Computer Science Major Credits MCC for Helping to Find Path

At Middlesex Community College, Sam Holmes is preparing for his future. His three favorite parts about his experience at Middlesex so far have been networking with his classmates, tapping into the resources the college offers, and pursuing his passion. MCC is setting him up for success.

A Computer Science major expecting to graduate in January 2022, Holmes is from Billerica and chose MCC because it is affordable and close to home. After graduating from Middlesex, he plans to transfer to a four-year school to become a Computer Systems Engineer.

Courses such as his Introduction to Programming course with MCC Professor Sanaz Rahimi and Trigonometry for Engineering and Science with Lengchivon Kou have helped him understand how much he enjoys his major and future career.

Holmes is grateful for all of the hard work and dedication he has received from his other professors, including Linda Miller, Lance Solimini, Mike Williamson, Gordon Curry, Aliza Miller and Sylvia Yeung.

As the pandemic caused Middlesex to transition most courses and student services to online formats since the Spring 2020 semester, Holmes has been adjusting to online learning. A self-described “computer geek,” he finds MCC’s online classes to be user friendly.

“My experience with online courses has been going pretty smoothly,” he said. “The ability to plan out my courses using the syllabus and course schedule and knowing when my assignments and projects are all due really help me with planning all of this out.”

Holmes is also taking a few of MCC’s Mini-mester courses, which allows him to complete the same high-quality content, number of credits and instructional hours as a 15-week course in just eight weeks. While there is a lot of work to balance, Holmes has figured out how to best manage his schedule and believes the accelerated classes are useful.


This major criminal hacking group just switched to ransomware attacks

A widespread hacking operation that has been targeting organisations around the world in a phishing and malware campaign which has been active since 2016 has now switched to ransomware attacks, reflecting how successful ransomware has become a money-making tool for cyber criminals.

Dubbed FIN11, the campaign has been detailed by cybersecurity researchers at FireEye Mandiant, who describe the hackers as a ‘well-established financial crime group’ which has conducted some of the longest running hacking campaigns.

The group started by focusing attacks on banks, retailers and restaurants but has grown to indiscriminately target a wide range of sectors in different locations around the world, sending thousands of phishing emails out and simultaneously conducting attacks against several organisations at any one time.

For example, in just one week, Mandiant observed concurrent campaigns targeting pharmaceuticals, shipping and logistics industries in both North America and Europe.

But despite attacks targeting a wide variety of organisations around the world, many of the initial phishing campaigns are still customised on a target by target basis for the maximum possible chance of encouraging a victim to download a malicious Microsoft Office attachment which says macros must been enabled.

This starts an infection chain which creates multiple backdoors into compromised systems, as well as the ability to grab admin credentials and move laterally across networks.

SEE: A winning strategy for cybersecurity (ZDNet special report) | Download the report as a PDF (TechRepublic) 

FIN11 campaigns initially revolved around embedding themselves into networks in order to steal data, with researchers noting that the hacking group commonly deployed BlueSteal, a tool used to steal banking information from Point-of-Sale (POS) terminals.

With finances being the focus of the group, it’s likely FIN11 sold this information to other cyber criminals on the dark web, or simply exploited the details for their own gain.

Is Major Cineplex Group A Good Stock To Buy?

Major Cineplex Group PCL (OTC:MCGRF) is a leading cinema operator in Thailand with 815 screens in Thailand and neighboring countries. It has a considerable contribution to the growth of Thai box office. The company has a strong growth and upside potential, according to a thesis by AsianCenturyStocks.

Assuming a full recovery in cinema attendance by 2022, the stock will trade at a 2023e PE ratio of 10.3x, offering upside of +85% if the stock were to trade at its historical average PE ratio of 19x. This multiple is well justified given the long runway of growth, limited debt, excellent management team and high return on capital, according to the thesis.

theater, theatre, stand, worker, food, counter, concession, cold, bar, retail, movie, business, snack, drink, cinema, adult, tub, cap, occupation, service, caucasian, female
theater, theatre, stand, worker, food, counter, concession, cold, bar, retail, movie, business, snack, drink, cinema, adult, tub, cap, occupation, service, caucasian, female

Tyler Olson/

At a point where European and North American box offices are struggling with their revenue statistics, Major Cineplex is growing at 10-15% every year. The number of screens per capita in Malaysia is only 13% of that in United States. The Thai box office is outperforming its competitors with a considerable margin. It has greatly utilized the opportunities and capitalized on them, thus giving Major Cineplex a fruitful outcome.

During the lockdowns of COVID-19, Major Cineplex witnessed some hard times. A few months of full closure of cinemas led to cash burn. Since the entire operation was closed across the country and worldwide, the revenue was stagnant. Although the operations for the company re-opened, the capacity of watchers is only 25%. Looking into the financial aspects, some investors may have considered that during the pandemic, the competitors like Netflix (NFLX) may have captured the industry. But, according to the thesis, Major Cineplex remains unaffected from Netflix which started its operations in 2017 in Thailand.

The advantageous

iPhone 12 got a major leak just before launch day: Details on price and release dates


The iPhone 11 taking advantage of iOS 14’s ability to customize the home page. 

Angela Lang/CNET

Apple’s official event is Tuesday, but possible leaks about the next iPhone — widely expected to be called the iPhone 12 — continue to come out. Leaker Kang posted on Chinese social media site Weibo that there will be four models of iPhones that range in price from $699 to $1,099, according to The Verge. 

The models include an iPhone 12 Mini with a 5.4-inch display, which starts at $699 and will be available for preorder on Nov. 6 or 7 with retail availability of Nov. 13 or 14. The 6.1-inch iPhone 12 will start at $799 and be available to preorder on Oct. 16 or 17, with release on Oct. 23 or 24. Both models come with storage options ranging from 64 gigabytes to 256GB. 

The higher-end models include the 6.1-inch iPhone 12 Pro, which costs $999 and include a telephoto lens with 4X optical zoom and a lidar sensor for depth tracking, similar to the new iPad Pros. Preorders reportedly begin on Oct. 16 or 17, with release on Oct. 23 or 24. The 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pro Max will start at $1,099, and include the lidar sensor and a telephoto lens with 5X optical zoom. It’ll be available for preorder on Nov. 13 or 14, with a release date on Nov. 20 or 21. Both models will storage options ranging from 128GB to 512GB. 

Kang also notes that Apple will sell a HomePod Mini for $99, as well as introduce a MagSafe charger, using the same branding as the magnetic charging cables found in its older MacBook laptops. 

An Apple spokesman wasn’t

AMD Promises Major Desktop CPU Gains, Previews Next-Gen GPUs

While the clock speeds for AMD’s  (AMD) – Get Report latest desktop CPUs are similar to those of their predecessors, it promises architectural changes will deliver major performance gains.

And that in turn has major implications not only for AMD’s desktop offerings, but also upcoming notebook and server CPU refreshes.

As expected, AMD unveiled its anticipated Ryzen 5000 desktop CPU line — the first products to rely on its next-gen, Zen 3, CPU core microarchitecture — during a Thursday event that was live-streamed on its website.

AMD’s Ryzen 5000 Desktop CPU Line

For now, the line features 4 CPUs: the 16-core Ryzen 9 5950X, the 12-core Ryzen 9 5900X, the 8-core Ryzen 7 5800X and the 6-core Ryzen 5 5600X. The CPUs will be available on Nov. 5.

With AMD once more relying on Taiwan Semiconductor’s  (TSM) – Get Report 7-nanometer (7nm) manufacturing process node, clock speeds for the new CPUs generally aren’t much different than those of comparable products relying on AMD’s Zen 2 microarchitecture, which was first unveiled in mid-2019. For example, the 5950X has a 3.4GHz base clock speed and a boost clock speed of 4.9GHz, which respectively compares with 3.5GHz and 4.7GHz base and boost clocks for its predecessor, the 16-core Ryzen 9 3950X.

AMD's Ryzen 5000 desktop CPU lineup. Source: AMD.

AMD’s Ryzen 5000 desktop CPU lineup. Source: AMD.

The other three CPUs have base clocks of either 3.7GHz or 3.8GHz, and boost clocks ranging from 4.6GHz to 4.8GHz. As a result, AMD is still differentiating its mid-range and high-end Ryzen desktop offerings primarily via core counts rather than clock speeds.

But while clock speeds aren’t changing much, AMD claims Zen 3 delivers a 19% performance gain in terms of instructions per clock (IPC). This gain — the result of a slew of architectural improvements, including a new cache