Microsoft Surface Book 2 review: The ultimate laptop improves in every way but one

Microsoft’s Surface Book 2 solves a big problem for Microsoft: How do you market the Surface Book as a performance notebook when it’s two years out of date? As our review shows, by making it bigger and faster, with longer battery life.

With the Surface Book 2, Microsoft brings 8th-generation Intel Core processors and powerful, discrete Nvidia GPUs with enough horsepower to start thinking of the Surface Book 2 as a graphics workstation. But Microsoft’s big October surprise was the debut of not one, but two Surface Book 2 devices: a 13.5-inch and a new 15-inch model (we reviewed the latter). Neither is a simple clamshell notebook, though calling them convertible 2-in-1s instead seems like we’re selling them short.

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Intel 8th-gen Core i7 review: What happens when thin laptops get quad-core speed

Intel’s 8th-generation Core CPUs solve a problem for the superlight (sub-three-pound) laptops that are becoming increasingly popular. Up to now, these laptops could handle only dual-core CPUs, because quad-core CPUs created more heat than their slimmer profiles could manage. 

That’s all changing with Intel’s ground breaking 8th-gen mobile CPU. Quad-cores once confined only to much larger and heavier laptops can now be stuffed into a tiny laptop, or so the company claims. 

But can the 8th-gen CPUs actually give you the performance you expect and you’re paying for? Or this is this just a cynical attempt to sell you on some quasi-“quad-core” for you next laptop?

To read this article in full, please click here

Surface Book 2: Price, release date, specs, features, and everything you need to know

Microsoft’s Surface Book 2 was an unexpected surprise. Sure, the two-year-old original Surface Book was overdue for an update, though we still recommend the Book’s combination of power and long battery life even today. But after hearing that the two (yes, two!) Surface Book 2s will be way better than the original, we can’t wait to see what they can do.

Microsoft’s Surface Book 2 aspires to repeat the original Surface Book’s theme, blowing users away with raw performance—only this time around, Microsoft claims the Surface Book 2 offers five times greater graphics performance than what the original 2015 model achieved.

We took a close look at the new hardware at a recent press briefing and have all the information for you below: the specifications, the pricing and release date, and even our first hands-on impressions (with video!) of the product. You can use our index to the left to jump to a specific section. Be sure to check back: We’ll be updating this page with more specific details as they arrive, and eventually a review.

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Singles’ Day deal seekers beware

Originally a day set aside for singles in China to be proud of their singlehood, Singles’ Day has been transformed into what is arguably the world’s single largest e-commerce festival, thanks to the involvement of The Alibaba Group. In fact, the Alibaba Group alone reported $17.8 billion in sales; six times higher than what was spent on Black Friday (around $3 billion).

Today, Singles’ Day has evolved into a shopping phenomenon that has gained traction beyond the shores of China, with shoppers across Southeast Asia eagerly awaiting previews, hoping to make a killing on the deals set to land on November 11.

However, also waiting to make a killing are cybercriminals, who see e-commerce festivals and heavy shopping holidays such as Singles’ Day, Black Friday, and Christmas as huge opportunities to dupe unsuspecting deal seekers and steal their hard-earned cash. Traditionally, cybercrime activity tends to pick up during festive periods, especially those that involve increased online shopping.

As we await Singles’ Day, many retailers will be sharing promotional links via email, social media, or mobile. Based on past experience, cybercriminals will also be ready to disseminate their own versions of fake promotional links through these channels. These emails from hackers, known as “phishing emails,” could be so well designed as to accurately mimic an email from legitimate and renowned retailers.

Phishing emails would likely contain links to fake promotions, which, instead of giving shoppers a great deal, would instead link directly to malware or ask users to provide personal details that can be abused for nefarious purposes later.

Taking it one step further, entire web pages built to look like legitimate online shopping sites are often built by cybercriminals to take advantage of shoppers. Sometimes hackers even build random e-commerce sites from scratch. These sites are used to steal personal data and even credit card information. And with many deals being time-based in the form of “flash” deals, shoppers sometimes fail to stop and consider the authenticity of a site before rushing to make a purchase.

A quick guide to safe online shopping during Singles’ Day

To ensure you can celebrate Singles’ Day safely and smoothly, here are some basic guidelines to protect oneself from being a victim on Singles’ Day.

1. Beware of spoofed links

Don’t simply click on a link if you can’t be a hundred percent sure it is indeed from the retailer, even if you know the “sender.” To make sure the link is legit, check the sender’s email header and message context. Display the full email address and reply-to address instead of looking at the sender’s name alone. An additional step you can take is to hover over the link to ensure it directs to a legitimate site. Also, be doubly wary of social media posts and texts that offer deals that are too good to be true.

2. Shop at retail websites directly

Instead of keying in personal details into a coupon link in direct emailers or on social media posts, it is wiser to go directly to a retailer’s main website. If the offers are legitimate, chances are more often than not you would be able to find them on the website itself.

3. Check the validity of retailers’ websites

Choosing to shop directly at a retailer’s website is a great first step, but always remember to ensure you are, in fact, on the right website before beginning to shop. Check the URL of the website. If it ends with a “.net” or has a different name in the URL, there is a good chance the site is not legitimate. Also, make sure the sites include “https” at the beginning of the URL. This indicates your data is encrypted whilst browsing or purchasing. Furthermore, check the website copy. If there are numerous grammatical errors and typos, this might not be the website you’re looking for.

4. Install the latest antivirus software

Aside from laptops, shopping through smartphones and tablets has become commonplace nowadays. Therefore, make sure to have a next-generation antivirus software installed, and preferably one that offers multi-layered protection. While having antivirus solutions installed on desktops is relatively common, many of us are guilty of failing to do the same for our mobile devices.  Maintaining a multi-layered security solution across all devices will help protect you from all sorts of malware such as worms, Trojans, spyware, ransomware, and more.

While consumers should stay alert of potential cyberattacks when shopping online throughout the year, one should pay extra attention during festive shopping periods such as Singles’ Day. Cybercriminals are ramping up their attempts to target hungry shoppers, who are rushing for the limited hours deep discounts. So stay calm and think twice before taking any actions. Don’t just rush for the best deals and forget the basic concepts of Internet safety. If you keep your head, you can protect yourself from being a victim of cybercriminals during Singles’ Day.


Singles' Day Infographic

The post Singles’ Day deal seekers beware appeared first on Malwarebytes Labs.

The nation's top cancer doctors are asking people to drink less in an unprecedented warning

wine drinking outdoors table woman glass pour

  • In a statement, the American Society of Clinical Oncology asked Americans to drink less alcohol.
  • The group, which includes the nation’s top cancer doctors, cited several years of research that links alcohol — even as little as a glass of wine or beer a day — with cancer.
  • You can also do certain things to decrease your cancer risk, like getting more exercise.

It’s not every day that a group of the nation’s top cancer doctors asks people to curb their drinking.

In a statement released Tuesday, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) outlined research tying alcohol to two types of cancer and told Americans to drink less.

“ASCO believes that a proactive stance by the Society to minimize excessive exposure to alcohol has important implications for cancer prevention,” the statement, which was published  in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, said.

This is the first time the organization has taken a stance on alcohol and cancer, but it is not the first time the research has found strong links between the two.

This summer, two major research groups found strong evidence that drinking alcohol — as little as one glass of wine or beer a day — increases the risk of developing both pre- and postmenopausal breast cancer. For that report, scientists from the American Institute for Cancer Research and the World Cancer Research Fund looked at 119 studies from around the globe and incorporated data from roughly 12 million women as well as some 260,000 cases of breast cancer.

The US Department of Health and Human Services lists alcohol as a known human carcinogen. Research highlighted by the National Cancer Institute suggests that the more alcohol you drink — particularly the more you drink regularly — the higher your risk of developing cancer.

Still, before you pour out the wine in your cupboard, it’s important to keep in mind that the researchers are not saying every glass jacks up your chances of getting cancer.

“We’re not saying no one should ever drink at all — we’re just saying if you do drink, even trying to keep it down to less than one drink a day would be a smart choice,” Alice Bender, a registered dietitian who is the head of nutrition programs for the AICR, told Business Insider in May.

The researchers behind ASCO’s latest statement agree.

woman running stretching fitness exercise jogging“The message is not, ‘Don’t drink.’ It’s, ‘If you want to reduce your cancer risk, drink less. And if you don’t drink, don’t start,’” Noelle LoConte, an associate professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the lead author of the ASCO statement, told the New York Times.

Alcohol is not the only important factor to consider when trying to reduce your cancer risk — your genes, exercise regimen, and exposure to pollutants can play a role, too.

The recent study also found, for example, that vigorous exercise was linked with a significant decrease in breast cancer risk. The women in the studies who were the most active had a lower risk of developing cancer compared with those who exercised the least.

“It’s good to look at where you are with diet and physical activity and look at places where you might improve and just start every day to take some simple steps to decrease your risk and improve your health,” Bender said. “A little bit of change can make a real difference.”

SEE ALSO: There’s more evidence that drinking alcohol — even just one glass a day — is linked to cancer

DON’T MISS: Scientists think they’ve discovered a fourth type of fuel for humans — beyond carbs, fat, and protein

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The FBI warned Bobby Kennedy a book was coming out revealing his affair with Marilyn Monroe and blaming him for her death

bobby kennedy jfk rfk

  • In 1964, the FBI sent then-Attorney General Robert “Bobby” Kennedy information about a forthcoming book purporting to reveal his affair with Marilyn Monroe.
  • The author, who often dabbled in “extremely questionable” allegations, according to the Bureau, published the 70-page book for $2 a copy.
  • This unexpected bit of history comes from the release of 2,800 previously classified JFK files.

In the summer of 1964, the FBI spent two weeks investigating a tip from author Frank Capell that he was publishing a 70-page book outlining Bobby Kennedy’s alleged affair with Marilyn Monroe, accusing him and the Kennedy clan of being responsible for her death.

This unexpected bit of history comes from the release of over 2,800 previously classified documents about President John F. Kennedy’s assassination in November 1963. President Donald Trump allowed the release of the so-called JFK files on Thursday.

It has long been rumored that Bobby Kennedy — who was married to Ethel Kennedy — had an affair with Monroe after JFK “passed her off to his brother,” as People puts it.

“Did the trouble begin when Marilyn realized that her VIP had no intention of getting a divorce and marrying her?” Capell wrote in the “The Strange Death of Marilyn Monroe,” labeling Bobby Kennedy “VIP.” He added, “Since Marilyn could destroy him either by talking or with written evidence, did he decide to take drastic action?”

Capell went on to accuse Kennedy of using “the Communist Conspiracy which is an expert in the scientific elimination of its enemies” to murder Monroe.

In official memos, the FBI calls the rumored affair and allegation that Kennedy was with Monroe when she died “utterly false.” Kennedy was the attorney general at the time, and thus oversaw the Bureau, raising questions about why FBI agents might have been looking into potentially salacious material about their boss.

Monroe died on August 5, 1962 at her home in Los Angeles. The coroner concluded it was “probably suicide” from a barbiturate overdose.

marilyn monroe

“The above allegation concerning the Attorney General has been previously circulated and has been branded as false as the Attorney General was actually in San Francisco with his wife at the time Marilyn Monroe committed suicide,” an FBI agent from New York wrote.

The New York office was instructed to “follow this matter very closely,” and send two copies of Capell’s book to FBI headquarters once they were published so Kennedy could be “kept advised.”

On July 15, 1964, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover sent Kennedy a copy of the book, writing that Capell “claims that you had a close relationship with Miss Monroe.”

In March 1976, Sen. Frank Church requested “all FBI materials pertaining to communications between FBI Director Hoover and Attorney General Robert Kennedy with respect to the publication of a book about Marilyn Monroe by Frank Capell,” suggesting he may have known such communications existed. In April, the FBI complied.

That’s the last document in the entry named “Marilyn Monroe” in the JFK files.

Church conducted a far-reaching investigation into US intelligence agencies after Watergate. The Monroe files he requested fell under the JFK Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992, and were released to the public on October 26, 2017.

SEE ALSO: The most bizarre, outlandish documents from the newly released JFK files

DON’T MISS: Thousands of JFK files were just released — here’s where to read them

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These are the top 9 investment bank internships

Interns jobs searching

Investment banking is one of the most competitive areas of finance. 

In order to break in, young Wall Streeters need smarts, tenacity, and the wherewithal to handle the work load and notoriously long hours. Internship experience is also a must. 

To help you find the best internships on the has surveyed 12,000 investment banking interns to compile a list of best internship programs for 2017.

The respondents were asked to rate and review their own internship experiences based on various factors, including compensation and meaningfulness of assignments. On a scale of 1 to 10, respondents rated their internship experiences in five main areas: interview process, quality of life, career development, compensation and benefits, and full-time employment prospects.

Vault then averaged those five factors for each company and ranked them in order. Following are the rankings for the top nine investment banking intership programs along with comments about the internship we gleaned for each bank.

Goldman Sachs Global Summer Internship

Score: 8.280

Pros: The best aspects of this internship were the people I worked with, the work I was given, and the opportunities within the firm. Everyone was willing to answer my questions and work with me on projects that I was working on. There was never a time that I felt like I was completely on my own and struggling to an unreasonable extent. The work I was given was meaningful, and I didn’t feel like I was doing a bunch of mundane tasks. As far as opportunities go, I felt like there were many opportunities to talk with individuals all over the firm from analysts to associates to learn about their jobs. Mobility is encouraged through the firm, which I find appealing.

Cons: “The lack of social events. My coworkers never organized social events (i.e. dinner or drinks) unless they were sponsored by the dept/company.”

Advice to potential interns: The best advice I have would be to make sure you read through potential interview questions before you start the process and practice answering them in front of the mirror. Also, for the most part they are not looking for extremely technically skilled interns, so don’t be afraid to go for it and apply.

RBC Capital Markets Summer Analyst/Associate Program

Score: 8.341

Pros: RBC had great people, a welcoming community, and there was a sense of family. Everyone that was part of my team was extremely helpful and we had a lot of fun.

Cons: “I felt like the structure could have been a little more rigid – it felt as if they just put us on desks (that we wanted) and then the rest was up to us. That aspect of it being up to us has its pros and cons, but if you are not prepared for this style it could be detrimental.”

Advice to potential interns: Pay the utmost care to the tiny details because they all contribute to the overall goal of giving the client the most reliable information for their financial position. Aim to be the person that supports the team and catches the little things that sometimes get overlooked like font size/footnotes — the client notices and you never want your team to say “we should have caught that”–even if it means comment on someone else’s work.

Barclays Investment Bank (Americas) Front Office Summer Analyst and Associate Programs

Score: 8.468

Pros: The culture and people is the best aspect of Barclays. The people, from junior to senior bankers, go out of their way to be helpful and care more about your success than holding lofty expectations. They really want you succeed and support you in the process. Otherwise, the exposure to many different companies, financial analysis and modeling, working on live deals and with clients was a high point as well.

Cons: “There can be down-time at times where there is nothing specific to work on which can make the hours drag by, but most of the time this isn’t the case. However, I prefer to be working on something constructive and would often find things to keep me busy.”

Advice to potential interns: “The internship is what you make of it, do not be afraid to step up and continually ask for more ways to get involved/ take initiative in tackling tasks you feel you may want exposure to during your 10 weeks.”

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Majority of Texans players kneel during national anthem after owner's comment about 'inmates running the prison'

texans kneel 3

  • Many Houston Texans players knelt on Sunday after team owner Bob McNair made a controversial comment over national anthem protests.
  • McNair referred to the need to stop anthem protests as “inmates running the system.”
  • McNair faced considerable backlash after making the comment, for which he apologized.

A majority of Houston Texans players knelt during the national anthem on Sunday to protest controversial comments made by team owner Bob McNair.

In an ESPN report on NFL meetings about national anthem protests, it was revealed that McNair, a donor to US President Donald Trump, argued that the league must stop the protests.

In arguing for the league to do something, McNair said they can’t have “inmates running the prison.”

On Friday, several Texans players reportedly walked out of practice, but later returned following the comments. It was reported that team was planning on making a gesture before the Week 8 game against the Seattle Seahawks in response to the comments.

While some players stood for the anthem by the bench, many knelt along the sideline.

texans kneel 1

texans kneel 2

On Friday, McNair released a statement apologizing for his use of the expression. He also reportedly apologized during the meeting in which the comment was made.

McNair released a second statement, arguing that he was referring to the NFL league office, not the players when he made the comment.

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Facebook will require full transparency for political advertisers – and other businesses too

modi zuckerberg facebook


Facebook is implementing stricter checks and balances for political advertisers, announcing Friday that advertisers running federal election-related ads in the US would be required to verify their identity as well as run disclosures on each ad.

The move comes on the heels of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg outlining some initial steps that the company was taking to help protect the integrity of election and Facebook VP of Public Policy Joel Kaplan providing additional details on how Facebook was making advertising more transparent earlier this month.

It also follows Twitter saying that it would publicly disclose all ads on its platform and the identity of who purchased them earlier this week. Both Twitter’s and Facebook’s moves are aimed at curtailing proposed legislation in the US that would force the disclosure of political ads on social networks.

“When it comes to advertising on Facebook, people should be able to tell who the advertiser is and see the ads they’re running, especially for political ads,” Facebook’s vp of ads Rob Goldman said in blog post shared by the company. “That level of transparency is good for democracy and it’s good for the electoral process.”

Facebook clarified that it was starting with federal elections in the United States, but would likely progress from there to include elections in other countries. As part of the documentation process, Facebook said that advertisers would not only be required to identify that they are running election-related advertising, but also verify both their entity and location.

Once the political advertisers are verified by the company, their election-related ads would include a disclosure reading “Paid for by.” And if people click on the disclosure, they will be able to see details on the advertiser. Like other ads on Facebook, they will also be able to see an explanation of why you saw that particular ad.

The company added that it was also building machine learning tools to identify and check political advertisers and entities who do not proactively and willingly disclose themselves, committing itself to “better ensure transparency and accountability in our advertising products.” Just this week, Business Insider had reported how Facebook’s ad targeting technology can easily be used to stoke divisions all over the world.

Facebook also plans to build an archive of federal-election related ads so that it can track both current and past ads. In addition, people will be able to see the details on the total and average amounts spent, the total number of impressions delivered and the target demographic audience of each federal-election related ad. Every such ad will also be included in a searchable archive covering a rolling four-year period starting from when it launches the archive. 

CEO Mark Zuckerburg also shared the update in a Facebook post, saying that the changes would make it easier to see what different groups try to communicate around elections and harder for anyone to break the rules. 

Facebook is, in fact, is extending transparency beyond just political ads.


It also said that it would allow people to see the ads a Facebook business page — whether a brand, small business or a person — is currently running. The feature will begin testing in Canada next month and rolled out more widely moving forward, ahead of the US midterm elections this November.

Starting next month, people will be able to click “View Ads” on a Page (Say Taco Bell, for instance) and sell all the ads that the brand is running, whether or not they are in the intended target audience for the ad. All pages will be part of this effort, and Facebook will require that all ads be associated with a particular page as part of the ad creation process.

 “We know how important it is to our community that we get this feature just right – and so we’re first rolling it out in only one country,” Goldman said in the blog post. “Testing in one market allows us to learn the various ways an entire population uses the feature at a scale that allows us to learn and iterate.” 

Join the conversation about this story »

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Severe weather has cost the US government $350 billion since 2007 — and climate change could make it much worse

Hurricane Harvey

  • The US government has directly spent $350 billion since 2007 on extremee weather and fire events, according to the Government Accountability Office.
  • These costs are expected to rise exponentially because of climate change, potentially hitting more than $100 billion yearly by the end of the century.

A US government watchdog has published a new tally for the cost of severe weather in recent years that includes eye-popping estimates for the future: Climate-linked disruptions could cost the US $35 billion a year by 2050.

As the country reels from the devastation wrought by the hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, the report from the Government Accountability Office cites the US budget office in saying the federal government has “incurred direct costs of more than $350 billion because of extreme weather and fire events” since 2007.

That total contains $205 billion for domestic disaster response and relief, $90 billion for crop and flood insurance, $34 billion for wildland fire management, and $28 billion for maintenance and repairs to federal facilities and federally managed areas, the report says.

The report says the effects and costs of extreme weather events “will increase in significance as what are considered rare events become more common and intense because of climate change.”

By 2050, climate change could increase the federal government’s costs by $12 billion to $35 billion a year, the report says, and that range could surge to $34 billion to $100 billion by the end of the century.

The GAO provides the following chart as a warning of the types of events the country could be grappling with by the year 2100:


So how is the federal government to respond? The GAO makes the rather meek recommendation that “the appropriate entities within the Executive Office of the President, including the Council on Environmental Quality, Office and Management and Budget, and Office of Science and Technology Policy, use information on the potential economic effects of climate change to help identify significant climate risks facing the federal government and craft appropriate federal responses.”

It adds that “such responses could include establishing a strategy to identify, prioritize, and guide federal investments to enhance resilience against future disasters.”

SEE ALSO: Trump’s climate skepticism could be the biggest threat to US national security

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