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New Cloud Attack Takes Full Control of Virtual Machines With Little Effort
Posted by News Fetcher on September 01 '16 at 02:21 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's needle-in-a-haystack department:
C3ntaur writes: The world has seen the most unsettling attack yet resulting from the so-called Rowhammer exploit, which flips individual bits in computer memory. It's a technique that's so surgical and controlled that it allows one machine to effectively steal the cryptographic keys of another machine hosted in the same cloud environment. Until now, Rowhammer has been a somewhat clumsy and unpredictable attack tool because it was hard to control exactly where data-corrupting bit flips happened. While previous research demonstrated that it could be used to elevate user privileges and break security sandboxes, most people studying Rowhammer said there was little immediate danger of it being exploited maliciously to hijack the security of computers that use vulnerable chips. The odds of crucial data being stored in a susceptible memory location made such hacks largely a matter of chance that was stacked against the attacker. In effect, Rowhammer was more a glitch than an exploit. Now, computer scientists have developed a significantly more refined Rowhammer technique they call Flip Feng Shui. It manipulates deduplication operations that many cloud hosts use to save memory resources by sharing identical chunks of data used by two or more virtual machines. Just as traditional Feng Shui aims to create alignment or harmony in a home or office, Flip Feng Shui can massage physical memory in a way that causes crypto keys and other sensitive data to be stored in locations known to be susceptible to Rowhammer. The research paper titled "Flip Feng Shui: Hammering a Needle in the Software Stack" can be read here.

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Microsoft Deprecating 'Obsolete' SmartScreen Spam Filters In Outlook and Exchange
Posted by News Fetcher on September 01 '16 at 02:21 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's recycle-bin department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from WinBeta: Microsoft is making changes to SmartScreen, a spam content filter, available in Windows 10. These changes will affect Outlook and Exchange users. In Outlook and Exchange, SmartScreen analyzes each email message and rates the email according to SmartScreen's Spam Confidence Level (SCL). These emails are then sent to Outlook's junk folder. Here's a look at the changes to SmartScreen, according to Microsoft: 1. "On November 1, 2016, Microsoft will stop generating updates for the SmartScreen spam filters in Exchange Server 2016 and earlier (2013, 2010, 2007), Outlook 2016 for Windows and earlier (2013, 2010, 2007) and Outlook 2011 for Mac. The SmartScreen spam filter will be removed from future versions of Exchange Server and Outlook for Windows. (SmartScreen is not available in any other version of Outlook). This announcement does not affect the SmartScreen Filter online protection features built into Windows, Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer browsers. While branded similarly, those features are technically distinct. These SmartScreen Filters to help people to stay protected from malicious websites and downloads." After November 1, 2016, Microsoft will no longer release spam definition updates to SmartScreen filters in Outlook and Exchange. Your existing SmartScreen spam filters will remain in place; Microsoft will simply no longer provide updates for them.

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Apple To Remove Abandoned Apps From The App Store
Posted by News Fetcher on September 01 '16 at 12:54 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's ghost-town department:
Apple has issued an email to its community of developers indicating that it will remove apps that are outdated or no longer work. "We are implementing an ongoing process of evaluating apps, removing apps that no longer function as intended, don't follow current review guidelines, or are outdated," Apple wrote. TechCrunch reports: In addition to search ads and extensions in many different apps in iOS 10, Apple plans to remove all these useless apps that clutter the App Store search pages. And Apple is not going to stop at abandoned apps. The company will also fight spammy app names. For instance, if you search for "Instagram" on the App Store, one of the first results is an app that is called "[app name] Photo Collage, Picture Editor, Pic Grid, F...
and then it gets cut off. With this SEO strategy, app developers can trick App Store searches. If you search for "pic collage," chances are you're going to find this app. Apple wants clean names to make App Store searches relevant again. From now on, app names have to be shorter than 50 characters. Apple will start reviewing old apps on September 7. Apps that crash on launch will be removed immediately. Other apps will get a notice from Apple first. And if you don't update over the next 30 days, your app will be removed -- you'll be able to submit your app again though. You can view Apple's FAQ if you have any unanswered questions.

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Romanian Hacker 'Guccifer' Sentenced To 52 Months In US Prison
Posted by News Fetcher on September 01 '16 at 12:54 PM
By manishs from Slashdot's aftermath department:
Romanian hacker "Guccifer" who targeted high-profile US politicians has been sentenced for 52 months in prison. Guccifer, whose real name is Marcel Lazar, pleaded guilty in May on charges of aggravated identity theft and unauthorized access of a computer. Lazar targeted former Secretary of State Colin Powell and the Bush family and was arrested on hacking charges in Romania in 2014 and was sentenced four years. He was extradited to the U.S. to face charges in March 2016. Reuters adds: Lazar has said in interviews he breached Clinton's private server at her home in Chappaqua, New York, but law enforcement and national security officials say that claim is meritless. Lazar is believed to have hacked into email accounts of about 100 victims between 2012 and 2014. They include prominent political figures such as former Secretary of State Colin Powell, a relative of former President George W. Bush and Sidney Blumenthal, a former Clinton White House aide and an unofficial adviser to Clinton. Clinton is now the Democratic nominee for president. Lazar leaked online memos Blumenthal sent Clinton that were addressed to her private email account, which was used during her time as secretary of state to conduct both personal and work business in lieu of a government account.

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First Satellite in Facebook's Plan For Global Internet Access Exploded With Falcon 9
Posted by News Fetcher on September 01 '16 at 12:54 PM
By manishs from Slashdot's gone-up-in-flames department:
Mike Murphy, reporting for Quartz: The first step in Facebook's grand vision to connect the entire world to the internet -- or Facebook -- has gone up in flames. Earlier today, a SpaceX rocket carrying a satellite that Facebook planned to use in its internet.org initiative exploded during a pre-launch test at Cape Canaveral, Florida. The rocket was due to send the satellite up into orbit Sept. 3, but during the set-up and testing process, an "anomaly" occurred on the launch pad, according to SpaceX, and the rocket exploded. Facebook had planned to lease some of the bandwidth on the satellite, Amos 6, from its operator, the Israeli company SpaceCom, to beam internet to sub-Saharan Africa. The satellite was intended to fill in until Facebook's more ambitious plans for internet access are ready, including developing and launching massive solar-powered drones that use lasers to beam internet to the ground. This the first time Facebook had planned to use a satellite.Facebook wanted to use the $200 million AMOS-6 satellite to beam free internet to developing parts of the world such as Africa. The satellite was supposed to ride SpaceX's Falcon 9 into orbit. After hearing the news, Mark Zuckerberg said he is "deeply disappointed" to hear that SpaceX's launch failure destroyed his satellite. But this setback won't stop him from his goal to connect every person he can find on the face of the earth to get online. He said, "Fortunately, we have developed other technologies like Aquila that will connect people as well. We remain committed to our mission of connecting everyone, and we will keep working until everyone has the opportunities this satellite would have provided."

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Sony To Boost Smartphone Batteries Because People Aren't Replacing Phones
Posted by News Fetcher on September 01 '16 at 11:31 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's battery's-day-out department:
Not too long ago, people would replace their phone every 18 months. But that isn't the case with most people now. According to new estimates, more people are now changing their phones after at least three years. The problem with this is that by the end of two-three years, the battery on the phone reaches a stage where it gets really annoying. Sony has a solution, or so it says. From The Guardian:Sony is trying to fix that, but not by fixing the battery. That's because the lithium ion cells within smartphones don't exactly need fixing -- they will continue to work for years -- but their ability to hold their original amount of charge rapidly diminishes with repeated recharging cycles. Everyone who finds themselves with a chunky battery pack for their new smartphone or desperately searching for a charger by mid-afternoon knows battery capacity is a never-ending headache that only gets worse as a smartphone, and its battery ages. Rather than fixing the battery, Sony wants to do something about the recharging. Jun Makino, Sony mobile's senior product marketing manager, said; "We've started learning your charging cycles so that our new Xperia X smartphones only complete charging to 100% when they estimate you're about to start using them, so that the damage caused by maintaining a battery at 100% is negated. This is important, a battery that's usually kept at a charge between 20% and 80% of its capacity is much healthier -- it's going to the extremes that wears it out at a faster rate. This is important, a battery that's usually kept at a charge between 20% and 80% of its capacity is much healthier - it's going to the extremes that wears it out at a faster rate. The Japanese electronics firm has partnered with Californian adaptive charging company Qnovo to put technology into its Xperia smartphones. This includes the new top-end Xperia XZ and Xperia X Compact, which Sony reckons will double the life of the battery to around four years.

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Microsoft Fixes Windows 10 Anniversary Update Freezing Issues
Posted by News Fetcher on September 01 '16 at 11:31 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's windows-update department:
An anonymous reader writes: The Anniversary Update may have introduced a whole host of new features but it has also caused a fair number of problems for Windows 10 users. Among the most annoying issues reported since its release in late-July are freezes on systems equipped with SSDs. Microsoft has acknowledged the problem and provided a couple of workarounds that users could try, promising that a permanent fix would eventually be made available. Microsoft now says that it has addressed the freezing issues in the latest Cumulative Update that it just released. "After the launch of the Anniversary Update for Windows 10, Microsoft received a small number of reports of Windows 10 freezing when signing into Windows after installing the Anniversary Update. With the help of users and MVP's who posted on this thread an investigation determined that a small fraction of users who had moved app information to a second logical drive could encounter this issue," explains Microsoft.

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In an Unprecedented Move, Samsung To Recall All Galaxy Note 7: Yonhap News Agency
Posted by News Fetcher on September 01 '16 at 10:02 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's unprecedented-moves department:
After delaying shipment of its flagship smartphone Galaxy Note 7 over quality control testing earlier this week, Samsung is all set to recall all of the Note 7 it has shipped in its home nation and abroad, according to rather reliable Yonhap News Agency, which is citing a Samsung official. It would be an unprecedented move from the company. From the report: The Samsung official told Yonhap News Agency that the cause of the reported explosions has been traced to the battery of the new phablet. "The most important thing is the safety of our customers and we don't want to disappoint our loyal customers," said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. He said Samsung is expected to announce the result of its investigation into the cause of the reported explosions, as well as comprehensive countermeasures either this weekend or early next week at the latest. "Products installed with the problematic battery account for less than 0.1 percent of the entire volume sold. The problem can be simply resolved by changing the battery, but we'll come up with convincing measures for our consumers," said the official.

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Apple CEO Tim Cook on EU Apple Tax Case: 'Total Political Crap'
Posted by News Fetcher on September 01 '16 at 10:02 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's apple-and-taxes department:
Earlier this week, Apple was ordered to pay a record sum of 13 billion euros plus interest after the EU said Ireland illegally slashed the iPhone make's tax bill. At the time, Tim Cook found the accusations "baseless." In a new interview, he had more things to say:A war of words has erupted between Europe's competition chief and Apple CEO Tim Cook after Ireland was ordered to reclaim $14.5 billion in back taxes from the company. Cook, in an interview with the Irish Independent, labelled Brussels' competition chief Margrethe Vestager's decision as "total political crap." He claimed Ireland was being "picked on" and that he hoped to see the Irish government launch an appeal against the ruling. Vestager refuted that claim when quizzed by reporters on Thursday. "This is a decision based on the facts of the case. The figures that we used in our decision are the figures that we got from Apple themselves," she said. "There are very, very few figures in the public domain. More transparency would be a good thing, for example, a country by country reporting. If it was up to me, the non-confidential version of the decision would have been published yesterday, because that is another way of enabling everyone to see what we have decided and on what basis we have made this decision. Right now the ball is in the hands of Apple and Ireland."

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Hackers Stole Over 43 Million Last.fm Accounts In 2012 Breach
Posted by News Fetcher on September 01 '16 at 08:31 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's security-woes department:
The aftermath of 2012's infamous hack is shaping up to be more serious than we had anticipated. An anonymous reader writes: Last.fm suffered a data breach back in 2012, but details of the attack were not disclosed. On Thursday, breach notification site LeakedSource, which obtained a copy of the database and posted details of the hack in a blog post, said more than 43.5 million accounts were stolen. The database also contained hashed passwords, scrambled with the MD5 algorithm that nowadays is easy to crack. LeakedSource said that the algorithm is "so insecure" that it was able to decipher over 96 percent of passwords in just two hours.

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400,000 GitHub Repositories, 1 Billion Files, 14TB of Code: Spaces or Tabs?
Posted by News Fetcher on September 01 '16 at 08:31 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's big-data department:
Here's a debate that refuses to die: given a choice, would you rather use spaces or tabs? An episode of Silicon Valley last season had a bit on this. Now we have more data to analyze people's behavior. A Google developer has looked into 400,000 GitHub repositories -- 1 billion files, 14 terabytes to find that programmers with interest in specific languages do seem to prefer either tabs or spaces. Spoiler alert: space wins, like all the time.

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Falcon 9 Explodes On Pad
Posted by News Fetcher on September 01 '16 at 07:16 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's sad-news department:
Reader Mysticalfruit writes: NPR is reporting that a Falcon9 carrying the AMOS-6 satellite that was supposed to launch on Sat exploded during it's scheduled static fire. No injuries are reported. They're reporting that this was going to be the first reflown first stage. The Verge adds:SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket, meant to launch a satellite this weekend, exploded on the launch pad at Cape Canaveral, Florida this morning. The explosion occurred during the preparation for the static fire test of the rocket's engines, NASA told the Associated Press. The blast reportedly shook buildings "several miles away." The company confirmed to The Verge the loss of the Falcon 9 an hour later: "SpaceX can confirm that in preparation for today's static fire, there was an anomaly on the pad resulting in the loss of the vehicle and its payload. Per standard procedure, the pad was clear and there were no injuries."

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India's Richest Man Launches 4G LTE Network, Offers Unlimited Free Voice Calls
Posted by News Fetcher on September 01 '16 at 07:16 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's wow department:
An anonymous reader writes: India's biggest industrial house has launched its 4G LTE network and is offering unlimited free voice calls forever to anyone who signs up for its services. It is also claiming to offer the cheapest 4G LTE data rates in the world. After numerous delays and months of testing, India's richest man, Mukesh Ambani, today announced the commercial availability of Reliance Jio's mobile services. The conglomerate's Jio services, which users can avail starting Sept. 5, is offering a nation-wide LTE network coverage, coupled with free voice plans and best data tariff Indian consumers have ever seen. Jio's network is being touted as the largest 4G LTE deployment anywhere in the world, Ambani said, adding that the network is also "future proof" with baked in support for upcoming 5G and 6G network technologies. Jio's 4G coverage is available in 18,000 cities in the country, and over 200,000 remote areas. The company aims to extend the coverage to 90 percent of India's population by next year. Reliance Industries has invested $22 billion in Jio, and has been working on the roll-out for last five years.

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HP Builds One Desktop PC Around a Speaker, Another Modular PC In Slices
Posted by News Fetcher on September 01 '16 at 05:52 AM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's slice-and-dice department:
An anonymous reader writes from a report via Ars Technica: HP has announced today two new desktop PCs: HP Elite Slice and Pavilion Wave. The HP Elite Slice is a modular machine, with USB Type-C for power and I/O. The base unit contains all the core guts of the PC -- up to a 35W Core i7-6700T processor, up to 32GB of RAM, up to 512GB NVMe storage, gigabit Ethernet, 802.11ac Wi-Fi and several ports. The top cover of the main unit is modular, while the bottom of the unit contains a special connector that can allow for additional modules to be stacked. HP has an audio module that includes speakers and a microphone array, and an optical drive module. It should be available later this month, starting at $699. The Pavilion Wave on the other hand combines a PC and a speaker in a 10.3 inch tall triangular box. As for specs, it features a 35W processor, up to an i7 processor, up to 16GB RAM, with up to 1TB SSD or 2TB HDD. An AMD R9 M470 is optional. In addition to the speaker, the Wave features a microphone array for Cortana support.

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Tiny Particle Blows Hole In European Satellite's Solar Panel
Posted by News Fetcher on September 01 '16 at 02:53 AM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's technical-difficulties department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from ABC News: A tiny piece of debris has punched a gaping hole in the solar panel of one of Europe's Earth observation satellites, causing visible damage but not enough to affect its routine operations, the European Space Agency said Wednesday. The unknown particle just a few millimeters big slammed into the back of a solar panel on Copernicus Sentinel-1A on Aug. 23. Using on-board cameras, engineers have determined that the hole is about 40 centimeters (16 inches) in diameter. The European Space Agency said the loss of power caused by the strike is "relatively small" -- less than 5 percent of the wing's usual output. The likelihood of such a strike is calculated at between 1:35 and 1:130 during the satellite's five-year lifetime, said Holger Krag, who heads the agency's space debris office. While the particle probably had a mass of less than 1 gram (0.04 ounces), scientists calculated that it was traveling at up to 40,000 kilometers an hour (24,856 mph) when it hit Sentinel-1A. Space.com has posted a video about the incident, showing images taken before and after the impact.

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Baidu Open-Sources Its Deep Learning Tools
Posted by News Fetcher on September 01 '16 at 12:12 AM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's freely-available department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Verge: Microsoft, Google, Facebook, and Amazon have all done it -- and now Baidu's doing it, too. The Chinese tech giant has open sourced one of its key machine learning tools, PaddlePaddle, offering the software up to the global community of AI researchers. Baidu's big claim for PaddlePaddle is that it's easier to use than rival programs. Like Amazon's DSSTNE and Microsoft's CNTK, PaddlePaddle offers a toolkit for deep learning, but Baidu says comparable software is designed to work in too many different situations, making it less approachable to newcomers. Xu Wei, the leader of Baidu's PaddlePaddle development, tells The Verge that a machine translation program written with Baidu's software needs only a quarter of the amount of code demanded by other deep learning tools. Baidu is hoping this ease of use will make PaddlePaddle more attractive to computer scientists, and draw attention away from machine learning tools released by Google and Facebook. Baidu says PaddlePaddle is already being used by more than 30 of its offline and online products and services, covering sectors from search to finance to health. Xu said that if one of its machine learning tools became too monopolistic, it would be like "trying to use one programming language to code all applications." Xu doesn't believe that any one company will dominate this area. "Different tools have different strengths," he said. "The deep learning ecosystem will end up having different tools optimized for different uses. Just like no programming language truly dominates software development."

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Staff Breach At OneLogin Exposes Password Storage Feature
Posted by News Fetcher on August 31 '16 at 08:12 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's takes-one-to-know-one department:
River Tam quotes a report from CSO Australia: Enterprise access management firm OneLogin has suffered an embarrassing breach tied to a single employee's credentials being compromised. OneLogin on Tuesday revealed the breach affected a feature called Secure Notes that allowed its users to "store information." That feature however is pitched to users as a secure way to digitally jot down credentials for access to corporate firewalls and keys to software product licenses. The firm is concerned Secure Notes was exposed to a hacker for at least one month, though it may have been from as early as July 2 through to August 25, according to a post by the firm. Normally these notes should have been encrypted using "multiple levels of AES-256 encryption," it said in a blog post. Several thousand enterprise customers, including high profile tech startups, use OneLogin for single sign-on to access enterprise cloud applications. The company has championed the SAML standard for single sign-on and promises customers an easy way to enable multi-factor authentication from devices to cloud applications. But it appears the company wasn't using multi-factor authentication for its own systems. OneLogin's CISO Alvaro Hoyos said a bug in its software caused Secure Notes to be "visible in our logging system prior to being encrypted and stored in our database." The firm later found out that an employees compromised credentials were used to access this logging system. The company has since fixed the bug on the same day it detected the bug. CSO adds that the firm "also implemented SAML-based authentication for its log management system and restricted access to a limited set of IP addresses."

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One of Europe's Biggest Companies Loses 40 Million Euros In Online Scam
Posted by News Fetcher on August 31 '16 at 06:52 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's business-email-compromise department:
An anonymous reader writes from a report via Softpedia: Leoni AG, Europe's biggest manufacturer of wires and electrical cables and the fourth-largest vendor in the world, announced it lost 40 million euros ($44.6 million) following an online scam that tricked one of its financial officers into transferring funds to the wrong bank account. A subsequent investigation revealed that attackers had scouted the company's network and procedures, and identified a weak spot to attack. According to authorities, a young woman working as CFO at Leoni's Bistrita factory in Romania was the target of the scam, when she received an email spoofed to look like it came from one of the company's top German executives asking her to transfer funds to a bank account. According to unconfirmed information, the money stolen from Leoni's Bistrita branch ended up in bank accounts in the Czech Republic. The FBI says this type of attack is known as CEO fraud, whaling, or BEC (Business Email Compromise), and has defrauded companies around the world of over $3 billion since October 2013.

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3D-Printed Aircraft Tool Sets Guinness World Record
Posted by News Fetcher on August 31 '16 at 06:52 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's world-record department:
coondoggie quotes a report from Network World: A 17.5 foot long, 5.5 foot wide and 1.5 foot tall the 3D printed aircraft design tool has earned the title of largest solid 3D printed item by Guinness World Records. The 1,650 lb. apparatus known as a trim-and-drill tool is comparable in length to a large sport utility vehicle and will ultimately be tested for use in building the Boeing 777X passenger jet. Basically the tool will be used to secure the jet's composite wing skin for drilling and machining before assembly, according to researchers at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ONRL) who developed the tool. "The existing, more expensive metallic tooling option we currently use comes from a supplier and typically takes three months to manufacture using conventional techniques," said Leo Christodoulou, Boeing's director of structures and materials in a statement. "Additively manufactured tools, such as the 777X wing trim tool, will save energy, time, labor and production cost and are part of our overall strategy to apply 3D printing technology in key production areas."

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Samsung Unveils Gear S3 Classic and Frontier Smartwatches Powered By Tizen
Posted by News Fetcher on August 31 '16 at 05:32 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's what-time-is-it department:
MojoKid quotes a report from HotHardware: Samsung just wrapped up an event at the IFA expo in Berlin, where the company unveiled two new Gear S3 branded smartwatches. The new Samsung Gear S3 Classic and Gear S3 Frontier leverage many of the design elements from last-year's Gear S2 -- like their Tizen OS, rotating control dial, round display, and fast wireless charging. However, other aspects of the Gear S3 have received significant upgrades. Although they are internally similar, there are a few external differences between the Gear S3 Classic and Frontier. The Gear S3 Classic is the sleeker, more streamlined version of the two. The Classic has a polished finish, with round buttons at the 2 and 4 o'clock positions and no addition protrusions on its chassis. The Gear S3 Frontier is more rugged and has a darker, brushed finish, with flat, rectangular textured buttons and protrusions on either side of the body to shield the buttons from accidental presses. Both the Gear S3 Classic and Frontier are also outfitted with Gorilla Glass SR to protect their circular, Super AMOLED displays, and they're both compatible with industry standard 22mm watch bands too. They are also IP68 rated, so they're able to withstand dust and dirt, and water resistant for up to 30 minutes under 1.5 meters of water. Depending on how heavily these devices are used, Samsung claims they can last roughly 3 -- 4 days on a single charge. They also have support for NFC (compatible with Samsung Pay), Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and have built-in heart rate monitors, altimeter/barometer, and GPS as well.

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