer electronics products.

Moreover, the use of sophisticated monitoring tools allowed the manufacturers to effectively track resale price setting in the distribution network and to intervene swiftly in case of price decreases.

The price interventions limited effective price competition between retailers and led to higher prices with an immediate effect on consumers.

In particular, Asus, headquartered in Taiwan, monitored the resale price of retailers for certain computer hardware and electronics products such as notebooks and displays. The conduct of Asus related to two Member States (Germany and France) and took place between 2011 and 2014. Asus intervened with retailers selling those products below the resale prices recommended by Asus and requested price increases.</p>


Total fines: €111m, the biggest (€63m) going against Asus. I wonder if the US FTC has seen similar activity? Also: seven years to reach this stage from the start of the activity. Is that good?
antitrust  denon  asus  marantz  philips 
july 2018 by charlesarthur
Asustek adjusting tablet operations • Digitimes
Monica Chen and Adam Hwang:
<p>Asustek Computer is adjusting its tablet operations by decreasing the number of models developed, focusing shipments on fewer overseas markets, and transferring a portion of its about 1,000 employees specifically working on tablets to its VR (virtual reality) and AR (augmented reality), and smartphone business units, according to company CEO Jerry Shen.

Asustek began the adjustments in mid-2016 and expects to finish it in mid-2017, Shen said.

Asustek's global tablet shipments fell from 12.1m units in 2013 to 9.4m units in 2014, 5.9m units in 2015 and 3.3m units in 2016.</p>


"Adjusting" seems a roundabout way to say "abandoning". Remember the Nexus 7 in 2012 and 2013? Those were Asus.

The reality: there's no profit in Android tablets any more unless you're Samsung, and even then it's iffy.
asus  tablet 
february 2017 by charlesarthur
Asustek reduces demand for Intel-developed smartphone platforms » Digitimes
Monica Chen and Joseph Tsai:
<p>Asustek Computer has added platforms developed by Qualcomm and Taiwan-based MediaTek for its ZenFone-series smartphones, reducing the proportion of platforms developed by Intel, its original supplier. Asustek's Intel chip demand is estimated to decrease from about 6m units in 2015 to below 5m units in 2016 and may be down further by 50% in 2017, according to industry sources.

With major clients such as Asustek and Lenovo cutting orders, Intel is under strong pressure to stay competitive in the market.

Intel's mobile communication business lost over US$10 billion in the past three years and despite a merger with its PC Client Group, adjustments in business structure and marketing subsidies, the business is still suffering from losses.

Although Intel has been cooperating with first-tier smartphone vendors to develop products using its platform, Asustek and Lenovo are the only two players with large orders and Asustek is the largest client of Intel.</p>


Intel's mobile chip division is already sub-scale, and now it's going to get even smaller.
intel  asus 
april 2016 by charlesarthur
Asustek, Gigabyte to ship 4.2-4.5m own-brand motherboards each in 1Q16 » Digitimes
Monica Chen and Joseph Tsai:
<p>With demand from the PC DIY market continuing to decline, global motherboard shipments dropped from 69m units in 2014 to 54m units in 2015, while shipments in China also slumped from 28m units to 26m.

As for second-tier players, excepting ASRock which was still profitable in 2015, Micro-Star International (MSI), Biostar, Elitegroup Computer Systems (ECS) and China-based Colorful all saw their profits from the motherboard business in 2015 drop sharply from 2014.

As for 2016, global motherboard shipments are expected to drop below 50m units, while Asustek and Gigabyte will both be able to maintain their shipments at around 17m units.</p>


Note that point about the DIY market shrinking. (Will VR change that?) Remarkable that two companies have over 60% of the whole market.
asus  gigabyte  motherboard 
january 2016 by charlesarthur
Acer, Asustek will not die in global PC market, says Acer founder » Digitimes
Aaron Lee and Joseph Tsai:
<p>In response to IDC forecasts that two of the top-10 international PC vendors will withdraw from the global PC market over the next two years due to unbearable operating losses and the two are possibly Acer, Asustek Computer, Toshiba, Samsung Electronics, Tsinghua Tongfang, or Fujitsu, Acer founder Stan Shih said that Acer and Asustek will not die due to lower overheads compared to other vendors.

Acer achieved net profits of NT$191m (US$5.84m) and EPS of NT$0.06 for the third quarter and the results were a lot higher than those of the previous quarter mainly due to an exchange income of NT$799m.

Shih noted that Acer's third-quarter profits were seriously impacted by competitors' buy-two-get-one-free promotions and Acer also chose to focus on digesting inventory in the quarter, knowing it would gain profits from exchange rates.</p>


I'd not be surprised if Toshiba and Fujitsu pulled out; they're losing money. Samsung is a long way from profitable scale too, but has the advantage of making key components such as the displays.

Acer's PC business isn't looking healthy, though.
pc  acer  asus 
november 2015 by charlesarthur
Notebook retailers in Europe having difficulty clearing inventory » Digitimes
Aaron Lee and Joseph Tsai:
<p>As the year-end holidays approach, the [upstream supply chain] sources are concerned that the retailers may reduce their notebook prices further in order to quickly clear up their inventory, but such a move is expected to greatly impact notebook brand vendors' profitability and affect overall notebook sales in the second half.

The sources pointed out that brand vendors such as Lenovo and Hewlett-Packard (HP) have been encouraging their retail partners to stock up since May by offering them high commissions. However, weak demand and Windows 10's failure to kickstart a PC replacement trend have caused the retailers to suffer from high inventory pileup despite their aggressive promotions.

Acer and Asustek Computer, neither of whom has used the high-commission strategy, are still expected to be affected as the retailers are selling competitors' notebooks at a much lower price range, forcing the two firms to follow suit or risk losing market shares. Currently, Acer and Asustek take up about 30-40% of Europe's notebook sales.

Asia Pacific is also seeing weakening notebook demand amid a slowing China economy. The PC market in the US is the only one seeing meaningful growth, but only US-based vendors HP, Dell and Apple will benefit.</p>


I'd guess the "sources" in this story aren't too far from Asus and Acer.
pc  acer  asus 
september 2015 by charlesarthur
To clarify the news on Asustek will not rule out the possibility of acquiring HTC Corp » HTC
HTC's formal announcement to the Taiwanese stock exchange on Monday:
We didn’t contact Asusteck and will not consider the acquisition. As an international brand, HTC will continue to design world-class innovative smart devices through its pursuit of brilliance brand promise.


Let's put a marker down on that one.
htc  asus 
june 2015 by charlesarthur
Asus brings a choice of sizes to Android Wear with ZenWatch 2 » The Verge
Vlad Savov:
The ZenWatch 2 runs the latest version of Android Wear, which was recently introduced with the LG Watch Urbane, however Asus' watch is still a long way from actually being released. Asus tells us that it will reveal the full specs, pricing, and availability information during IFA in Berlin this September — leaving this as more of a promise than an actual product. The goal is to keep prices consistent between the two watch sizes, leaving the choice of strap to determine the particular cost.

<strong>Update:</strong> The original article speculated that Asus' metal crown will function like the digital crown in the Apple Watch, however we've now confirmed with Asus that it's simply an external button and not a physical scroll wheel.


1) Doesn't this kill off the existing Zenwatch, even though there's no price etc etc for the 2?
2) Which company will be the first, do we think, to mimic Apple's digital crown and risk the sure-to-ensue lawsuit?
asus  smartwatch 
june 2015 by charlesarthur
Asustek facing challenges in 2015 » Digitimes
Monica Chen:
Asustek managed to ramp up its notebook shipments to 20.1m units in 2014, up from 18.8m shipped a year earlier. However, shipments of low-priced models to some designated markets contributed much of the growth in 2014.

Meanwhile, shipments of desktops totalled 2m units in 2014, doubling from those shipped in 2013.

Excluding shipments of Windows-based tablets and 2-in-1 models, Asustek's notebook shipments lagged slightly behind the 20m units shipped by Apple in 2014, according to IDC…

Although Asustek boasts a number of notebook lines, including Gun-, KX- and T100- and Chi-series as well as EeeBook and Chromebook families, slack global demand for notebooks will cap Asustek's efforts to ramp up its shipments, according to industry sources.

Asustek's tablet shipments fell short of its target in 2014, reaching less than 10m units compared to 12m units shipped a year earlier. However, buoyed by its voice-calling Fonepad tablet series, the company still aims to ship 12m tablets in 2015.

The company shipped eight million smartphones in 2014, but saw a loss of NT$2bn (US$64m) for the handset business. Asustek plans to release its second generation ZenFone soon and aims to ship 16m units in 2015.


You can just about use those numbers to back out the number of 2-in-1s that Asus shipped, which looks like the low single-digit millions for the year. And that handset business is painful.
asus 
february 2015 by charlesarthur
Digitimes Research: global top-6 notebook vendors to share 81.7% global shipments in 2015 >> Digitimes
<blockquote class="quoted">The world's top-six notebook vendors, Hewlett-Packard (HP), Lenovo, Dell, Apple, Acer and Asustek Computer, will together occupy 81.7% of global notebook shipments in 2015, increasing 1.7pp on year, according to Digitimes Research.

With the exception of Lenovo and Asustek, other vendors will barely sustain significant shipment gains in 2015 during which Lenovo is expected to continue adopting an aggressive strategy to maintain its leading market position, while Asustek will try to generate more revenues by ramping up shipments of low-priced models.

HP, Dell and Apple will see their combined shipments decline slightly in 2015 as the buying activities triggered by the expiration of Windows XP and Sony's phasing out from the notebook market will dwindle. However, the three vendors will take a combined 40% share.

Unclear why it thinks Apple is going to see a fall (did it benefit from XP's end?) but there's clearly now a shrinking pool for everyone else.
laptop  apple  dell  lenovo  hp  acer  asus 
november 2014 by charlesarthur

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