All posts by PCH3lp

Vice President Kamala Harris Visits NASA to See Climate Change Work

The urgency of Earth science and climate studies took the spotlight Friday, Nov. 5, as U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris visited NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. Alongside NASA Administrator Bill Nelson, the vice president received a firsthand look at how NASA studies climate change and provides crucial information to understand our planet’s changes and their impacts on our lives.

The vice president met with scientists and engineers to discuss:

• The first images captured by the Landsat 9 satellite, a joint mission of NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) that launched in late September to monitor the Earth’s land surface.

• A new Earth science mission entitled Investigation of Convective Updrafts (INCUS) that will study the behavior of tropical storms and thunderstorms, including their impacts on weather and climate models.

• The Plankton, Aerosol, Cloud, ocean Ecosystem (PACE) mission, which involves an instrument currently under construction at Goddard for a 2022 launch. PACE will extend and improve NASA’s record of satellite observations of global ocean biology, aerosols (tiny particles suspended in the atmosphere), and clouds.

• The GOES-R program, whose GOES-T satellite is scheduled to launch for NOAA in February 2022 to improve weather forecasts.

Learn more about NASA’s Earth science work at:

Video Producer: Rich Melnick

Video Editor: Mike Randazzo

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Android 12 Keeps Resetting Users’ Default App Settings

Android 12 logo on a Google Pixel 5Justin Duino

Here’s a “feature” I really hoped Google wouldn’t steal from Apple. The new Android 12 operating system is deleting some users’ default app settings, causing links that should open the Rif app, for example, to open in the Chrome browser instead. What’s worse, users first encountered this problem when Android 12 was still in beta, yet Google still hasn’t addressed it.

Several Android 12 users on Reddit and Twitter have reported this issue, which seems to mainly impact third-party apps like Albatross (a Twitter app) and Rif (a Reddit app). While Android 12 is letting people set these third-party apps as their “defaults,” it’s automatically deleting their preferences after a day or two.

Yet another maddening Android 12 issue – 3rd party apps losing defaults and not opening links anymore.

For example, reddit links weren’t opening in Reddit is fun until I manually added checkboxes in its defaults settings.

All of them auto reset to off today. (┛◉Д◉)┛彡┻━┻

— Artem Russakovskii (@ArtemR) November 5, 2021

Android 12 users have been struggling with this problem since the third Developer beta launched in July. Naturally, they’re worried that Google is trying to push “official” apps over third-party options, something that you wouldn’t expect on an Android device.

Google hasn’t addressed this problem, which isn’t a great sign! But on the bright side, the company hasn’t changed its Developers guide for Android app link verification. Despite all the disappointment that Android 12 users are feeling right now, it seems that this is a bug, and it may be resolved soon … if Google ever acknowledges it, that is.

Source: /r/android_beta, @ArtemR

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The Treasury Department is buying sensitive app data for investigations


It’s no secret that app data can reach investigators without much oversight, but you might be surprised at just who is buying that data. The Intercept and advocacy group Tech Inquiry have learned that the US Treasury Department recently bought sensitive app data from Babel Street, the same firm that handed info to the Secret Service and other agencies. The department spent over $300,000 on two contracts in the past four months to collect data for the sake of investigations.

One contract, made official in July 2021, gave Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) investigators access to mobile app location data from Babel Street’s Locate X tool. The info will help OFAC target people and enforce international sanctions, according to the contract. As you might expect, there’s a concern the office is effectively circumventing Fourth Amendment search restrictions. The data is technically anonymous, but it’s relatively easy for an investigator to link data to individuals.

The other contract, from September 2021, gives the Internal Revenue Service a tool that scrapes information from “public digital media records.” The software will theoretically help the IRS catch tax evaders through online activity like social media posts and forum conversations. While it’s legal to view that content, the Treasury wants Babel Street to provide “available bio-metric [sic] data” like addresses and marital status that may create a detailed profile.

The concern isn’t just that the Treasury might be circumventing the Fourth Amendment by obtaining some data (particularly locations) without a warrant. This also represents an expansion of “invasive surveillance,” Tech Inquiry founder Jack Poulson told The Intercept. Rather than scaling back its efforts, the US government is stepping things up.

We’ve asked the Treasury for comment. There’s no guarantee it will back off. With that said, Senator Ron Wyden and others are pushing legislation that would require a court order for these data purchases. If bills like The Fourth Amendment Is Not For Sale Act ever become law, the government would at least need to pass a basic legal test to buy this sensitive material — even if officials wouldn’t require your knowledge.

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How to Move Your Cursor Without a Mouse in Windows 11

If your mouse and touchpad stop working, or if you’re just tired of moving back and forth between your mouse and keyboard, you can use Mouse Keys to move the cursor on your screen by using keys on your keyboard.

Read This Article on How-To Geek ›

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Microsoft OneDrive app will stop syncing with Windows 7 and 8 on March 1st, 2022


Microsoft is trying to nudge more people toward newer Windows versions. As Thurottreports, Microsoft has warned that the OneDrive desktop app will stop syncing with personal Windows 7, 8 and 8.1 computers on March 1st, 2022. The software will no longer receive updates from January 1st onward. You can still use the web to manually transfer files, but that’s clearly a hassle if you routinely access cloud files from an older PC.

Business customers won’t have much of a reprieve, either. Microsoft is tying corporate OneDrive support to the Windows cycle for relevant machines. Windows 7 and 8.1 workplace users will have until January 10th, 2023 (the end of extended support for both platforms), while Windows 8 users are already out of luck.

The company wasn’t shy about its reasoning. This will help “focus resources” on newer Windows platforms and technologies, according to OneDrive developers. In other words, Microsoft really wants you to upgrade to Windows 10 or Windows 11.

This isn’t a completely unexpected move. Microsoft has long had trouble persuading some customers to upgrade to newer versions of Windows, to the point where companies and governments would rather pay for special support contracts than update. That hurts Microsoft’s bottom line, of course, but it also poses security risks — WannaCry took advantage of organizations running outdated Windows versions. The new OneDrive policy may push some users to install newer Windows versions even if they’re otherwise happy with an old operating system.

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