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Advanced SystemCare Free

ZDnet Blogs - February 19, 2019 - 10:40pm
Advanced SystemCare 12 is an easy-to-use PC yet all-in-one system optimization and security software. With new features and technologies,...
Categories: Opinion

Blood of the young won’t spare rich old people from sadness and death, FDA says

Ars Technica - February 19, 2019 - 10:35pm

Enlarge / Not so fast, says the FDA. (credit: Getty | Silver Screen Collection)

The US Food and Drug Administration issued an alert Tuesday, February 19, warning older consumers against seeking infusions of blood plasma harvested from younger people. Despite being peddled as anti-aging treatments and cures for a range of conditions, the transfusions are unproven and potentially harmful.

In a statement, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb and the director of FDA's Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, Peter Marks, wrote:

Simply put, we're concerned that some patients are being preyed upon by unscrupulous actors touting treatments of plasma from young donors as cures and remedies.

Establishments in several states are now selling young blood plasma, which is the liquid portion of blood that contains proteins for clotting. The sellers suggest that doses of young plasma can treat conditions ranging from normal aging and memory loss to dementia, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, heart disease, or post-traumatic stress disorder, according to the FDA.

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EA opts Origin users out of “real-name sharing” after complaints

Ars Technica - February 19, 2019 - 10:09pm

Enlarge

Electronic Arts is opting all users out of the "real name sharing" option on its Origin gaming service following complaints that some users may have been entered into the program without their consent.

The option to "show my real name on my profile" (as opposed to just sharing an online handle) is buried in the privacy settings for every EA Origin account, as it is for many other gaming networks. But Randi Lee Harper, the founder of the nonprofit Online Abuse Prevention Initiative, recently noted in a Twitter thread that her real name was being shared via the account without any opt-in.

Harper said anecdotal reports and spot checks of others with Origin accounts showed that the setting "has been seemingly randomly enabled" for a number of other Origin users. Accounts created between 2013 and 2015 seem to have more likelihood of having the option enabled by default, Harper said, but she added that she "can't find any kind of commonality in the data. It seems so random." (New accounts created today default the real name sharing to be off.)

Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Hollywood tries to cripple several alleged pirate TV services in one lawsuit

Ars Technica - February 19, 2019 - 9:09pm

Enlarge / Marketing material for SkyStream TV, which uses video from Omniverse. (credit: SkyStream TV)

Most of the major Hollywood movie studios are trying to cripple multiple alleged pirate TV services with a single lawsuit.

The studios last week filed a copyright infringement suit against Omniverse One World Television Inc., which provides streaming video to several online TV services. Omniverse claims to have legal rights to the content, but the studios say it doesn't.

The complaint was filed Thursday in US District Court for the Central District of California by Columbia Pictures, Disney, Paramount Pictures, 20th Century Fox, Universal, and Warner Bros. The studios previously used lawsuits to shut down the maker of a streaming device called the Dragon Box and another called TickBox. The studios' new lawsuit says that Omniverse supplied content to Dragon Box and to other alleged pirate services that are still operating.

Read 13 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Dealmaster: Take $340 off Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 Carbon ultrabook

Ars Technica - February 19, 2019 - 8:51pm

Enlarge (credit: TechBargains)

Greetings, Arsians! Courtesy of our friends at TechBargains, the Dealmaster is back with another round of deals to share. Today's list is headlined by a discount on the current-gen model of Lenovo's ThinkPad X1 Carbon notebook, which is down to $1,063 at Lenovo with the code "THINKPRESDAY." And yes, the coupon has to be in ALL CAPS for it to work.

Lenovo's on-site prices tend to fluctuate wildly, but the X1 Carbon typically goes for around $1,400, making this good for a roughly $340 discount. As of this writing, Lenovo is telling users to apply the code "THINKPRESIDENT," but the code above actually cuts the price by another $75 or so. Why? No clue, but the Dealmaster isn't complaining.

As for the X1 Carbon itself, it's great. You can check out our review for a full rundown, but in short, we said it ticked all the necessary boxes for a high-end Ultrabook. It's not a convertible, and there's no 4K option, but it performs well, gets good battery life, and has the necessary Thunderbolt 3 ports without ditching legacy ports like USB-A or HDMI. It's sufficiently thin (0.63 inches), light (2.49 pounds), and well-made, and its keyboard, as is typical of a ThinkPad, is excellent. Its big downside is that it's relatively expensive, but that's obviously negated here.

Read 9 remaining paragraphs | Comments

AI fake face website launched

BBC Technology News - February 19, 2019 - 7:14pm
Users can generate false faces, using artificial intelligence.

How Badly is Google Books Search Broken, and Why?

Slashdot - February 19, 2019 - 6:45pm
Categories: Geek, Opinion

Anthem review: BioWare’s sky-high gaming ambition crashes back to Earth

Ars Technica - February 19, 2019 - 6:30pm

Enlarge (credit: EA / Bioware)

BioWare, the developer responsible for Mass Effect and Dragon Age, has returned with its first new series in over a decade, Anthem. It's a pretty big departure for the RPG-heavy studio: a jetpack-fueled, action-first online "looter-shooter." And after a disastrous demo launched weeks ago, we wondered whether we'd even get a playable game.

The good news is that we did, and at its best, Anthem feels brilliant, beautiful, and thrilling. At its worst, though, this is a stuttering, confusing, heartbreaking mess of an action game.

The good stuff Anthem ultimately offers—artistic design, BioWare-caliber plot, and that freakin' Iron Man feeling—fails to coalesce. Players are expected to log in again and again for missions with friends in true "online shared shooter" style (à la Destiny and Warframe), but the game's inherent structure makes this basic loop difficult to pull off.

Read 55 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Vox lawyers briefly censored YouTubers who mocked The Verge’s bad PC build advice

Ars Technica - February 19, 2019 - 6:15pm

Enlarge / We think copyright's fair use doctrine allows us to show you this screenshot from The Verge's video. (credit: The Verge)

Last week, The Verge got a reminder about the power of the Streisand effect after its lawyers issued copyright takedown requests for two YouTube videos that criticized—and heavily excerpted—a video by The Verge. Each takedown came with a copyright "strike." It was a big deal for the creators of the videos, because three "strikes" in a 90-day period are enough to get a YouTuber permanently banned from the platform.

T.C. Sottek, the Verge's managing editor, blamed lawyers at the Verge's parent company, Vox Media, for the decision.

"The Verge's editorial structure was involved zero percent in the decision to issue a strike," Sottek said in a direct message. "Vox Media's legal team did this independently and informed us of it after the fact."

Read 35 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Mandatory update coming to Windows 7, 2008 to kill off weak update hashes

Ars Technica - February 19, 2019 - 6:10pm

Enlarge

Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 users will imminently have to deploy a mandatory patch if they want to continue updating their systems, as spotted by Mary Jo Foley.

Currently, Microsoft's Windows updates use two different hashing algorithms to enable Windows to detect tampering or modification of the update files: SHA-1 and SHA-2. Windows 7 and Server 2008 verify the SHA-1 patches; Windows 8 and newer use the SHA-2 hashes instead. March's Patch Tuesday will include a standalone update for Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, and WSUS to provide support for patches hashed with SHA-2. April's Patch Tuesday will include an equivalent update for Windows Server 2008.

The SHA-1 algorithm, first published in 1995, takes some input and produces a value known as a hash or a digest that's 20 bytes long. By design, any small change to the input should produce, with high probability, a wildly different hash value. SHA-1 is no longer considered to be secure, as well-funded organizations have managed to generate hash collisions—two different files that nonetheless have the same SHA-1 hash. If a collision could be generated for a Windows update, it would be possible for an attacker to produce a malicious update that nonetheless appeared to the system to have been produced by Microsoft and not subsequently altered.

Read 2 remaining paragraphs | Comments


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