AMD's Upcoming Ryzen 9 3900 Listed With 12 Zen 2 Cores at 65W

Motherboard vendor Biostar has added support for the unannounced AMD Ryzen 9 3900 and AMD Ryzen 9 Pro 3900 processors for its X470NH motherboard, revealing some specs along the way. 

The Ryzen 9 3900 and Ryzen 9 Pro 3900 made their first appearance in an Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) listing back in July. Today, Biostar has shed some light on the processors' specifications. As with any third-generation Ryzen chips, the Ryzen 9 3900 and Ryzen 9 Pro 3900 utilize AMD's advanced Zen 2 microarchitecture and are built on TSMC's 7nm FinFET process node.


Cores / Threads
Base Frequency 
Boost Frequency 
Total Cache
PCIe 4.0 Lanes (Processor / Chipset)
AMD Ryzen 9 3900X
$499 12 / 24 105W 3.8 GHz 4.6 GHz 70MB 24 / 16 
AMD Ryzen 9 3900* ? 12 / 24 65W 3.1 GHz 4.2 GHz - 4.3 GHz 70MB 24 / 16 
AMD Ryzen 9 Pro 3900* ? 12 / 24 65W 3.1 GHz 4.2 GHz - 4.3 GHz 70MB 24 / 16

*Specifications are not confirmed

The Ryzen 9 3900 and Ryzen 9 Pro 3900 look like they're essentially more power-efficient variants of the original AMD Ryzen 9 3900X. The "Pro" variant comes with enhanc

Matisse chips are expected to wield 12 cores, 24 threads and 70MB of total cache. However, the Ryzen 9 3900 and Ryzen 9 Pro 3900 will compete in the 65W TDP (thermal design power) category against the Intel Core i9-9900. Obviously, the lower TDP envelope will have repercussions on the processors' operating clock speeds.
As per Biostar's information, the Ryzen 9 3900 and Ryzen 9 Pro 3900 sport a 3.1 GHz base clock, which is 700 MHz or 22.58% slower than the Ryzen 9 3900X. The motherboard manufacturer didn't list the processors' boost clocks. However, a well-known hardware leaker known on Twitter as TUM_APISAK seems to think that the boost clock for the Matisse parts can be 4.3 GHz. So we're looking at a 9.52% lower boost clock in a worst-case situation.

It's unknown when AMD will launch the Ryzen 9 3900 and Ryzen 9 Pro 3900. The chipmaker is probably busy building up stock for the Ryzen 9 3950X, which has been pushed to November, and preparing the Ryzen Threadripper 3000-series release. On top of that, TSMC is reportedly in a bit of a pickle. The foundry's 7nm business has been booming lately, and high demand has increased the lead time from 2 months to 6 months. This could have an impact on AMD's CPU production.

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How to Enable Ransomware Protection in Windows 10

Windows Defender includes a security feature called "Ransomware Protection" that allows you to enable various protections against ransomware infections. This feature is disabled by default in Windows 10, but with ransomware running rampant, it is important to enable this feature in order to get the most protection you can for your computer.

If you are a regular reader of BleepingComputer, then you have heard about ransomware. For those not familiar with the term, ransomware is a computer malware infection that encrypts the data on your computer and then demands a ransom in bitcoins to decrypt them.

Ransomware Protection feature

Windows 10's includes a Ransomware Protection feature that is comprised of two components; Controlled Folder Access and Ransomware Data Recovery.

Controlled Folder Access will allow you to specify certain folders that you wish to monitor for and block changes to the files contained in them. This will block all programs, but the ones you allow, from making any modifications to the files within monitored folders, which will protect them from being encrypted by ransomware.

The other component is Ransomware Data Recovery, which will automatically sync your common data folders with your Microsoft OneDrive account in order to backup your files. Ransomware victims with this feature enabled can then use OneDrive to recover their files if they ever become encrypted by ransomware.

In Windows 10 version 1903, Windows Defender's Ransomware Protection is disabled by default. With this guide we will teach you how to enable it so that it can protect your computer against ransomware attacks.

Unfortunately, if you have a third-party antivirus software installed and Windows Defender's real-time protection is disabled, the Ransomware Protection features screen and the Controlled Folder Access feature won't be accessible.

How to enable Ransomware Protection in Windows 10

To enable the full Ransomware Protection capabilities of Windows 10, you should configure both Controlled Folder Access and login to Microsoft OneDrive in order to backup your files.

To do this, just follow these steps:

  1. Click on the Start menu.
  2. Type Windows Security and select the search result when it appears. You can also access Windows Security by going to the Settings app and navigating to Update & Security -> Windows Security.

Security app


After opening Windows Security, click on Virus & Threat Protection option.


Security app


Scroll down and locate Ransomware Protection and click on the Manage ransomware protection option.



Scroll down and locate Ransomware Protection and click on the Manage ransomware protection option.




On the next page, you will find a brief description of Controlled folder access and a toggle to enable it.


Enable ransomware


To enable Ransomware Protection. turn on Controlled Folder Access and login to OneDrive so that both features are enabled as seen below.


Ransomware protection enabled


You can now configure Controlled Folder Access and choose any folder you want to monitor and block from malicious programs.

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South African court rules bulk interception of communications unlawful

Earlier on 16 September 2019, the South Gauteng High Court ruled that some key parts of South Africa's Regulation of Interception of Communications and Provision of Communication Related Information Act 70 of 2002 (RICA) are illegal. The judgement is the result of a court battle that has been going on for several years between amaBhungane's Sam Sole who discovered that his  communications were intercepted by South Africa's State Security Agency without his knowledge.

Over the years, as a result of the court battle, it was also revealed that South African authorities were indiscriminately conducting mass surveillance on the country's citizens by tapping undersea fibre cables, among many other forms of communications they were spying and collecting data on.

"From the analysis set out above, the conclusion that in several respects RICA is
deficient in meeting the threshold required by section 36 of the Constitution to justify the subtraction of the rights in section 14, 16(1) and 34 and 35(5) of the Constitution. Less restrictive means than those in force are feasible and ought to be enacted. The practice of bulk interception of international communications is unlawful for want of a law authorising it to take place," reads part of the judgement by Judge Roland Sutherland at the South Gauteng High Court.

RICA judgement orders. 

You still have to 'RICA' your SIM card

However, it is important to note that the judgement only covers sections of RICA that have to do with bulk and indiscriminate interception of communications and not the sections that relate to the registration of SIM cards as stated in other sections of RICA.

The registration of SIM cards and other sections of RICA not ruled on by Judge Sutherland remain lawful.

To further understand what this historic judgement means for South Africans in general I caught up quickly with Professor Jane Duncan of the University of Johannesburg. Professor Duncan is an activist who regularly champions media freedom matters and is the former director of the Freedom of Expression Institute in Johannesburg.

Big win for privacy in South Africa

iAfrikan: What did the judge specifically rule on as far as RICA is concerned?

Professor Jane Duncan: He ruled that it was unconstitutional for people not to be informed that their communication had been intercepted after the fact, and required these people to be informed within 90 days of the expiration of a warrant, unless there are compelling grounds not to.

He also ruled that there need to be special procedures for surveillance of journalists and lawyers, the procedures for the processing of personal data that has been intercepted are inadequate, and the mass surveillance activities of the State Security Agency are unlawful.

He also found that the appointment of the Rica judge lacked independence.

Does this also mean South Africans don't have to register their SIM cards anymore?

SIM card registration specifically was not ruled on, so it will remain a requirement of Rica for the time being.

Is the ruling or is it expected that the state will appeal it?

I’m almost certain that it will be appealed by the state, right the way up to the Constitutional Court. It’s their good right to do so. I doubt if they’ll reach a different outcome though.

What are the next steps, if any, to reverse the implementation of RICA?

The Department of Justice has to lead the revision of Rica and Parliament needs to pass an amended law. The judge suspended his findings of unlawfulness and unconstitutionality for a period of 2 years to allow this process to take place, but has set down some interim procedures.

Does the ruling exclude the intelligence agencies from spying as they wish?

No, absolutely not, the interception of peoples communications if there are reasonable grounds to suspect criminality, will continue.

It’s a massively significant judgement as it increases accountability in terms of state spying using communication networks, and puts South Africa at the forefront of reform efforts on these issues.

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Cell Number 37, ‘Britain’s Guantanamo Bay’ – a single occupancy cell, furnished sparsely with a plastic chair, metal bed and steel toilet. For over 150 days this has been Julian Assange’s residence, whether he likes it or not. And a judge has ruled today, he is to remain there even after his jail sentence is over. 

Julian Assange at the New Media Days Conference in 2009. Photo: Peter Erichsen

Swiftly after his asylum status was stripped by the Ecuadorian government, the British authorities sentenced Assange to fifty weeks in prison, for violating his bail. The maximum sentence being fifty-two weeks and the typical sentence being none and a fine.

With his arrest, Assange was moved to HMP Belmarsh, a maximum-security prison in South London. Belmarsh during the early millennium was known as ‘Britain’s Guantanamo Bay’ for its foreign detainees, held without trial.

When you visit the prison, you are immediately struck by its fortress-like exterior. With its water-stained concrete perimeter walls, enumerable CCTV cameras and floodlights.

In two exclusive interviews with the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF), Julian Assange’s most notable visitors paint a harrowing picture of his current condition.

Nils MelzerProf. Nils Melzer. Photo: With permission from Prof. Melzer

Professor Nils Melzer is the United Nation’s Special Rapporteur on Torture. Every day, he receives around fifteen requests, to investigate individual cases of alleged torture.

 “But I can only deal with maybe one or two", Melzer tells the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF). But when in March, Assange’s lawyers reached out to his office for a second time, providing credible evidence for the claim of ill-treatment, Melzer thought “I owe it to my professional standards to at least look into this.”

A visibly fatigued and emaciated Assange greeted Melzer and his team during their visit on 9. May. It had been 28 days since Assange’s arrest. He was wearing a plain blue jumper and grey joggers. 

 Melzer and his team’s visit lasted for four hours. For three of those four hours Melzer and two medical experts, Professor Duarte Nuno Vieira from Portugal and Dr. Pau Perez-Sales from Spain conducted a medical assessment of Assange.

It followed the ‘Istanbul Protocol’. The protocol’s full name is the ‘Manual on Effective Investigation and Documentation of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.’

Melzer tells the ECPMF that at first, “after what this man [Assange] had gone through, I didn't know what to expect.”

 “From a medical perspective, both doctors concluded that his state of health was critical, and that it might deteriorate rapidly if he is not stabilized. And that's exactly what happened.”

Two weeks after their visit, and 49 days into Assange’s detention, Assange was relocated to the hospital wing of Belmarsh. And a court hearing, on his extradition to the U.S., had to be postponed. It was deemed Assange was not medically fit to participate in the proceedings, even via video link. 

What Assange is going through in prison is “psychological torture”, Melzer says emphatically. He came to this conclusion after his visit and published an official UN statement repeating this.

John Pilger John Pilger. Photo: With permission from Pilger.

 Melzer is not alone in his condemnations. Another visitor of Assange, John Pilger- a renowned investigative journalist and award-winning documentary film-maker- has similar things to say to the ECPMF, about his visits to Assange.

“Locked in a small cell in the hospital wing some 21 hours a day”, Assange was mostly “delighted to see his friends” when they visit, Pilger tells the ECPMF. 

But “I was shocked”, Pilger says. “I found him struggling in more ways than one.” At Belmarsh, Assange has lost nearly 15 kilos of weight and “is precariously underweight.”

Pilger adds, Assange “is not only eating little, he is heavily medicated and denied basic rights. He is denied access to the gym -- his only exercise is in a small bitumen yard with high walls surrounding it. He is denied access to the library.”

Despite being denied access to the library. Assange has been given one book to read, Nelson Mandela's Long Walk to Freedom. But in Pilger’s visits, Assange comments on “the bleak irony of reading a book about someone who spends 27 years in prison.”

 Continuing to list what Assange is denied, Pilger adds: “He is not allowed to fraternise with other prisoners.”

 “He is denied the tools with which to prepare his defence - certain documents and a computer. He is not able to call his American lawyer.”

 Pilger is quick to point out the reason for Assange’s imprisonment: “Remember, he has committed the merest offence - skipping bail. He skipped bail so that he would not face extradition to the United States where a kangaroo court and a lifetime in prison awaits him.”

“His courage is extraordinary.”


This sentiment is shared by Professor Melzer.

Melzer tells the ECPMF, “the mainstream media informs us about Assange’s cat, his skateboard and his feces. But they do not give the same importance to hundreds of thousands of civilians murdered in Iraq, Libya and in Syria, to wars that have been intentionally orchestrated, and other crimes that have been exposed by WikiLeaks.

In my view, this complacency with governmental misconduct is the real scandal in this case. That’s the proverbial ‘elephant in the room’.”

Melzer says: “And no one sees this elephant, because the spotlight always on the personality and character of Assange, and that spotlight is so bright, you can’t see the elephant hiding right behind it.”

But he adds, “When the state institutions and their division of power are failing, it is the role and responsibility of the media, as the fourth estate, to inform and empower the people, to watch closely and expose the abuse of power”.


For the ECPMF, the centre warns that if Assange is extradited and charged under the Espionage Act, it would be a grave threat to press freedom. Henrik Kaufholz, Chair of the Executive Board of the ECPMF has said it would be a “disaster”. 

And Kaufholz warns, “it may have implications for investigative journalism and press freedom everywhere. Regardless of whether one considers Assange a journalist or not, it bears the risk that it can be applied to journalists as a consequence.”

The British Government responds

A Government spokesperson has responded to the ECPMF, disagreeing with the allegations of Melzer and Pilger. “We strongly disagree with any suggestion that Mr Assange has experienced improper treatment in the UK. The allegation Mr Assange was subjected to torture is unfounded and wholly false.

 “The UK is committed to upholding the rule of law, and ensuring that no one is ever above it. And that “[o]ur response will be published in due course.”


At the end of his visit, Melzer asked Assange whether he had anything further to say.

“‘Yes’, he said, ‘please save my life.’”

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Don't be fooled by Gmail's promise for confidential emails.

Gmail's new confidential mode for emails is neither secure nor private. At its best, it is a fun feature to help your recipient achieve inbox zero. At its worst, it is a privacy-intrusive feature that does not achieve true confidentiality. In fact, for sending a confidential and secure email, end-to-end encryption is a minimum requirement, and Gmail has long abandoned this approach.

Gmail's confidential mode is not confidential

Gmail as one of the major email services worldwide has realized that privacy concerns are rising constantly - and this is happening at a global scale. To meet this new demand for private and secure emails, Gmail has introduced a new feature: Confidential mode.

However, this feature is neither confidential nor private as Google still has unlimited access to its users' emails, even when they use confidential mode.

What is Gmail's confidential mode?

Gmail's confidential mode is a feature that lets you send emails with a self-destruct timer or with password protection. Or in Google's words:

"Recipients of messages in confidential mode don't have the option to forward, copy, print, or download messages, including attachments. Users can set a message expiration date, revoke message access at any time, and require an SMS verification code to access messages."

Why is Gmail's confidential mode privacy-intrusive?

Though pretending to offer privacy, Gmail's confidential mode comes with three major problems:

  1. The emails are not end-to-end encrypted.
  2. Google retains full access to the email even when you set a self-destruct timer.
  3. If you password-protect an email, Google can link your recipient's phone number with their email address.
All these facts combined make Gmail's confidential mode more a privacy-intrusive feature than a privacy-protecting feature.

The confidentiality expected by the users is not achieved because the emails sent via confidential mode are not inaccessible by third parties. The EFF states that this increases the risk for the users as they may send private information via confidential mode, which they wouldn't have sent with a normal email, falsely believing that the data is secured with encryption.

Why does confidentiality require encryption?

Information classified as confidential relates by definition to something very personal or top secret. It must be kept from any and every third party by all means.

This form of secrecy can only be achieved with end-to-end encryption. Encryption guarantees that only the people holding the key to decrypt the information can gain access to it.

This is why end-to-end encryption is an absolute necessity when communicating confidentially.

When sending an email with Tutanota, you have the option to send a 'confidential' email - which refers to an end-to-end encrypted email, or a 'not confidential' email - which refers to a standard email.

Encrypted email

With this definition in mind, Gmail's confidential emails are just standard emails with some extra features like unprintable, unforwardable, uncopyable, and so on. However, this will not stop anyone from taking a screenshot from the unprintable email, just to print off the screenshot.

Besides, the point in confidential communication is not to keep information hidden or protected from the person you are communicating with, the point is to keep everyone else out of this conversation.

What is the benefit of Gmail's confidential mode?

All in all, there's not much benefit to Gmail's confidential mode. If you want truly confidential emails, you need to use a secure email option like Tutanota or encrypt your emails manually since Gmail has long abandoned its project to offer easy end-to-end encryption. Instead, they now offer a rather dubious version of confidentiality.

The only benefit that remains with Gmail's confidential mode is that the receiving mail service does not see the email sent via this mode. If you send an email from Gmail with confidential mode to a friend, who is using Yahoo Mail for example, Yahoo will not see this email. Yet, Google still has full access to the email so the benefits are extremely little.


If you're using Gmail's confidential mode, be aware of its limitations. Don't be fooled by Gmail's promise for confidentiality.

Confidential emails are simply impossible without applying end-to-end encryption.

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