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Technology to keep dementia patients out of hospital

BBC Technology News - April 17, 2019 - 1:09am
Radar technology and tiny brain-monitors are just some of the devices being tested by a new research centre.

Comic for April 16, 2019

Dilbert - April 17, 2019 - 12:59am
Categories: Geek

Anti-vax moms sue NYC as US heads toward record measles spread

Ars Technica - April 17, 2019 - 12:43am

Enlarge / NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 10: A sign warns people of measles in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community in Williamsburg on April 10, 2019, in New York City. As a measles epidemic continues to spread, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio recently announced a state of emergency and mandated residents of the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community in Williamsburg at the center of the outbreak to get vaccinated for the viral disease. (credit: Getty | Spencer Platt)

Five unnamed mothers in New York City filed a lawsuit Monday, April 15, seeking to block the city's mandatory vaccination order in areas hit by a massive measles outbreak that has raged since last October.

City health officials announced the order earlier this month as they declared a public health emergency over the outbreak, which has sickened 329 people so far—mostly children. According to the city's order, all unvaccinated people in affected ZIP codes must receive the Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR) vaccine, prove immunity, or have a valid medical exemption. Violators could face a fine of $1,000.

In the lawsuit, the mothers claim that the outbreak does not constitute a dangerous epidemic (though the virus can cause severe complications and even death) and that the city's orders are "arbitrary and capricious." Moreover, they allege that the MMR vaccine has significant safety concerns (this is false; side effects beyond mild, temporary discomfort are exceedingly rare) and that the order violates their religious freedom.

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The robot that tidies up bedrooms

BBC Technology News - April 17, 2019 - 12:10am
Robots are good at repetitive tasks but struggle with new objects. Can they be trained to overcome that?

What do drones and GPS owe to a 1744 shipwreck?

BBC Technology News - April 17, 2019 - 12:08am
When HMS Victory sank, she took with her an early prototype of the gyroscope, crucial to modern technology.

TED 2019: The $50 lab burger transforming food

BBC Technology News - April 17, 2019 - 12:07am
TED fellow Bruce Friedrich tells the TED conference about his vision for the future of food.

Vodafone 'gigafast' ad banned after Virgin Media complaint

BBC Technology News - April 17, 2019 - 12:05am
The promotion described broadband packages as being "gigafast" that did not offer 1Gbps speeds.

Two reports describe major new iOS 13 and macOS 10.15 features

Ars Technica - April 16, 2019 - 11:50pm

Enlarge / The front of the 2019 iPad Air. (credit: Samuel Axon)

Two reports by Guilherme Rambo at 9to5Mac citing "people familiar with the development" of both macOS 10.15 and iOS 13 may have revealed some notable new features in Apple's operating systems for Macs, iPhones, and iPads.

In the first report, published yesterday, Rambo describes new additions in iOS 13, which has long been expected to be a major release after iOS 12 was focused on improving performance and reliability.

The report says that iPads running iOS 13 will support multiple windows: "Each window will also be able to contain sheets that are initially attached to a portion of the screen but can be detached with a drag gesture, becoming a card that can be moved around freely." Users will be able to stack the cards or dismiss them with a gesture.

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T-Mobile/Sprint merger is in danger of being rejected by DOJ

Ars Technica - April 16, 2019 - 10:49pm

Enlarge / T-Mobile CEO John Legere (left) and then-Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure during an interview on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on April 30, 2018. (credit: Getty Images | Bloomberg)

T-Mobile US and Sprint are facing potential rejection of their proposed merger at the US Department of Justice.

DOJ staffers "have told T-Mobile US and Sprint that their planned merger is unlikely to be approved as currently structured," The Wall Street Journal reported today, citing people familiar with the matter.

"In a meeting earlier this month, Justice Department staff members laid out their concerns with the all-stock deal and questioned the companies' arguments that the combination would produce important efficiencies for the merged firm," the Journal wrote.

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Why $249 is an unsustainable price for the first all-digital Xbox [Updated]

Ars Technica - April 16, 2019 - 10:10pm

Enlarge / Microsoft needs to give customers a better deal to convince them to give up discs for good. (credit: Dazzied / Flickr)

[Update: Since Microsoft's announcement, the Xbox One S All-Digital Edition has appeared for pre-order on retailers such as Amazon and Best Buy for the MSRP for $249.99. As outlined below, the more capable, disc-drive-equipped Xbox One S currently sells for the same price at those very retailers.]

Today's announcement of the previously rumored "All-Digital Edition" of the Xbox One S is one of the few instances when a redesigned version of a home console is, from a features perspective, strictly worse than the version that came before it. The removal of the disc drive means the All-Digital Edition can't play Blu-rays, DVDs, or old disc-based games you (or GameStop) might have lying around, and it won't let you resell any games you might buy for it. The new box isn't even any smaller, even though the bulky optical drive has been removed.

Microsoft intends to make up for this loss of features with a lower price point for the new unit, which will sell for a $249 MSRP starting May 7. But that suggested price point—while technically lower than the official $299 MSRP for a 1TB Xbox One S bundle—doesn't seem likely to convince many people to invest in the disc-free console future.

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Everything we know about the first discless Xbox One, coming May 7 for $249

Ars Technica - April 16, 2019 - 10:09pm

The Xbox One S All-Digital Edition will be the first major home console in the disc-media era to ship without an optical drive, Microsoft has confirmed. The new system will launch on May 7 in the United States and bears such a resemblance to the existing Xbox One S that they share an identical outside shell and motherboard, only with a plastic blocker where the disc drive's slot used to be.

In an interview with Ars Technica, Microsoft's Platform and Devices GM Jeff Gattis confirmed an MSRP of $249, which includes the discless console (currently only in "bone white"), one matching Xbox One controller, an internal 1TB hard drive, and three bundled game-download codes: Minecraft, Sea of Thieves, and Forza Horizon 3. This model will launch "in most Xbox One markets" on May 7, Microsoft says, and all existing Xbox One accessories will be compatible with the All-Digital Edition, owing to its identical motherboard.

Gattis explained that this price point will "pass the value of removing the disc drive onto the customer." I asked him, however, how he reckons that with the fact that, as of press time, most retailers list existing Xbox One S bundles (complete with at least one pack-in game) at a $249 price point.

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Apple and Qualcomm settle patent fight after one day in court

Ars Technica - April 16, 2019 - 8:56pm

Enlarge / Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks during a product launch event on September 12, 2018, in Cupertino, Calif. (credit: NOAH BERGER/AFP/Getty Images)

A high-stakes trial between Apple and Qualcomm kicked off yesterday in a San Diego courtroom. But this afternoon, the companies announced that they had reached a deal in the case.

The news sent Qualcomm stock soaring more than 20 percent. Apple stock saw little change.

Apple and Qualcomm had been locked in a global, years-long legal battle over patent royalties. Qualcomm demands that companies license its patent portfolio before they can buy the company's chips. It's an unusual arrangement, and critics argue it is an abuse of Qualcomm's dominant position in the wireless chip market.

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