HPE's new chip marks a milestone in optical computing We may use photons to carry our data, but we rely on the electron to put it to use. One day that division of labor might not be so stark. A team at Hewlett Packard Labs, in Palo Alto, Calif., has built a demonstration chip that could help push some particularly thorny computations into the realm of light, potentially boosting speed and saving energy in the process. Silicon integrated circuits containing parts that can manipulate light are not new. But this chip, which integrates 1,052 optical components, is the biggest and most complex in which all the photonic components work together to perform a computation... IEEE Spectrum

Op-ed: The desktop CPU isn't dead, it just needs a swift kick in the butt Our review of Intel's new flagship consumer desktop CPU, the Kaby Lake-based Core i7-7700K, was less-than-favorable. Out of the box, the chip runs faster than the i7-6700K that preceded it, but that's just because it ships at a higher default clock speed. When running at the same clock speed – something easily achievable because these chips are specifically intended for overclocking – CPU and GPU performance is identical. Ars Technica

EFF's 2017 wishlist For the last five years, EFF has greeted the holiday season by publishing a list of things we'd like to see happen in the coming year. Sometimes these are actions we'd like to see taken by companies, and sometimes our wishes are aimed at governments, but we also include actions everyday people can take to advance our digital civil liberties. This year has seen a few victories, including the fact that more and more websites are using HTTPS by default and using Let's Encrypt... EFF

'Copyright trolls' hit with class action lawsuit for theft by deception In recent years so-called copyright trolls have been accused of various dubious schemes and actions, including intimidation and extortion. Last month it became apparent that these concerns are not just one-sided complaints, when the U.S. Government launched a criminal case against two of Prenda Law's principals. This week, copyright trolling allegations are once again brought to the forefront. TorrentFreak

Lessons learned from a composer turned game developer In a recent story from The Verge, Chris Tilton explained how he went from composing music for games like Assassin's Creed Unity and SimCity to going hands-on with game development to create the upcoming isometric adventure game Divide. While the story contains some insightful lessons learned by the composer turned game developer, his take on how hands-on experience with a game changed his composition process is especially interesting. Gamasutra

Inside the development of gaming's biggest mystery, 'Frog Fractions 2' "I'm trying to ship a game," remarked an exhausted-sounding Frog Fractions designer James Crawford during a Skype conversation recently. I joked that I didn't believe him, but after players used a mysterious key found at the end of an escape room on an equally mysterious box labeled "launch FF2," Frog Fractions 2 exists. Waypoint.Vice

Researchers design one of the strongest, lightest materials known A team of researchers at MIT has designed one of the strongest lightweight materials known, by compressing and fusing flakes of graphene, a two-dimensional form of carbon. The new material, a sponge-like configuration with a density of just 5 percent, can have a strength 10 times that of steel. In its two-dimensional form, graphene is thought to be the strongest of all known materials. MIT

Amazon's robot army grows by 50 percent The world's largest e-commerce retailer said it employed 45,000 robots in some 20 fulfillment centers. That's a cool 50 percent increase from last year's holiday season, when the company had some 30,000 robots working alongside 230,000 humans. The Seattle Times (also, Japanese white-collar workers are already being replaced by artificial intelligence)

The making of Sapienza, Hitman's best level Sapienza, the second level of Hitman, began as two words: Coastal Town. "This was the only direction we got," says Torbjørn Christensen, lead level designer. "So we really had a lot of freedom to be creative." That coastal town would become the game's standout level, against which subsequent Hitman episodes are compared. PC Gamer

2016 sees Internet Explorer usage collapse, Chrome surge At the start of 2016, Microsoft's Internet Explorer was still the most commonly used browser on the Web; it finished 2015 being used by about 46 percent of Web users, with 32 percent preferring Chrome, and 12 percent using Firefox. But Explorer's days have been numbered ever since Microsoft essentially ended its development. Ars Technica

Android was 2016's most vulnerable product With 2016 officially over, we can crown Android as 2016's product with most vulnerabilities, and Oracle as the vendor with the most security bugs. This statistic is based on the number of vulnerabilities reported by security researchers in the past year, bugs which have received a CVE identifier. Bleeping Computer

Did you get a gadget for Christmas? It's time to opt out of mandatory arbitration! Did you receive any fun gadgets as holiday gifts? If so, it's time to check read over that user agreement most people usually ignore to see if you have signed away your legal rights, or if you still have a chance to protect your right to a day in court. Consumerist

Hands on with the first open source microcontroller 2016 was a great year for Open Hardware. The Open Source Hardware Association released their certification program, and late in the year, a fe pleasew silicon wizards met in Mountain View to show off the latest happenings in the RISC-V instruction set architecture. Hackaday

Android Marcher now posing as Super Mario Run The ThreatLabZ team wrote about a similar scam that occurred during the release of another wildly popular Nintendo game, Pokemon GO. Like that scam, the new Android Marcher Trojan is disguised as the Super Mario Run app and attempts to trick users with fake finance apps... ZScaler

Apple's 2016 in review This has been the winter of our discontent. 2016 was the year the tone changed. There's always been a lot of criticism and griping about anything Apple does (and doesn't do – it can't win) but in 2016 I feel like the tone of the chatter about Apple changed and got a lot more negative. Chuqui (also, Finding an alternative to Mac OS X)

One of the oldest ways to write software is finally starting to fade The TIOBE Index, a highly-regarded resource for ranking the popularity of programming languages, is a great place to figure out the skills you should learn if you want a career in technology. Business Insider