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Today’s topics include operating system vendors’ efforts to issue a fix for an Intel chip flaw; Microsoft’s acquisition of Avere Systems for its cloud data management technology; Google’s new Community Connectors that link Data Studio to web data resources; and the potential benefits of T-Mobile’s early tests of commercial-grade 5G wireless systems.

Operating system vendors are rushing to releases a fix for a reported Intel chip flaw that could be used by hackers to exploit computer systems. A patch already exists for the Linux kernel, with patches for Microsoft Windows and Apple macOS expected by Jan. 9.

Security researchers refer to the flaw as Kernel Page Table Isolation, or KPTI, and Kernel Address Isolation to have Side-channels Efficiently Removed, or KAISER.Linux kernel developers have been working on a patch for the KAISER issue since at least early November. However, Intel issued a statement on Jan. 3 asserting that reports that these exploits are caused by a “bug” or a “flaw” and are unique to Intel’s products are incorrect. Intel also stated that the company doesn’t believe that exploits of this issue have the potential to corrupt, modify or delete data.

Microsoft is kicking off 2018 by snapping up Pittsburgh-based Avere Systems, strengthening its portfolio of high-performance computing and storage technology. Avere Systems specializes in Network File System and Server Message Block file storage for data center, cloud and HPC workloads on Linux and Windows systems.

The deal comes just weeks after the company launched its flagship FXT Edge filer appliance on Dec. 12, allowing businesses to scale their NAS operations to the cloud and consolidate storage management.

Jason Zander, corporate vice president of Microsoft Azure, said that “by bringing together Avere’s storage expertise with the power of Microsoft’s cloud, customers will benefit from industry-leading innovations that enable the largest, most complex high-performance workloads to run in Microsoft Azure.”

Google has added a new feature called Community Connectors to its Data Studio visualization tool that makes it easier for organizations to fetch data from a wide range of sources and use it to build customized dashboards and reports.

The feature connects Data Studio with any internet-linked source, including social media platforms, customer relationship management, human resources and finance systems as well as other application sources.

Organizations can use the feature to create dashboards and reports using data from a variety of sources to get clearer insights into their business performance and make better decisions. Organizations can use Google’s Apps Script JavaScript language to build Community Connectors for their own use or to share them with customers.

T-Mobile’s deployment of commercial hardware from Nokia and Intel into a real-world environment is a critical step in deploying nationwide mobile 5G network. The deployment is intended to test how millimeter wave radio signals operating at 28GHz will behave in an urban setting, how they will interact with LTE systems and how they can be integrated with existing networks.

T-Mobile’s 5G plans center on creating a high-speed, low-latency mobile network, but to do that, the 5G international standards need to be finalized, and that’s not expected before 2020. T-Mobile is planning to use its newly acquired 600MHz band to deploy much of its mobile capability, because 600MHz radio signals have a distinct advantage in long distance coverage and in building penetration.

T-Mobile will begin selling wireless devices including phones that work on its 600MHz frequencies in 2018. T-Mobile also plans to deploy 5G in its midrange bands around 2GHz as well as in the millimeter wave frequencies around 28GHz, which is where the test deployment is operating.