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Open365 Is An Open Source Alternative to Microsoft Office 365

Tue, 04/26/2016 - 11:30
Martin Brinkmann, writing for Ghacks: Open365 is an open source Office 365 alternative that allows you to edit or create documents online, and to sync files with the cloud. The service is in beta currently but you can sign up for it already on the official website. You may use it using a web browser, download clients for Windows, Mac or Linux desktop machines, or for Android. An iOS client is in the making currently and will be made available as well soon. Open 365 offers two main features that you can make use of. First, it enables you to synchronize files between devices you use and the cloud. Second, it allows you to view, edit and create documents in the cloud using the technology provided by the Open Source Office suite LibreOffice Online for that.

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Mitsubishi: We've Been Cheating On Fuel Tests For 25 years

Tue, 04/26/2016 - 10:50
An anonymous reader cites an article on CNN:The situation at Mitsubishi Motors just went from bad to much, much worse. The Japanese automaker admitted Tuesday that it had falsified fuel efficiency tests for the past quarter century (warning: annoying autoplay videos, alternate source), the latest revelation in a scandal that has rocked the company. The automaker said last week that it had used improper fuel economy tests on hundreds of thousands of vehicles, including some sold to Nissan. Cars with inflated fuel efficiency ratings were sold only in Japan. Mitsubishi said it would ask lawyers from outside the company to investigate the tests.

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Gmail For Android Gets Microsoft Exchange Support

Tue, 04/26/2016 - 10:20
An anonymous reader writes: Google has updated Gmail for Android with a very notable feature: support for Microsoft Exchange. You can download the latest version of the app from Google Play (if you don't see it, don't worry: Google says the gradual rollout may take three or more days). The company had actually released this feature a few months ago, but at the time, it was only available for Nexus devices. With the new update, Google is making the feature available to a wider audience. "Exchange support was previously only available on our Nexus devices, but as of today, Exchange support covers mail, contacts, and calendar data in Android across all devices," a Google spokesperson told VentureBeat.

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Over 7 Million Accounts for Minecraft Community Hacked

Tue, 04/26/2016 - 09:45
Joseph Cox, reporting for Motherboard: Over seven million user accounts belonging to members of Minecraft community "Lifeboat" have been hacked, according to security researcher Troy Hunt. Hunt said he will upload the data to his breach notification website "Have I Been Pwned?", which allows people to check if their account is compromised, on Tuesday, and that it includes email addresses and weakly hashed passwords -- meaning that hackers could likely obtain full passwords from some of the data. "The data was provided to me by someone actively involved in trading who's sent me other data in the past," Hunt, who has verified the data and sent Motherboard a redacted screenshot of some of it, said in an email.

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Businesses Pay $100,000 To DDoS Extortionists Who Never DDoS Anyone

Tue, 04/26/2016 - 09:00
Dan Goodin, reporting for Ars Technica: In less than two months, online businesses have paid more than $100,000 to scammers who set up a fake distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) gang that has yet to launch a single attack. The charlatans sent businesses around the globe extortion e-mails threatening debilitating DDoS attacks unless the recipients paid as much as $23,000 by Bitcoin in protection money, according to a blog post published Monday by CloudFlare, a service that helps protect businesses from such attacks. Stealing the name of an established gang that was well known for waging such extortion rackets, the scammers called themselves the Armada Collective.An excerpt from CloudFlare blog post:Given that the attackers can't tell who has paid the extortion fee and who has not, it is perhaps not surprising to learn that they appear to treat all victims the same: attacking none of them. To date, we've not seen a single attack launched against a threatened organization. This is in spite of nearly all of the threatened organizations we're aware of not paying the extortion fee. We've compared notes with fellow DDoS mitigation vendors and none of them have seen any attacks launched since March against organizations that have received Armada Collective threats.

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City Installs Traffic Lights In Sidewalks For Smartphone Users

Tue, 04/26/2016 - 08:03
tlhIngan writes: It's finally happened -- the smartphone zombies are here. The German city of Augsburg installed traffic lights in the sidewalks so smartphone users don't have to look up. Apparently people are so addicted to their smartphones they can't be bothered to look up at traffic signals, so embedding them in the ground they don't have to. According to the Washington Post report, the city spokeswoman Stephanie Lermen thinks the money used to install the lights is well spent. A recent survey conducted in several European cities including Berlin, found that almost 20 percent of pedestrians were distracted by their smartphones. Of course, younger people are at higher risk as they're willing to risk their safety to look at their Facebook profiles or WhatsApp messages, the survey found. The problem may be even worse in the U.S: A survey by the University of Washington found that 1 in 3 Americans is busy texting or working on a smartphone at dangerous road crossings. City officials say installing the traffic lights is justified: The idea is to install such traffic lights came after a 15-year-old girl was killed by a tram. According to police reports, she was distracted by her smartphone as she crossed the tracks.

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Tesla Will Install More Energy Storage With SolarCity In 2016 Than The US Installed In 2015

Tue, 04/26/2016 - 05:02
An anonymous reader writes: Tesla is scheduled to install more energy storage capacity in 2016 with SolarCity alone than all of the US installed in 2015. It was revealed in a recent filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that Tesla foresees an almost 10x increase in sales to SolarCity for behind the meter storage. [From the SEC filing: "We recognized approximately $4.9 million in revenue from SolarCity during fiscal year 2015 for sales of energy storage governed by this master supply agreement, and anticipate recognizing approximately $44.0 million in such revenues during fiscal year 2016."] This revenue projection means Tesla expects to install approximately 116 MWh of behind the meter storage. The U.S. for example installed about 76 MWh of behind the meter storage. SolarCity and Tesla Energy doubled their battery installation volume last year. What's particularly noteworthy is that the 116 MWh expectation does not include SolarCity's biggest project -- Kauai Island's coming 52 MWh system. Hawaii is aiming for 100% renewable energy by 2045 and has contracted with SolarCity to balance the two 12MW Solar Power plants with the Kauai Island Utility Cooperative (KIUC). By 2020, there will be 70 GWh of Tesla battery storage on the road, and Straubel expects there to be 10 GWh of controllable load in those cars.

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Rise In CO2 Has 'Greened Planet Earth'

Tue, 04/26/2016 - 01:37
schwit1 quotes a report from BBC: Carbon dioxide emissions from industrial society have driven a huge growth in trees and other plants. A new study says that if the extra green leaves prompted by rising CO2 levels were laid in a carpet, it would cover twice the continental USA. Climate skeptics argue the findings show that the extra CO2 is actually benefiting the planet. But the researchers say the fertilization effect diminishes over time. They warn the positives of CO2 are likely to be outweighed by the negatives. The lead author, Professor Ranga Myneni from Boston University, told BBC News the extra tree growth would not compensate for global warming, rising sea levels, melting glaciers, ocean acidification, the loss of Arctic sea ice, and the prediction of more severe tropical storms. The new study is published in the journal Nature Climate Change by a team of 32 authors from 24 institutions in eight countries. A new study has also shown that ever since Americans first heard the term global warming in the 1970's, the weather has actually improved for most people living in the U.S. The study published in the journal Nature found that 80% of the U.S. population lives in counties experiencing more pleasant weather than they did four decades ago.

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Goldman Sachs Launches GS Bank, An Internet Bank With A $1 Minimum Deposit

Mon, 04/25/2016 - 22:02
An anonymous reader recaps a report from TechCrunch: Traditionally, Goldman Sachs has functioned like a run-of-the-mill investment bank with minimums to open an account in the range of $10 million, and returns not guaranteed. Goldman is opening its doors to the masses today with the launch of GS Bank, an FDIC-insured, internet-based savings bank. Anyone with an internet connection and a dollar can join, as that is what each account's minimum balance must be. GS Bank's interest rates give customers an annual yield of 1.05 percent, a rate that trumps the average U.S. saving's bank yield of .06 percent APY. GS Bank was a result of Goldman's acquisition of GE Capital Bank, the online retail bank previously run by General Electric's capital arm. The move is to diversify revenue streams and strengthen liquidity. GS Bank currently has total deposits of around $114 billion. In other news from the multinational banking firm, Goldman Sachs believes virtual-reality and augmented-reality "will be the next generation computing platform" worth $80 billion by 2025.

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Valve Inks Deal With Lionsgate Adding Over 100 Movie Titles To Steam Platform

Mon, 04/25/2016 - 20:34
MojoKid quotes a report from HotHardware: Valve took a major step in growing its Steam digital distribution platform today by adding movie rentals to the mix. The addition of movies to Steam's catalog is a first, and it was made possible through a deal with Lionsgate Entertainment that immediately fleshes out the service with more than 100 flicks. Steam is currently the biggest digital distribution platform for games, and while it has a long way to go before it can claim the same for movies, there's little doubt Valve wants to take it there. In a press release announcing the deal, Valve said Lionsgate was "one of the first major studios to license films" for streaming on Steam, which hints that it's attempting to lure other studios as well. You can view the entire catalog here.

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Symantec: Cruz and Kasich Campaign Apps May Expose Sensitive Data

Mon, 04/25/2016 - 19:51
An anonymous reader writes: Apps released by the campaigns of Republican presidential contenders Ted Cruz and John Kasich have the potential for hackers to access users' personal information. According to an independent analysis by Symantec, the "Cruz Crew" app could allow third parties to capture a phone's unique identifying number and other personal information while the Kasich 2016 app could expose users' location data and information about other apps installed on the phones. First it was Veracode that reported potential vulnerabilities with the apps, now it's Symantec. Apparently the Cruz campaign updated its app to resolve the issues after the Veracode report was released. Kasich spokesman Rob Nichols said the security experts didn't know what they were talking about. Both campaigns have yet to respond to the latest Symantec analysis. Neither security firm found any issues in the app released by the campaign of Democrat Bernie Sanders. Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton do not have campaign apps.

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Facebook Is Building A Standalone Camera App To Encourage Its 1.6 Billion Users To Share More

Mon, 04/25/2016 - 19:07
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Verge: According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, Facebook engineers in London are working on a standalone camera app with a big live-streaming component. Similar to Snapchat, the app would open straight into a camera to foster immediate capturing and posting of photos and videos, as well as letting users stream via Facebook Live. With billions of smartphones in the world and near-ubiquitous high-speed data connections, Facebook sees a huge opportunity to get its 1.6 billion users sharing more than ever before. A camera app may help the company do that, and better compete with Snapchat at the same time. Facebook has recently rolled out a major live video update allowing anyone to post live streams of themselves to their timeline. Previously, only celebrities and public figures were allowed to use the feature. With this new Facebook Live update and standalone camera app reportedly in the works, the only thing holding Mark Zuckerberg back with his plan to triple the size of his social network is affordable internet.

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New 'Tunneling' State of Water Molecules Discovered by Scientists

Mon, 04/25/2016 - 18:24
MikeChino quotes a report from Inhabitat: Scientists just discovered a new state of water molecules that displays some pretty unexpected characteristics. This discovery, made by researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), reveals that water molecules "tunnel" in ultra-small hexagonal channels (measuring only 5 angstrom across) of the mineral beryl. Basically, this means the molecules spread out when they are trapped in confined spaces, taking a new shape entirely. The ORNL used neutron scattering and computational modeling to reveal the "tunneling" state of water that breaks the rules of known fundamentals seen in gas, liquid, or solid state. The researchers said the discovery describes the behavior of water molecules present in tightly confined areas such as cell walls, soils, and rocks. The study was published in Physical Review Letters on April 22.

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Your Pay Is About To Go Up

Mon, 04/25/2016 - 17:41
The Department of Labor's overtime rule is expected to be updated some time later this summer, and when it does, you will soon be entitled to overtime pay if you make less than $50,000 per year. According to Gawker, "It now appears that even if you are a salaried employee or some sort of 'manager,' you will still be entitled to time-and-a-half pay for working more than 40 hours per week, as long as your total salary falls under the threshold." How did they come to this conclusion? Gawker points out that the Department of Labor promotes a Wall Street Journal story which says that "The threshold would be increased to $970, or $50,440 annually. That level is about the 40th percentile of weekly earnings for salaried workers." Hamilton Nolan writes, "This rule has been a matter of political contention for years. But now that it is actually approaching, its import is becoming clear: overtime pay, which has long been isolated to a minority of workers, is about to be extended to almost the entire middle class."

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Software Audits: How High-Tech Software Vendors Play Hardball

Mon, 04/25/2016 - 16:57
snydeq writes: InfoWorld's Dan Tynan offers an inside look at how high-tech software vendors such as Adobe, Oracle, and IBM play hardball over software licensing, pushing customers to "true up" to the tune of billions of dollars per year -- and using the threat of audits as a sales tool to close lucrative deals. "When it comes to software audits, the code of omerta prevails," Tynan writes. "It's not a question of whether your organizations' software licenses will get audited. It's only a question of when, how often, and how painful the audits will be. The shakedown is such a sure thing that nearly every customer we contacted asked us to keep their names out of this story, lest it make their employers a target for future audits."

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US Justice Dept Approves Charter's Time Warner Cable Purchase With Conditions

Mon, 04/25/2016 - 16:13
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Reuters: The U.S. Justice Department has approved Charter Communications Inc's proposed purchase of Time Warner Cable Inc and Bright House networks, which would create the second-largest broadband provider and third largest video-provider. The Justice Department valued the purchase of Time Warner Cable at $78 billion and Bright House at $10.4 billion. Under terms, New Charter has agreed to refrain from telling its content providers that they cannot also sell shows online. The deal must also be approved by the Federal Communications Commission. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said Monday he circulated an order seeking approval of the merger with conditions that "will directly benefit consumers by bringing and protecting competition to the video marketplace and increasing broadband deployment."

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Mozilla Seeks New Home For Email Client Thunderbird

Mon, 04/25/2016 - 15:30
Reader chefmonkey writes: In a report commissioned by Mozilla to explore the next home for Thunderbird, two potential new hosts have been offered: the Software Freedom Conservancy (host to git, boost, QEMU, and a host of other projects) and The Document Foundation (home of LibreOffice). At the same time, the report discusses completely uncoupling Thunderbird from the rest of the Mozilla codebase and bringing in a dedicated technical architect to chart the software's roadmap. Given that the two named organizations are already on board with taking Thunderbird under their wing, is this a new lease on life for the email program Mozilla put out to pasture four years ago?In December last year, Mozilla Foundation chairperson Mitchell Baker had argued that the organization should disentangle itself from the Thunderbird email client in order to focus on Firefox. It appears the Firefox-maker is all set to part ways with Thunderbird.

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Swedish ISP Vows to Protect Users From a Piracy Witch Hunt

Mon, 04/25/2016 - 15:00
Ernesto Van der Sar, reporting for TorrentFreak: Swedish Internet service provider Bahnhof says it will do everything in its power to prevent copyright holders from threatening its subscribers. The provider is responding to a recent case in which a competing ISP was ordered to expose alleged BitTorrent pirates, reportedly without any thorough evidence. At the birth ground of The Pirate Bay, media outfit Crystalis Entertainment received permission from the court to identify several BitTorrent users, based on their IP-addresses. The case, which could be the first of many, was filed against the local ISP TeliaSonera who handed over the requested information without putting up much of a fight. This prompted the competing Internet provider Bahnhof to issue a warning. The company notes that the copyright holder in question doesnâ(TM)t have a very strong case, and it criticizes Telia for caving in too easily.

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Does More Carbon Dioxide Mean Increased Crop Water Productivity?

Mon, 04/25/2016 - 14:30
An anonymous reader points us to an Ars Technica report: For the most part, we think of rising levels of carbon dioxide as an environmental problem. But atmospheric CO2 can also boost agricultural productivity by helping plants grow. How do these potential issues balance out? In an investigation recently published in Nature Climate Change, scientists have looked into the global implications of carbon dioxide's ability to enhance agricultural productivity. Increased levels of CO2 can enhance photosynthesis and reduce leaf-level transpiration, the process by which some of the water that plants draw from the ground gets released back into the atmosphere. These changes can reduce growing seasons and water loss. The result could be an increase in what's called "crop water productivity," i.e. the amount of food produced for each unit of water expended. If elevated CO2 levels increase crop yield and reduce water consumption at large scales, this could help ensure water and food security despite the climate disruptions. By combining data from a massive network of field experiments and global crop models, the scientists claimed that depending on the crop type, global crop water productivity will increase by 10 to 27 percent by the 2080s. Arid regions exhibited large increases that were based on crop type.

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US Begins Dropping 'Cyberbombs' On ISIS

Mon, 04/25/2016 - 13:40
In what appears to be a significant shift in its tactic to battle against the terrorist organization, the U.S. has begun launching cyberattacks against ISIS (non-paywall link). The New York Times reports that the Department of Defense's Cyber Command unit is mounting cyberattacks against the terrorist organization. The Cyber Command unit aims to stop the organization from spreading its message. The Times reports: The goal of the new campaign is to disrupt the ability of the Islamic State to spread its message, attract new adherents, circulate orders from commanders and carry out day-to-day functions, like paying its fighters. A benefit of the administration's exceedingly rare public discussion of the campaign, officials said, is to rattle the Islamic State's commanders, who have begun to realize that sophisticated hacking efforts are manipulating their data. Potential recruits may also be deterred if they come to worry about the security of their communications with the militant group. "We are dropping cyberbombs," Robert O. Work, deputy secretary of defense said. "We have never done that before."

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