AMD is making a comeback to high-end CPUs with upcoming 'Zen' based processors AMD's 2015 Financial Analyst Day has offered us a glimpse into what the company has in store for us the silicon pipeline for the next few years. And one of the most anticipated arrivals is AMD's next-generation, high-performance X86 core, codenamed Zen.

In terms of performance, AMD is promising an ambitious 40 percent increase in instructions per clock (IPC). With a new chip comes a new platform, this time called AM4. All of AMD's desktop CPUs will use this socket, including any Zen-based APUs it produces down the line. AM4 will introduce support for faster DDR4 memory, but other implementations of the chipset will continue to use DDR3.

New Linux rootkit leverages GPUs for stealth A team of developers has created a rootkit for Linux systems that uses the processing power and memory of graphics cards instead of CPUs in order to remain hidden. The rootkit, called Jellyfish, is a proof of concept designed to demonstrate that completely running malware on GPUs (graphics processing units) is a viable option. This is possible because dedicated graphics cards have their own processors and RAM. ITworld

Daimler's self-driving big rig debuts on Hoover Dam Although much attention has been paid to autonomous vehicles being developed by Google and traditional car companies, one truck maker believes that automated tractor-trailers will be rolling along highways before self-driving cars are cruising around the suburbs. On freeways, there are no intersections, no red lights, no pedestrians, making it a far less complex trip, said Wolfgang Bernhard, a management board member of Daimler AG, at a Tuesday event in Las Vegas. LA Times

Microsoft logs IP addresses to catch Windows 7 pirates A presumed pirate with an unusually large appetite for activating Windows 7 has incurred the wrath of Microsoft. In a lawsuit filed at a Washington court, the Seattle-based company said that it logged hundreds of suspicious product activations from a Verizon IP address and is now seeking damages. Torrent Freak

The Intel Xeon E7-8800 v3 Review: The POWER8 Killer? The story behind the high-end Xeon E7 has been an uninterrupted triumphal march for the past 5 years: Intel's most expensive Xeon beats Oracle servers - which cost a magnitude more - silly, and offers much better performance per watt/dollar than the massive IBM POWER servers. Each time a new generation of quad/octal socket Xeons is born, Intel increases the core count, RAS features, and performance per core while charging more for the top SKUs. AnandTech

RadioShack name going on the block Monday The RadioShack trademark and the rest of the intellectual property trove of the electronics retailing pioneer is going up for auction Monday as efforts continue to gather cash for creditors. Loaded with debt, RadioShack filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy in February and scrambled to shut down or sell off stores. Company spokeswomen Merianne Roth confirmed Thursday that qualified bids were received by a court-set deadline, so the auction will go off as scheduled. Morningstar

Carl Sagan's solar sail spacecraft is finally getting a real-world test The Planetary Society is preparing to test a spacecraft proposed by legendaryastronomer (and founder of the Planetary Society) Carl Sagan. The vessel is called LightSail, and as you might expect, it uses a light sail for propulsion. The fascinating design has been successfully tested on Earth, but now it’s going to be launched to the upper atmosphere to test the deployment of its huge mylar sails in flight. ExtremeTech

A master key to the ultimate dumb device Lock-in. That's what we call it when you're dependent on a specific vendor for particular services. When you buy a single-serving coffee machine boasting convenient, mess-free coffee inserts, like Keurig K-Cup or Nespresso, you're bound to its brand of coffee pods. When you purchase digital music on iTunes, proprietary formats and digital rights management (DRM) make it difficult to listen to it outside of Apple's service. The Atlantic (also, R&D spending surge indicates Apple is working on something positively massive )

Scroll back Working on my game Mushroom 11, I was faced with many different design and technology challenges. I wasn't expecting to find references to issues like dynamically changing shapes or vertex animation, but I was quite surprised that camera work, a subject with more than 30 years of history in games, was hardly discussed. I decided to start a journey through the history of 2D gaming, documenting their challenges, approaches and how the evolution of their solutions. Itay Keren

If you like Dishonored you'll also like... As with so many of the best open world games, the real star of Dishonored is its setting: Dunwall city. The game's tale of urban blight, thievery, and betrayal plays out in a darkly-mirrored London that provides safer refuge to rats than the poor people who carry the city on their shoulders. There's little in the way of hope for them, but then again, the blackness of its heart is what I love about Arkane’s 2012 stealth-action game. PC Gamer

12-minute Mandelbrot: fractals on a 50 year old IBM 1401 mainframe When I found out that the Computer History Museum has a working IBM 1401 computer[1], I wondered if it could generate the Mandelbrot fractal. I wrote a fractal program in assembly language and the computer chugged away for 12 minutes to create the Mandelbrot image on its line printer. In the process I learned a bunch of interesting things about the IBM 1401, which I discuss in this article. Ken Shirriff

Researchers create lens to turn smartphone into microscope Researchers at the University of Houston have created an optical lens that can be placed on an inexpensive smartphone to magnify images by a magnitude of 120, all for just 3 cents a lens. Wei-Chuan Shih, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at UH, said the lens can work as a microscope, and the cost and ease of using it -- it attaches directly to a smartphone camera lens... Phys.org

'The Void' is a VR experience which fuses physical and virtual reality environments Whilst the the virtual reality industry’s focus right now is largely on in-home entertainment, the out-of-home VR sector shows immense promise. A new project called ‘The Void‘ is an out-of-home experience that aims to let players explore physical environments in virtual reality. Confused? Let us explain. Road to VR (also, 'Mythbusters' is already shooting in virtual reality )

Android and iOS apps on Windows: What is Microsoft doing -- and will it work? At its Build developer conference last week, Microsoft made a pair of announcements about Windows development that were more than a little surprising: Windows will support applications developed for iOS and Android. This immediately felt like a dangerous move. Windows will not be the first operating system to run foreign applications. Famously, IBM advertised OS/2 as a "Better Windows than Windows" in the 1990s... Ars Technica

NSA's phone spying program ruled illegal by appeals court A U.S. spying program that systematically collects millions of Americans' phone records is illegal, a federal appeals court ruled on Thursday, putting pressure on Congress to quickly decide whether to replace or end the controversial anti-terrorism surveillance. Reuters (also, The NSA has an actual Skynet program )