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Police force denies creating 'child hacker' poster

BBC Technology News - February 17, 2020 - 3:16pm
The poster said the authorities should be told about children who had tools used by cyber-security experts.

SpaceX nailed the launch but missed a landing on Monday [Updated]

Ars Technica - February 17, 2020 - 3:00pm

Enlarge / SpaceX launched its first batch of operational Starlink satellites in November. (credit: Trevor Mahlmann)

10:15am ET Update: The launch of a Falcon 9 rocket proceeded normally on Monday morning, but just when the first stage was due to land on the Of Course I Still Love You droneship, the rocket did not appear. Later in the SpaceX webcast, the company confirmed that the first stage made a "soft landing" in the water near the drone ship. SpaceX has yet to provide any additional details about what may have gone awry during the landing attempt.

Meanwhile, 60 Starlink satellites were successfully deployed into an elliptical orbit. Over the coming weeks, they will use on-board thrusters to circularize their orbits.

Original post: SpaceX is readying a Falcon 9 rocket for the launch of 60 more Starlink satellites on Monday morning. If successful, the mission will bring the total number of satellites in its low-earth orbit Internet constellation to nearly 300.

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Charging into the mainstream: Volvo electrifies its first class-8 truck

Ars Technica - February 17, 2020 - 2:26pm

The reality of a production-ready fully electric semi is now upon us, at least for the short-haul routes. Last week, Volvo Trucks revealed the VNR Electric, the centerpiece of an ambitious and highly collaborative $90-million pilot project. It's known as Low-Impact Green Heavy Transport Solution, or LIGHTS for short. In addition to Volvo, which has invested $36.7 million, 14 other entities from both the public sector and private enterprise have signed on to this collaboration.

"Bringing electric trucks commercially to market takes more than the launch of the truck," says Keith Brandis, vice president of partnerships and strategic solutions at Volvo Group. "With the LIGHTS program, Volvo and its partners are working on creating a true holistic strategy," simultaneously studying not only the performance of the truck itself, but also variables such as maintenance needs, route logistics, infrastructure requirements, and environmental impact.

"Goods movement in the region is one of the biggest contributors to smog-causing emissions and 22 percent of emissions from California's overall transport sector," says Harmeet Singh, chief technology officer at Greenlots, the company developing and deploying the charging infrastructure for the LIGHTS program.

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Linux distro review: Intel’s own Clear Linux OS

Ars Technica - February 17, 2020 - 2:12pm

Intel's Clear Linux distribution has been getting a lot of attention lately, due to its incongruously high benchmark performance. Although the distribution was created and is managed by Intel, even AMD recommends running benchmarks of its new CPUs under Clear Linux in order to get the highest scores.

Recently at Phoronix, Michael Larabel tested a Threadripper 3990X system using nine different Linux distros, one of which was Clear Linux—and Intel's distribution got three times as many first-place results as any other distro tested. When attempting to conglomerate all test results into a single geometric mean, Larabel found that the distribution's results were, on average, 14% faster than the slowest distributions tested (CentOS 8 and Ubuntu 18.04.3).

There's not much question that Clear Linux is your best bet if you want to turn in the best possible benchmark numbers. The question not addressed here is, what's it like to run Clear Linux as a daily driver? We were curious, so we took it for a spin.

Read 42 remaining paragraphs | Comments

What America's NSA Thinks of Python

Slashdot - February 17, 2020 - 1:45pm
Categories: Geek, Opinion

Israeli soldiers duped by Hamas 'fake women' phone ruse

BBC Technology News - February 17, 2020 - 11:47am
Hamas militants hacked dozens of smartphones by posing as female admirers, Israel's military says.

Amazon: Suspect child car seats found for sale on its store again

BBC Technology News - February 17, 2020 - 6:37am
Trading standards officers are probing the products, which Amazon has now removed from sale.

Can we fix our way out of the growing e-waste problem?

BBC Technology News - February 17, 2020 - 1:04am
Levels of electrical and electronic waste are expected to more than double by 2050, according to the UN.

The doctors and lawyers giving advice on TikTok

BBC Technology News - February 17, 2020 - 1:01am
The BBC meets the medics and lawyers across America who are using the app to help educate the public.

Comic for February 16, 2020

Dilbert - February 17, 2020 - 12:59am
Categories: Geek

Farmageddon movie review: Stop-motion sheep > CG hedgehog

Ars Technica - February 16, 2020 - 11:35pm

Enlarge / This promotional image isn't actually in Farmaggedon, but it sums up the mood of the movie. (credit: Aardman Animations)

Do you like stop-motion animation? I love stop-motion animation. I can't remember a time when I didn't love stop-motion. From King Kong to the California Raisins—put that good stuff straight into my veins.

The current champion of stop-motion is Aardman Animations, which mostly works in a brand of modeling clay called Plasticine that is equal parts cutting-edge and charmingly handmade. I stumbled across an Aardman short called The Wrong Trousers (1993) on PBS in high school, and I was hooked. The film follows a pathologically British inventor named Wallace and his long-suffering dog, Gromit. In Trousers and their other various adventures, Wallace displays a profound lack of proportionality: he builds Rube Goldberg inventions when a butter knife would do, he buys robotic pants to help paint his walls, and he constructs a rocket to go to the Moon when he runs out of cheese. He also lives in a universe where everyone has more teeth than could possibly fit in their mouths.

I love Aardman's stuff for two big reasons: I love the way it looks, and I love its worldview. An Aardman production combines near-miraculous feats of stop-motion with characters who mostly have resting "durrr" face. Aardman's clay tears glisten like real water, but since running is a physical impossibility for stop-motion figures, they just walk hilariously fast instead. I love that the chickens in Chicken Run (2000) use their "hands" to cram feed into their mouths even though it would probably have been easier to show them pecking like real birds. The animators went out of their way to be inaccurate. In the universe of Aardman, "charming" trumps "realistic." (Also, Aardman did the 1986 music video for Peter Gabriel's "Sledgehammer" in conjunction with—holy cow—the Brothers Quay.)

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