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Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Is Flexnet's Agent running on your computer? 1

shanen writes: Is Flexnet's Agent running on your computer?

Not the first time I've noticed this on Windows 10... In your Task Manager you may be able to find an agent.exe process that runs from time to time. It's identified as the Flexnet Remote Desktop Connection software. Uh? But I didn't know I was running a remote connection to my desktop. You?

How serious is this version of the Microsoft ppyware problem?

Submission + - Its time to have a talk about Slashdot technology 3

hackwrench writes: On top of not fixing the problems that Slashdot has. the new owners have added an annoying ad that persistently blocks actual usage on every load.
Slashdot also frequently launches users some distance into comments for no explicable reason.
It doesn't do Unicode.
The new interface is horrendous. Fortunately it can be switched off.
Features that used to be free are now subscription-only items.
Let's all hash it out. Not just technological issues but editorial grievances as well. And how many of us are on a moderation ban list for some long forgotten stupid reason?

Submission + - Abrupt product termination consequences for Google?

managerialslime writes: I wonder how many good Google products never get adopted because IT executives (like me) are now too anxious about application abandonment?

When I was the CIO at a mid-size company, I rejected adoption of Google Voice, Google Wave, and Google Hangouts after seeing them abandon Google Desktop Search.

I reasoned that if Google could not give multi-year sunsetting like Microsoft, then they were not a partner I could rely on.

At what point will Google's advantage due to the flexibility of abrupt terminations be outweighed by resistance to adopting their products?

Hmm....

Submission + - 2016 was the year solar panels finally became cheaper than fossil fuels. (qz.com)

managerialslime writes: The renewable energy future will arrive when installing a new solar panels is cheaper than a comparable investment in coal, natural gas or other options. If you ask the World Economic Forum (WEF), the day has arrived.

Solar and wind is now the same price or cheaper than fossil fuels in more than 30 countries, the WEF reported in December (pdf). As prices for solar and wind power continue their precipitous fall, two-thirds of all nations will reach the point known as “grid parity” within a few years, even without subsidies. “Renewable energy has reached a tipping point,” Michael Drexler, who leads infrastructure and development investing at the WEF, said in a statement. “It is not only a commercially viable option, but an outright compelling investment opportunity with long-term, stable, inflation-protected returns.”

Submission + - Red Hat Container Platform OpenShift Dedicated Launches On Google Cloud

An anonymous reader writes: Red Hat has announced the general availability of OpenShift Dedicated across Google Cloud Platform, bringing the open source container platform as a managed service to customers using Google’s cloud infrastructure. Google product manager Martin Buhr said that the move will help accelerate the adoption of Kubernetes, containers and cloud-native application patterns. Users will be able to access Google’s platform which is already optimised for container technologies. There will also be the added benefit of tapping into Google’s portfolio of products, including data analytics tools, machine learning, compute, network and storage services.

Submission + - Trump chooses Scott Pruitt, climate change denier, to head the EPA (theguardian.com)

Victor_0x53h writes: Scott Pruitt, attorney general of Oklahoma and a sceptic of climate science, has been chosen by Donald Trump as the next administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. He is part of legal action waged by 28 states against the EPA to halt the Clean Power Plan, an effort by Barack Obama’s administration to curb greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired power plants and has sided with Exxon Mobil in investigations by the attorneys general in Massachusetts and New York over claims that it misled investors by covering up its knowledge of climate change.

Submission + - researchers develop artificial leaf that turns CO2 into fuel (chicagotribune.com)

managerialslime writes: University of Illinois at Chicago researchers have developed a way to mimic plants’ ability to convert carbon dioxide into fuel, a way to decrease the amounts of harmful gas in the atmosphere and produce clean energy. The artificial leaf essentially recycles carbon dioxide. And it’s powered entirely by the sun, mimicking the real photosynthesis process.

Submission + - And This, Friends, Is How Russia Built a Sovereign Internet (bloomberg.com)

pacopico writes: Only a handful of countries have their very own Internet with their own e-mail systems, search engines and social networks. Russia has such an Internet, and it's wonderfully weird, creepy and innovative. Bloomberg Businessweek sent a reporter to Moscow and Siberia to produce a documentary on the rise of the Russian Internet and the current state of the country's technology industry. The show turns up some odd technology like FindFace, which lets anyone snap a picture of a stranger and then find them instantly on social networks, and Group-IB, which is the leading hunter of Russian-speaking hackers. There's also a visit to Akademgorodok, which is sort of like a Russian version of Silicon Valley only in Siberia. Given that Russia's technical influence is in the news, this documentary is timely if nothing else.

Submission + - Who funds the Tor network and why? (exsociety.com) 1

jimjasongo writes: Why does the Tor network get funded by sources like US government? TOR enables the users to use dark web, which is the major source of crime on the internet, so why does so many sources fund tor, when it poses a threat to people

Submission + - Backdoor encryption sneaks into UK law (theregister.co.uk)

Coisiche writes: Seems that all the US companies that said any encryption backdoors would undermine global competitiveness, when such a thing was recently mooted there, can now find out if they were correct or not by watching the UK. Meanwhile various TLA agencies will be wondering if it could be as easily slipped into law in their jurisdiction.

Submission + - More Than 1 Million Android Devices Rooted by Gooligan Malware

Trailrunner7 writes: A new version of an existing piece of malware has emerged in some third-party Android app stores and researchers say it has infected more than a million devices around the world, giving the attackers full access to victims’ Google accounts in the process.

The malware campaign is known as Gooligan, and it’s a variant of older malware called Ghost Push that has been found in many malicious apps. Researchers at Check Point recently discovered several dozen apps, mainly in third-party app stores, that contain the malware, which is designed to download and install other apps and generate income for the attackers through click fraud. The malware uses phantom clicks on ads to generate revenue for the attackers through pay-per-install schemes, but that’s not the main concern for victims.

The Gooligan malware also employs exploits that take advantage of several known vulnerabilities in older versions of Android, including Kit Kat and Lollipop to install a rootlet that is capable of stealing users’ Google credentials.Although the malware has full remote access to infected devices, it doesn’t appear to be stealing user data, but rather is content to go the click-fraud route. Most users are being infected through the installation of apps that appear to be legitimate but contain the Gooligan code, a familiar infection routine for mobile devices.

Submission + - Which is the best-managed U.S. bank?

Futurepower(R) writes: I see plenty of evidence that banks don't manage their web sites well.

When I check my balance at Ally Bank, the NoScript and Ghostery Firefox add-ons tell me that 11 other sites* would be contacted if I didn't have protection. See the sites below.

The Barclays U.S. Bank web site terms of use say that Barclays U.S. Bank has no legal responsibility or liability for anything it says on its web site. Quoting: "... THE BANK DOES NOT WARRANT THAT: (i) THE SITE OR THE SITE CONTENT IS CORRECT, ACCURATE, RELIABLE OR COMPLETE..." If you can't depend on what the web site says, how can you feel comfortable that you know enough about the bank to want to be a customer?

I talked with a representative at CapitalOne 360 Bank when I discovered that now there is no way to send a secure message to the bank. (My wife has an account.) The secure messaging only allows receiving messages from the bank. If you have a question, you have to call and talk with someone, and you have no way of proving what you were told. The CapitalOne 360 Bank representative said that there were too many incoming messages for the staff to answer, so incoming messages were recently deactivated. Customers are not allowed to keep the incoming messages from the bank; they are deleted after 90 days.

I have plenty of other stories like that. In my experience, top managers often have little knowledge of technology, and often seem not to want any knowledge.

So, which is the best-managed U.S. bank? What are your stories about banks?

*Here are the web sites linked when I check my balance at Ally Bank. Advertising: Adobe Audience Manager, Advertising.com, DoubleClick Floodlight, DoubleClick Spotlight, Google Dynamic Remarketing, MediaMath, and RUN. Site Analytics: Omniture (Adobe Analytics) and Qualtrics. Other web sites: Demdex.net and Omtrdc.net. When I tried to visit the Omtrdc.net web site, I got a Firefox message: "Your connection is not secure. The owner of omtrdc.net has configured their website improperly. To protect your information from being stolen, Firefox has not connected to this website."

Submission + - New Netflix UI Forgets Where You Were In a Video Intentionally (thestack.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Netflix opts all customers into its UI beta-testing program by default (though you can opt out at any time). One iteration the company is experimenting with at the moment features a number of innovations, including a revised and more informative playback environment, a 10-second 'wind-back' feature similar to functionality in Amazon Prime — and an intentional inability to remember where you paused playback, with one operative explaining ‘[This] UI makes you go back to the start of the show so this way in case you missed any part of the movie/show you can watch it again with no troubles.’

Submission + - New study shows marijuana users have low blood flow to the brain (eurekalert.org)

cold fjord writes: State level marijuana legalization efforts across the US have been gaining traction driven by the folk wisdom that marijuana is both a harmless recreational drug and a useful medical treatment for many aliments. However some cracks have appeared in that story with indications that marijuana use is associated with the development of mental disorders and the long term blunting of the brain's reward system of dopamine levels. A new study has found that marijuana appears to have a widespread effect on blood flow in the brain: "Published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, researchers using single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), a sophisticated imaging study that evaluates blood flow and activity patterns, demonstrated abnormally low blood flow in virtually every area of the brain studies in nearly 1,000 marijuana users compared to healthy controls, including areas known to be affected by Alzheimer's pathology such as the hippocampus. . . . According to Daniel Amen, M.D., ... "Our research demonstrates that marijuana can have significant negative effects on brain function. The media has given the general impression that marijuana is a safe recreational drug, this research directly challenges that notion. In another new study just released, researchers showed that marijuana use tripled the risk of psychosis. Caution is clearly in order.""

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