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Baan IV
10.2 (incl. 10.2.1)
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Industry & Technology

Plans drawn up for world's tallest wooden skyscraper

BBC Technology News - 1 hour 35 min ago
The 70-storey tower would be 90% wood and have trees and other foliage on every level.

Steven Seagal has a cryptocurrency now. It's bad - CNET - News - 2 hours 42 sec ago
Steven Seagal has become the official ambassador for Bitcoiin2Gen, a new cryptocurrency launching its Initial Coin Offering.

Year-old vuln turns Jenkins servers into Monero mining slaves

The Register - 2 hours 32 min ago
The hip world of continuous integration meets the dark world of crypto-jacking

Here's a salutary reminder why it pays to patch promptly: a Jenkins bug patched last year became the vector for a multi-million-dollar cryptocurrency mining hijack.…

Wikipedia ends data-free access for developing countries - CNET - News - 3 hours 20 min ago
Wikipedia Zero will shut down across 72 countries this year, ending zero-rated access to the online encyclopedia.

Flight-sim devs say hidden password-dump tool was used to fight pirates [Updated]

Ars Technica - 3 hours 41 min ago


The usually staid world of professional-grade flight simulations was rocked by controversy over the weekend, with fans accusing mod developer FlightSimLabs (FSLabs) of distributing "malware" with an add-on package for Lockheed Martin's popular Prepar3d simulation. The developer insists the hidden package was intended as an anti-piracy tool but has removed what it now acknowledges was a "heavy-handed" response to the threat of people stealing its add-on.

The controversy started Sunday when Reddit user crankyrecursion noticed that FSLabs' Airbus A320-X add-on package was setting off his antivirus scanner. FSLabs had already recommended users turn off their antivirus protection when installing the add-on, so this wasn't an isolated issue.

The reason for the warning, as crankyrecursion found, was that the installer seemed to be extracting a "test.exe" file that matched a "Chrome Password Dump" tool that can be found online. As the name implies, that tool appears to extract passwords saved in the Chrome Web browser—not something you'd expect to find in a flight-sim add-on. The fact that the installer necessarily needs to run with enhanced permissions increased the security threat from the "Password Dump."

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Microsoft ends notifications for Win-Phone 7.5 and 8.0

The Register - 3 hours 44 min ago
Sorry to spoil the fun for both of our readers still running them, but support's ended too

Microsoft's all-but-euthanized Windows Phone 7.5 and 8.0.…

Cryptocurrency-mining criminals that netted $3 million gear up for more

Ars Technica - 4 hours 11 min ago

Enlarge / Money. (credit: AMC)

Researchers have uncovered what they said is one of the biggest malicious currency mining operations ever, with more than $3 million worth of digital coin. Now, the operators are gearing up to make more.

The unknown criminals generated the windfall over the past 18 months. The campaign has mainly exploited critical vulnerabilities on Windows computers and then, once gaining control over them, installing a modified version of XMRig, an open-source application that mines the digital coin known as Monero. While the group has used a variety of mining services, it has continued to dump the proceeds into a single wallet. As of last week, the wallet had received payouts of almost 10,829 Monero, which, at current valuations, are worth more than $3.4 million.

"The perpetrator, allegedly of Chinese origin, has been running the XMRig miner on many versions of Windows and has already secured him over $3 million worth of Monero cryptocurrency," researchers at security firm Check Point wrote in a blog post. "As if that wasn't enough though, he has now upped his game by targeting the powerful Jenkins CI server, giving him the capacity to generate even more coins."

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Lucky Charms new unicorn marshmallow is a Twitter hit - CNET - News - 4 hours 58 min ago
The swirly, psychedelic new cereal piece is replacing the hourglass. In other news, Lucky Charms had an hourglass marshmallow?

Fin tech

BBC Technology News - 5 hours 9 min ago
Fish farming is big business and producers are adopting new technologies to expand and cut costs.

Google reveals Edge bug that Microsoft has had trouble fixing

The Register - 5 hours 18 min ago
Oh great - because Google's explained how to make Edge run dodgy code

Google has again decided to disclose a flaw in Microsoft software before the latter company could deliver a fix. Indeed, Microsoft has struggled to fix this problem.…

Apple updates all its operating systems to address Indian Telugu crash

Ars Technica - 5 hours 18 min ago

Enlarge (credit: Samuel Axon)

Apple has released software updates for all four of its consumer operating systems—iOS, watchOS, tvOS, and macOS—to tackle an issue that allowed usage of the Indian Telugu character to cause those devices to crash.

The updates are labeled iOS 11.2.6, watchOS 4.2.3, tvOS 11.2.6, and macOS High Sierra 10.13.3 Supplemental Update, and they're all available to download on supported devices right now.

The update notes for each release include the same key bullet point:

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Apple updates operating systems to fix app-crashing bug - CNET - News - February 19, 2018 - 11:56pm
Bug causes apps running on iOS devices and Macs to crash when a certain Indian symbol was displayed.

Pure magic! See Harry Potter's Hogwarts Great Hall in Lego - CNET - News - February 19, 2018 - 11:10pm
Still waiting for Hedwig to fly in with your Hogwarts acceptance letter? Buy your way into the famed wizarding school with this $100 playset.

Ancient DNA sheds light on what happened to the Taino, the native Caribbeans

Ars Technica - February 19, 2018 - 9:55pm

Enlarge / Reconstruction of a Taino village in Cuba. (credit: Michal Zalewski)

The Caribbean was one of the last parts of the Americas to be settled by humans, although scientists don’t agree on when the first settlers arrived or where they came from. Some argue that people probably arrived from the Amazon Basin, where today’s Arawakan languages developed, while others suggest that the first people to settle the islands came from even farther west, in the Colombian Andes.

“The differences in opinion illustrate the difficulty of tracing population movements based on a patchy archaeological record,” wrote archaeologist Hannes Schroeder of the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, and his colleagues. Schroeder’s research team has a new study on the genetics of the long-lost Taino people, which gives some clear indications of their origin and where they went after European colonization.

Complex social networks linked the islands

The Bahamas weren’t settled until 1,500 years ago. The people who settled there are known as the Lucayan Taino, and they and the other Taino communities of the Caribbean were the natives who met the first Spanish colonists in 1492. At the time, the Taino were thriving; Spanish priest Bartolomé de las Casas estimated that about 600,000 people each lived on Jamaica and Puerto Rico, with as many as a million on Hispaniola. That didn’t last long; by the mid-16th century, smallpox and slavery had driven the Taino to the brink of extinction.

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Woman billed $17,850 for dodgy pee test. Alarmed experts say she’s not alone

Ars Technica - February 19, 2018 - 9:33pm

Enlarge (credit: Getty | Frank Bienewald )

In 2015, a college student in Texas named Elizabeth Moreno had back surgery to correct a painful spinal abnormality. The procedure was a success, and her surgeon followed it with just a short-term prescription for the opioid painkiller hydrocodone to ease a speedy recovery. Then came a “routine” urine drug test, ostensibly to ensure she didn’t abuse the powerful drug.

A year later, she got the bill for that test. It was $17,850.

She understandably didn’t see it coming, according to a report on her case in Kaiser Health News. The surgery was covered by her insurance and she had weaned herself off the painkiller with no problems. When the surgeon’s office asked for the urine test in mid-January 2016,  “I didn’t think anything of it,” Moreno told KHN. “I said fine, whatever.”

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'Black Panther' Discussion: This One's Gonna Be Fun

Wired - February 19, 2018 - 9:24pm
We've seen it. You've seen it. It's time we all talked it out.

Samsung reveals soothing ringtone for Galaxy S9 - CNET - News - February 19, 2018 - 9:00pm
Commentary: You haven't seen the phone, but you can listen to what its default ringtone sounds like right now.

Lego Hulkbuster's big, buildable suit is ready to smash - CNET - News - February 19, 2018 - 8:41pm
Exclusive: Tony Stark's big suit from "Avengers: Age of Ultron" comes in Lego form this March.

Facebook’s secret weapon in the fight against foreign meddling? Postcards

Ars Technica - February 19, 2018 - 8:39pm

Enlarge / Mock-up of expected returns from Facebook’s postcard campaign. (credit: Alexey Nikolsky / AFP / Getty Images / Aurich Lawson)

A Facebook executive has announced a new plan designed to mitigate foreign influence in political ad buys on the social media platform. It involves a technology your grandparents would recognize—postcards.

The plan was announced one day after Special Counsel Robert Mueller unveiled indictments against 13 Russians who used Facebook, among other American social media sites, to attempt to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.

The idea, according to Katie Harbath, Facebook’s global director of policy programs, is that if an ad mentions a specific candidate, Facebook will mail a verification postcard containing a code to the advertiser's American address to confirm that the ad buyer is Stateside. Then, the buyer would need to provide that code on Facebook's ad platform for the ad to be published.

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Judge finds written attack on climate scientist too ludicrous to be libel

Ars Technica - February 19, 2018 - 8:28pm

Enlarge / Justice. (credit: Brian Turner / Flickr)

A few climate scientists have found themselves in court in recent years. Generally, they've been the targets of suits, often by political groups filing Freedom of Information Act requests to fish through their emails. But in a couple of cases, fed-up scientists have taken their most vitriolic detractors to court for defamation and libel.

Well-known Penn State researcher Michael Mann, for example, sued columnist and radio host Mark Steyn and two others for articles repeatedly accusing him of academic fraud (and making an analogy to child molestation).

Canadian climate scientist Andrew Weaver is in a slightly different position, as he decided to run for office several years ago and is now the leader of the Green Party in British Columbia. In 2015, he won a case against the National Post for an article accusing him of scientific misconduct, though that decision was overturned by an appeals court last year.

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