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Facebook Makes Messenger a Platform 47

Posted by samzenpus
from the stand-on-your-own-two-feet dept.
Steven Levy writes At Facebook's F8 developer conference, the ascension of the Messenger app was the major announcement. Messenger is no longer just a part of Facebook, but a standalone platform to conduct a wide variety of instant communications, not only with friends, but with businesses you may deal with as well. It will compete with other messaging services such as Snapchat, Line and even Facebook's own WhatsApp by offering a dizzying array of features, many of them fueled by the imagination and self-interest of thousands of outside software developers.

+ - Dutch 'data center radiator' trial promises low-cost heat and cheaper hosting->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Dutch utility company Enelco is collaborating with cloud-based tech startup Nerdalize to trial a nine-month scheme wherein five households will use domestically-styled data centers [] to provide indoor heating and hot water. Nerdalize CEO Boaz Leupe claims [] that if the trials are succeeded by roll-out, clients can save 55% on cloud-based hosting whilst Enelco customers could save about 400 euros ($436) annually under the scheme. In use the Nerdalize servers can output up to 8,000kWh annually. The servers perform calculations for research institutes and other clients, donate compute cycles to NFP causes when idle, and will perform 'dumb calculations' to maintain heat on demand in the event of a network outage."
Link to Original Source

+ - Government Spies Admit that Cyber Armageddon is Unlikely

Submitted by Nicola Hahn
Nicola Hahn (1482985) writes "NSA director Mike Rogers spoke to a Senate Committee yesterday, admonishing them that the United States should bolster its offensive cyber capabilities to deter attacks. Never mind that deterrence is problematic if you can’t identify the people who attacked you.

In the past a speech by a spymaster like Rogers would have been laced with hyperbolic intimations of the End Times. Indeed, for almost a decade mainstream news outlets have conveyed a litany of cyber doomsday scenarios on behalf of ostensibly credible public officials. So it’s interesting to note a recent statement by the U.S. intelligence community that pours a bucket of cold water over all of this. According to government spies the likelihood of a cyber Armageddon is “remote.” And this raises some unsettling questions about our ability to trust government officials and why they might be tempted to fall back on such blatant hyperbole."

+ - France decrees new rooftops must be covered in plants or solar panels->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "A law approved in France Thursday now requires all new rooftops in commercial zones to be covered in plants or solar panels. "Green roofs have an isolating effect, helping reduce the amount of energy needed to heat a building in winter and cool it in summer. They also retain rainwater, thus helping reduce problems with runoff, while favoring biodiversity and giving birds a place to nest in the urban jungle, ecologists say." The law was actually watered down from its original version — businesses only have to cover part of their roof."
Link to Original Source

+ - Wall Street Journal Reporter Found Dead After Controversial OPEC Investigation->

Submitted by abhishekmdb
abhishekmdb (4015829) writes "This Wednesday, the body of Wall Street Journal reporter David Bird was pulled from a New Jersey river. The 55-year-old journalist had been missing for over a year and investigators were unsure whose body they found until they were able to match the dental records with those of David Bird.

According to police, Bird was found in the Passaic River between Somerset and Morris counties, in an area where he frequently took walks. After all this time, two men were recently canoeing in that part of the river when they came across a red jacket and called police.

Just before his disappearance, Bird was investigating a supply imbalance in the oil industry, and was reporting in a way that was extremely controversial and possibly threatening to elements within that industry."

Link to Original Source

+ - Germany Succeeded with Massive Power Drops/Surges with its Solar Grid Today->

Submitted by SpzToid
SpzToid (869795) writes "Electrical grids in Europe succeeded in managing the unprecedented disruption to solar power from Friday's 2-1/2-hour eclipse that brought sudden, massive drops in supply.

Germany, Europe's leading economy and boasting the world's biggest solar-powered installations, was at the heart of the event.

"Good preparations paid off, we were able to handle all swings in production," said Ulrike Hoerchens, spokeswoman for one of the four high-voltage grid firms, TenneT, which operates in the region with the highest share of photovoltaic units.

Solar power output has expanded sharply to 38.2 gigawatts (GW) since the region's last notable eclipse in 2003, so the country — which borders nine nations — needed to prove its power market and network handling centres could function under extraordinary conditions.

German solar output right before the eclipse totalled 21.7 GW, then dropped to a low point of 6.2 GW, followed by an addition of 15 GW again within the following hour, TenneT said.

The speed of feed-in was treble the normal maximum, which could have caused disruptions."

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Manning, traitor. Snowden, patriot (Score 1) 336

by zlives (#49302377) Attached to: German Vice Chancellor: the US Threatened Us Over Snowden

if anything Manning was misguided and possibly mentally unstable. A charge of traitor is bit much for some one who clearly should not have passed his mental assessment exam. The fault lies with the recruiting process and possibly the excellent DontAsk legislation. Thanks Clinton.

+ - Google caught altering search-results for profit->

Submitted by mi
mi (197448) writes "We've always suspected, this may happen some day — and, according to FTC's investigation inadvertently shared with the Wall Street Journal, it did.

In a lengthy investigation, staffers in the FTC’s bureau of competition found evidence that Google boosted its own services for shopping, travel and local businesses by altering its ranking criteria and “scraping” content from other sites. It also deliberately demoted rivals.

For example, the FTC staff noted that Google presented results from its flight-search tool ahead of other travel sites, even though Google offered fewer flight options. Google’s shopping results were ranked above rival comparison-shopping engines, even though users didn’t click on them at the same rate, the staff found. Many of the ways Google boosted its own results have not been previously disclosed."

Link to Original Source

+ - Every Browser Hacked at Pwn2own 2015 as HP Pays out $557,500 in Awards->

Submitted by darthcamaro
darthcamaro (735685) writes "Every year, browser vendors patch their browsers ahead of the annual HP Pwn2own browser hacking competition in a bid to prevent exploitation. Sad truth is that it's never enough. This year, security researchers were able to exploit fully patched versions of Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Microsoft Internet Explorer 11 and Apple Safari in record time. For their efforts, HP awarded researchers the princely sum of $557,500. So why does this happen every year? Why can't browser vendors actually produce software that can't be exploited — year after year?

Every year, we run the competition, the browsers get stronger, but attackers react to changes in defenses by taking different, and sometimes unexpected, approaches," Brian Gorenc manager of vulnerability research for HP Security Research said.


Link to Original Source

The meat is rotten, but the booze is holding out. Computer translation of "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak."