Illustration: Rebecca Zisser / Axios

As much of the tech industry tries to assess how a massive chip vulnerability will affect them, Microsoft and Intel differ significantly on how the fixes for the issue impacts performance, especially on older PCs.

Why it matters: There are two big issues here. One is the fact that the flaw affects nearly all chips made in the last decade-plus, meaning there are a lot of machines that need updates. The other is how much the needed software changes will reduce performance.

Intel said on Thursday that the impact is only "slightly higher" on its 6th generation chips compared to more recent processors, and cited one benchmark that shows an 8 percent reduction in performance, even on older processors.

Microsoft said earlier this week that expected a "noticeable" decrease in performance for Windows 7 and Windows 8 PCs using chips made in 2015 or before.

The differing information only adds to a high level of confusion over the recently disclosed vulnerabilities, with differing viewpoints throughout the industry on many issues including over:

  • the degree to which the vulnerabilities can be fixed on existing products
  • how hard or easy it will be for the flaws to be exploited
  • the performance impact of various software fixes on both servers and PCs

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Photos: Graeme Jennings/Pool/Getty Images; Al Drago/Pool/Getty Images

China's Foreign Ministry announced Monday that it's imposing sanctions on Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) along with nine other Americans, including Freedom House president Michael Abramowitz and Human Rights Watch Executive director Kenneth Roth, per Bloomberg.

Why it matters: It's a direct response to similar actions by the U.S. that included the Trump administration placing sanctions on officials Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam last Friday over Beijing's encroachment of the Asian financial hub's s autonomy. China announced last month it would ban Rubio and Cruz from entering the country over their criticisms of human rights abuses against Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang.

Editor's note: This is a developing news story. Please check back for updates.

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Why it matters: It's a precarious moment for the former Soviet republic, where decades of repression and a complete disregard for the coronavirus pandemic threaten to topple "Europe's last dictator." Rights groups said at least one protester was killed and dozens more wounded in a "police crackdown," per AP.

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Anti-government protesters in Beirut. Photo: STR/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Lebanon’s information and environment ministers resigned Sunday in the wake of massive protests over the deadly blast in Beirut's port last week, per AP.

Why it matters: In her resignation letter, Information Minister Manal Abdel-Samad called change "elusive" and apologized for not delivering more to the country, which had been devastated by a financial crisis and the coronavirus pandemic even before the blast destroyed much of the capital city.