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Scientific Breakthrough Increases Plant Yields By One Third
Posted by News Fetcher on October 15 '16 at 08:11 AM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's growth-industry department:
Slashdot reader schwit1 writes, "Plant scientists have found a way to encourage plants to better use atmospheric nitrogen, thus increasing yields by more than one third. The technique not only produces healthier plants and more seeds, it reduces the need for fertilizer, the overuse of which can be an environmental issue." From WSU News:

For years, scientists have tried to increase the rate of nitrogen [conversion] in legumes by altering...interactions that take place between the bacterioid and the root nodule cells. [Washington State University biologist Mechthild] Tegeder took a different approach: She increased the number of proteins that help move nitrogen from the rhizobia bacteria to the plant's leaves, seed-producing organs and other areas where it is needed. The additional transport proteins sped up the overall export of nitrogen from the root nodules.

This initiated a feedback loop that caused the rhizobia to start fixing more atmospheric nitrogen, which the plant then used to produce more seeds. "They are bigger, grow faster and generally look better than natural soybean plants," Tegeder said.

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California City Converts Its Street Lights Into A High-Speed IoT Backbone
Posted by News Fetcher on October 15 '16 at 06:51 AM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's pier-to-pier department:
Harvard Law professor Susan Crawford describes how the city of Santa Monica installed its own high-speed IoT backbone on its street lights and traffic signals -- and why it's important.
Neutral "micro" cell sites can make very high-capacity wireless transmissions available, competitively, to everyone (and every sensor) nearby. This can and should cause an explosion of options and new opportunities for economic growth, innovation, and human flourishing in general... Very few American cities have carried out this transmogrification, but every single one will need to. Santa Monica...is a city that will be able to control its future digital destiny, because it is taking a comprehensive, competition-forcing approach to the transmission of data...

Cities that get control of their streetlights and connect them to municipally overseen, reasonably priced dark fiber can chart their own Internet of Things futures, rather than leave their destinies in the hands of vendors whose priorities are driven (rationally) by the desire to control whole markets and keep share prices and dividends high rather than provide public benefits.
Santa Monica's CIO warns that now telecoms "are looking for exclusive rights to poles and saying they can't co-locate [with their competitors]. They're all hiring firms to lock up their permits and rights to as many poles as possible, as quickly as possible, before governments can organize."

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Google Reveals It Received Secret FBI Subpoena
Posted by News Fetcher on October 15 '16 at 05:32 AM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's top-secret department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Intercept: Google revealed Wednesday it had been released from an FBI gag order that came with a secret demand for its customers' personal information. The FBI secret subpoena, known as a national security letter, does not require a court approval. Investigators simply need to clear a low internal bar demonstrating that the information is "relevant to an authorized investigation to protect against international terrorism or clandestine intelligence activities." The national security letter issued to Google was mentioned without fanfare in Google's latest bi-annual transparency report, which includes information on government requests for data the company received from around the world in the first half of 2016. Google received the secret subpoena in first half of 2015, according to the report. An accompanying blog post titled "Building on Surveillance Reform," also identified new countries that made requests -- Algeria, Belarus, and Saudi Arabia among them -- and reveals that Google saw an increase in requests made under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. But Google in its short blog post did not publish the contents of the actual letter the way other companies, including Yahoo, have done in recent months. Asked about plans to release the national security letter, a Google spokesperson told The Intercept it will release it, though it wouldn't say when or in what form it will do so. Google hasn't previously published any national security letters, though it's possible gag orders for prior demands are still in place. It's also unclear why Google wouldn't immediately publish the document -- unless the gag is only partially lifted, or the company is involved in ongoing litigation to challenge the order, neither of which were cited as reasons for holding it back

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Netflix Is 12x As Popular As Its Streaming Competitors Among Younger Viewers, Says Survey
Posted by News Fetcher on October 15 '16 at 02:51 AM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's staggering-statistics department:
Investment bank Piper Jaffray released a survey Friday that reveals just how much U.S. teens love Netflix. Out of the 10,000 U.S. teens surveyed, 37% of them watched Netflix every single day, while only 3% of them watched Amazon Prime Video and Hulu each day, respectively. That means Netflix is over 12 times as popular in terms of daily use. Business Insider reports: At the top of the pack for general video consumption, after Netflix, came YouTube (26%), which inched over cable TV (25%). This continued an upward trend for YouTube and a downward one for cable. Last month, analysts at UBS said Amazon and Hulu were closing the gap with Netflix in overall consumer satisfaction in the U.S. Amazon and Netflix were in a dead heat at 58% and 59% respectively. Hulu still lagged a bit, but was close to Netflix at 53% of people "very satisfied."

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NASA Has No Plans To Buy More Soyuz Seats
Posted by News Fetcher on October 14 '16 at 11:50 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's space-taxi department:
schwit1 writes: Both Boeing and SpaceX better get their manned capsules working by 2019, because NASA at this point has no plans to buy more seats on Russian Soyuz capsules after the present contract runs out. Spaceflight Now reports: "Even as the commercial crew schedules move later into 2018, NASA officials say they are not considering extending the contract with Roscosmos -- the Russian space agency -- for more launches in 2019. The last Soyuz launch seats reserved for U.S. astronauts are at the end of 2018. It takes more than two years to procure components and assemble new Soyuz capsules, so Russia needed to receive new Soyuz orders from NASA by some time this fall to ensure the spacecraft would be ready for liftoff in early 2019." The second paragraph above notes that even if NASA decided it needed more Soyuz launches, it is probably too late to buy them and have them available by 2019. "A Soyuz is a complicated vehicle, and a complicated vehicle doesn't come into existence in a matter of days," said Kirk Shireman, NASA's space station program manager. "It takes over two years to build a Soyuz, so yes, at some point in time, building a new Soyuz vehicle is not an option. We're working with our Russian counterparts on exactly when that is. We have not crossed that date yet, but I believe the date is in sight. It will be this calendar year when we will cross the point where we won't be able to build a Soyuz in time for when our last seats that we've already procured expire," Shireman said.

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Non-Cable Internet Providers Offer Faster Speeds To the Wealthy
Posted by News Fetcher on October 14 '16 at 07:41 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's more-reasons-to-hate-ISPs department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: When non-cable Internet providers -- outlets like ATT or Verizon -- choose which communities to offer the fastest connections, they don't juice up their networks so everyone in their service area has the option of buying quicker speeds. Instead, they tend to favor the wealthy over the poor, according to an investigation by the Center for Public Integrity. The Center's data analysis found that the largest non-cable Internet providers collectively offer faster speeds to about 40 percent of the population they serve nationwide in wealthy areas compared with just 22 percent of the population in poor areas. That leaves tens of millions of Americans with the choice of either purchasing an expensive connection from the only provider in their area -- typically a cable company -- or just doing the best they can with slower speeds. Middle-income areas don't fare much better, with a bit more than 27 percent of the population having access to a DSL provider's fastest speeds. The Center reached its conclusions by merging the latest Federal Communications Commission (FCC) data with income information from the U.S. Census Bureau. The non-cable Internet providers -- the four largest are ATT Inc, Verizon Communications Inc, CenturyLink Inc, and Frontier Communications Corp -- hook up customers over telephone wires that are Digital Subscriber Lines (DSL), or they use hybrid networks that include some fiber connections near (and sometimes directly to) homes. The Center included all types of connection in its analysis. These companies account for nearly 40 percent of the 92 million Internet connections nationwide. Cable companies, such as Comcast Corp and Charter Communications Inc, operate under a different set of conditions. These providers offer the same fast speeds to almost every community they serve, in part because of franchise agreements with local governments. But a previous Center investigation and other reports have shown that cable firms sometimes avoid lower-income or hard-to-reach areas based on how franchise agreements are written. Poor areas not served by the cable companies are not included in the Centerâ(TM)s analysis, which results in what seems like an equitable distribution of speeds across income levels. "Society said it did not matter if you could pay for electricity; we wanted everyone to have it. Society said we would not limit dial tone to those who could pay the most, we gave it to all," said telecommunications lawyer Gerard Lederer of Best Best and Krieger LCC in Washington, D.C., in an e-mail. "Broadband is quickly becoming that utility, and if applications only work at high speeds, then the universal availability of that speed must be the goal, otherwise you are providing everyone with water, just some of the water is not drinkable."

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Smartphones Are 'Contaminating' Family Life, Study Suggests
Posted by News Fetcher on October 14 '16 at 06:21 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's family-values department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from CBS News: Mobile devices like smartphones and tablets can be distracting from child-rearing, upending family routines and fueling stress in the home, a small, new study finds. Incoming communication from work, friends and the world at large is "contaminating" family mealtime, bedtime and playtime, said study lead author Dr. Jenny Radesky. She's an assistant professor of developmental behavioral pediatrics at the University of Michigan Medical School. Her comments stem from her team's study involving interviews with 35 parents and caregivers of young children in the Boston area. "This tension, this stress, of trying to balance newly emerging technologies with the established patterns and rituals of our lives is extremely common, and was expressed by almost all of our participants," Radesky said. "We have to toggle between what might be stress-inducing or highly cognitively demanding mobile content and responding to our kids' behavior," she said. The result, said Radesky, is often a rise in parent-child tension and overall stress. Modern parents and caregivers interact with tablets, smartphones and other communication devices for about three hours a day, the study authors said in background notes. Radesky's team previously found that when parents used mobile devices during meals they interacted less with their children, and became stressed when children tried to grab their attention away from the device. The new study included 22 mothers, nine fathers and four grandmothers. Participants were between 23 and 55 years old (average age 36) and cared for toddlers or young children up to age 8. Roughly one-third were single parents, and nearly six in 10 were white. On the plus side, many parents said that mobile devices facilitated their ability to work from home. But that could fuel anxiety, too. Some said smartphones provided access to the outside world, and alleviated some of the boredom and stress of child-rearing. On the down side, caregivers described being caught in a tug-of-war between their devices and their children. The study findings were published in the Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics.

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Hackers Hit 6,000 Sites On Active 18-Month Carding Spree
Posted by News Fetcher on October 14 '16 at 06:21 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's shopping-spree department:
mask.of.sanity writes from a report via The Register: Hackers have installed skimming scripts on more than 6,000 online stores and are adding 85 each day in a wide-scale active operation that may have compromised hundreds of thousands of credit cards. The malware is infecting stores (full list) running vulnerable versions of the Magento ecommerce platform, and also compromised the U.S. National Republican Senatorial Committee store. "Given that there are [about] 5,900 other skimmed stores, and the malpractice has been going on since at least May last year, I would expect the number of stolen cards in the hundreds of thousands," said Dutch developer Willem de Groot. You can read his blog post to learn more.

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Verizon Is Now Selling Unlimited Data In 30-Minute Increments
Posted by News Fetcher on October 14 '16 at 05:01 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's strings-attached department:
Verizon has unveiled a new pay-as-you-go unlimited mobile data offering yesterday called PopData that has some significant strings attached. The option charges you $2 for 30 minutes or $3 for 60 minutes of unlimited internet data. The Verge reports: Think of it like a microtransaction or in-app purchase in a mobile game, where you can't enjoy the full benefits of a product you ostensibly already own or pay for without ponying up a few extra bucks. There does appear to be some legitimate reasons to want unfettered data access for a short amount of time. For instance, perhaps you know youâ(TM)ll be downloading large files to your phone like numerous Spotify playlists, or maybe you want to enjoy an uninterrupted stream of a sports game or Netflix movie without having to worry about your data cap. But thereâ(TM)s no telling really whether this is a good or bad deal, as it complicates how we think of the value of data by blending a monthly bucket metaphor with that of a time-based subscription system. This wouldnâ(TM)t be such a big deal if customers could simply pay for unlimited data every month. Yet Verizon -- unlike ATT, T-Mobile, and Sprint -- does not offer customers a standard unlimited plan, and the company has made an effort to kick users off their grandfathered plans in the past.

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Top Democrats Request FBI Investigation of Trump Campaign Ties To Russia Over Hacking
Posted by News Fetcher on October 14 '16 at 05:01 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's what-a-coincidence department:
As the Trump campaign refuses to point blame at Russia for the DNC hacks, top democrats on four House committees are questioning possible connections between Donald Trump's presidential campaign and Russia. They have formally asked the FBI to investigate the matter, citing new comments from a Trump confidant. Politico reports: "Troubling new evidence appears to show that the Trump campaign not only was aware of cyber attacks against Secretary [Hillary] Clinton's campaign chairman, but was openly bragging about it as far back as August," said Reps. Elijah Cummings from Government Affairs, John Conyers from Judiciary, Eliot Engel from Foreign Affairs and Bennie Thompson from Homeland Security. "For months, we have been asking the FBI to examine links between the Trump campaign and illegal Russian efforts to affect our election, including interviewing Trump advisor Roger Stone," they said. "In light of this new evidence -- and these exceptional circumstances -- we call on the FBI to fully investigate and explain to the American people what steps it is taking to disrupt this ongoing criminal activity." Earlier this week Stone said that "I do have a back-channel communication with Assange," referring to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, whose organization has been dropping documents online from Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, and has been unloading documents from other Democrats as well. U.S. intelligence agencies last week declared that a connection exists between Russia and allegedly hacked documents leaked by WikiLeaks and others.

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Billionaire Tech Investors Support Divisive Plan To Ban San Francisco's Homeless Camps
Posted by News Fetcher on October 14 '16 at 03:40 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's in-the-aftermath department:
An anonymous reader shares a USA Today report: The images are startling: Homeless men, women and children huddled on the streets of the San Francisco Bay Area -- often in the shadows of start-ups and high-tech behemoths generating billions of dollars in wealth. It's a stark contrast that has gripped the region, and prompted four county measures on the Nov. 8 ballot to generate $3 billion over the next 25 years for affordable housing and services. Under the most-ambitious measure, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee has proposed a 0.75% increase in the sales tax, to 9.5%, to raise $50 million a year. Propositions J and K would generate $1.2 billion for the next quarter-century via a simple majority. "There is clearly not enough affordable housing, or housing at any level," says Kevin Zwick, CEO of Housing Trust Silicon Valley.TechCrunch adds: The debate over what to do about San Francisco's homeless population has been building for awhile among the many startups and residents here. But now tech billionaires Ron Conway, Michael Moritz and well-to-do hedge fund manager William Oberndorf have each thrown about $50,000 behind a measure to rid San Francisco of its homeless tent cities. Other notable investors, including Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer's husband and venture capitalist Zach Bogue, have also donated. Bogue reportedly gave about $2,500 to support it.

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Shadow Warrior 2 Developers Say DRM Is a Waste of Time
Posted by News Fetcher on October 14 '16 at 03:40 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's waste-of-time department:
zarmanto writes: Ars Technica reports that one particular game studio might finally get it, when it comes to DRM'ed game content. They're publishing their latest game, Shadow Warrior 2, with no DRM protection at all. From the article: "We don't support piracy, but currently there isn't a good way to stop it without hurting our customers," Flying Wild Hog developer Krzysztof "KriS" Narkowicz wrote on the game's Steam forum (in response to a question about trying to force potential pirates to purchase the game instead). "Denuvo means we would have to spend money for making a worse version for our legit customers. It's like the FBI warning screen on legit movies." Expanding on those thoughts in a recent intervew with Kotaku, Narkowicz explained why he felt the DRM value proposition wasn't worth it. "Any DRM we would have needs to be implemented and tested," he told Kotaku. "We prefer to spend resources on making our game the best possible in terms of quality, rather than spending time and money on putting some protection that will not work anyway." "The trade-off is clear," Flying Wild Hog colleagues Artur Maksara and Tadeusz Zielinksi added. "We might sell a little less, but hey, that's the way the cookie crumbles! We hope that our fans, who were always very supportive, will support us this time as well," Zielinski told Kotaku. "...In our imperfect world, the best anti-pirate protection is when the games are good, highly polished, easily accessible and inexpensive," Maksara added.

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Android Trojan Asks Victims To Submit a Selfie Holding Their ID Card
Posted by News Fetcher on October 14 '16 at 03:40 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's say-cheese department:
An anonymous reader writes from a report via Softpedia: Untrained and gullible Android users are now the target of an Android banking trojan that asks them to send a selfie holding their ID card. The trojan, considered the most sophisticated Android trojan known today, is named Acecard, and this most recent version has been detected only in Hong Kong and Singapore for now. The purpose of requiring a selfie of the victim holding his/her ID card is for the crook to prove himself when making fraudulent bank transactions, calling tech support posing as the victim, or for taking over social media accounts for Facebook or Twitter, which often require ID scans in the case of account takeover disputes. The report adds: "A previous version of the Acecard trojan hid inside a Black Jack game delivered via the official Google Play Store. In the most recent version of this threat, security experts from McAfee have found a new version of the Acecard trojan hidden inside all sorts of apps that pose as Adobe Flash Player, pornographic apps, or video codecs. All of these apps are distributed outside of the Play Store and constantly pester users with permission requirement screens until they get what they want, which is administrator rights. Once this step is achieved, the trojan lays in hiding until the user opens a specific app. McAfee experts found that when the user opens the Google Play app, the trojan springs a new social engineering trap."

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Yahoo Dodges Questions On Hacking, Verizon Deal By Canceling Earnings Call
Posted by News Fetcher on October 14 '16 at 03:40 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's look-the-other-way department:
Verizon has been growing wary of their pending $4.83 billion acquisition deal of Yahoo ever since the technology company revealed a massive data breach affecting at least 500 million of its users. Today, Yahoo canceled their earnings call to avoid talking about the incident. Huffington Post reports: The internet company announced Friday that it will not hold the customary conference call after it released its third-quarter earnings next week "due to the pending transaction with Verizon." Verizon announced in July that it had agreed to buy Yahoo for $4.8 billion. The New York Post reported last week that Verizon wanted to cut $1 billion off the acquisition price due to the hack. Verizon denied the report. Yahoo's announcement reads in part: "Due to the pending transaction with Verizon, Yahoo will not have an earnings call or webcast for its third quarter results. Concurrently with release of its financial results, supplemental financial information will also be posted on the Company's Investor Relations website at investor.yahoo.net.

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US Issues Emergency Ban On Flying With Samsung Galaxy Note 7, Offenders May Face Criminal Prosecution
Posted by News Fetcher on October 14 '16 at 12:53 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's phone-on-fire department:
Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphone will be banned from aircraft in the United States starting at noon EDT (1600 GMT) under an emergency order, regulators said on Friday. Among other penalties, those who attempt to circumvent the ban could be subjected to criminal prosecutions, the regulators added. Quartz reports: On Friday (Oct. 14), US Department of Transportation announced that passengers would no longer be able to bring the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 onto any flight in the United States. There have been nearly 100 reported cases of the phones catching on fire and spewing noxious black smoke, an undesired situation in an airplane's enclosed cabin. "Individuals who own or possess a Samsung Galaxy Note7 device may not transport the device on their person, in carry-on baggage, or in checked baggage on flights to, from, or within the United States," the US DOT statement said. Any travelers who violate the ban could be subject to criminal prosecution and fines. Samsung is expected to see a $5.3 billion loss in profits from the entire fiasco, mainly the cost of recalling, stopping production, and destroying phones.

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Apple's Redesigned London Store Has Untethered iPhones
Posted by News Fetcher on October 14 '16 at 12:53 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's blind-trust department:
Apple is putting a lot of faith into its customers' hands. The company is stopping the practice of tethering iPhones to demo desks. (It's a common practice, and pretty much everyone does it for their top smartphones). From a CNET report, which describes Apple's redesigned London store: Perhaps the most interesting feature of the store is that when it opens to the public at the weekend the devices won't be tethered to the tables as they were previously, and are in other stores around the world. Apple says this is to allow people to hold them properly, try cases on them and even see how they feel in your pocket. It's a bold move, especially given the lack of visible security in the building. We couldn't spot a single CCTV camera, although any phone taken out of the store will set off an alarm. If not returned, the phones will also be rendered unusable.

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Russia Builds Microwave Weapon To Take Down Enemy Drones
Posted by News Fetcher on October 14 '16 at 11:35 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's drone-despise department:
An anonymous reader writes: The Russian government is backing a military research project to develop a powerful microwave-based weapon designed to take out unmanned enemy drones from up to half a mile away. The country's United Instrument Manufacturing Corporation (UIMC) created the microwave gun specifically to disrupt the electronics of enemy missiles. Using the ultra-high frequency waves the weapon can completely disable aircraft communications, resulting in loss of control. The destructive rays, which belong to a group of warfare technologies known as directed-energy weapons (DEW), will be emitted from surface-to-air Buk missile systems. Military analyst Alexander Perendzhiyev noted that the new weapon would be particularly effective against systems carrying microelectronic equipment. He also suggested that the impact of the radio-electronic waves could even be deadly to humans -- and referred to potential use against terrorists.

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2016 Has Been an Ugly Year For Tech Layoffs, and It's Going To Get Worse, Says Analyst
Posted by News Fetcher on October 14 '16 at 11:35 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's fighting-layoffs department:
IEEE Spectrum writer Tekla Perry writes: Early this year, analyst Trip Chowdhry from Global Equities Research predicted that the tech world was going to see big layoffs in 2016 -- some 330,000 in all at major tech companies. At the time, these numbers seemed way over the top. Then IBM started slashing jobs in March -- and continued to wield the ax over and over as the year progressed. Yahoo began layoffs of some 15 percent of its employees in February. Intel announced in April that it would lay off 12,000 this year. So, was Chowdhry right? "Yes," he told me when I asked him this week. "The layoffs I predicted have been occurring." And worse, he says, these laid-off workers are never again going to find tech jobs: "They will always remain unemployed," at least in tech, he said. "Their skills will be obsolete." Some of these layoffs are due to a sea change in the industry, as it transforms to the world of mobile and cloud. But some are signs of a bubble about to pop. It's all going to get worse in 2017, he predicts, because that's when the tech bubble will burst. Chowdhry, someone who has never been reluctant to go out on a limb, is predicting that'll happen in March.

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In Samsung's Town in Vietnam, Workers Confident of Riding Out Note 7 Storm
Posted by News Fetcher on October 14 '16 at 11:35 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's let-there-be-light department:
As Samsung Electronics struggles to salvage its reputation after the safety problems that have beset its flagship Galaxy Note 7 smartphone, the South Korean company can at least bank on an army of Vietnamese workers for support, Reuters report. From the article: Tens of thousands of them are involved in assembling more than a third of Samsung's smartphones -- the Galaxy Note 7 included -- in the Pho Yen area of Thai Nguyen province, which is about 65 km north of the Vietnamese capital Hanoi. Samsung's arrival three years ago transformed it from a sleepy farming district into a sprawling industrial town. While the company expects to take a profit hit of around $5 billion from the scrapping of the fire-prone phone, 13 workers interviewed by Reuters outside the factory almost all said they are confident their employer will pull through. They also say Samsung pays well, offers good benefits and takes care of their needs. "Recalling (Note 7) doesn't mean we are unemployed or such; Samsung also makes many other phones and new models, not just the Note 7," said Nguyen Thi Hang, one of some 110,000 Vietnamese who work for Samsung Electronics across Vietnam, making it one of the nation's biggest employers.

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Images Show Further Damage To Great Barrier Reef, But Scientists Assure It's Not Dead
Posted by News Fetcher on October 14 '16 at 10:01 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's alarming,-but-not-the-end department:
New images of the Great Barrier Reef, the largest living thing on Earth, are alarming and show the extent of the damage climate change has caused to the coral. But it's not dead yet, scientists have assured, reports the HuffingtonPost citing several scientists. In April, researchers found that more than a third of corals in central and northern parts of the reef had been killed and 93 percent of individuals reefs had been affected by a condition known as coral bleaching (which happens when the water is too warm). New research shows the damage has worsened. A story, however, doing rounds on social media claims that the Great Barrier Reef has died. The viral story has been picked up by many well-read outlets, creating confusion among people. From a HuffingtonPost article: But as a whole, it is not dead. Preliminary findings published Thursday of Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority surveys show 22 percent of its coral died from the bleaching event. That leaves more than three quarters still alive -- and in desperate need of relief. Two leading coral scientists that The Huffington Post contacted took serious issue with Outside's piece (the misleading viral story), calling it wildly irresponsible. Russell Brainard, chief of the Coral Reef Ecosystem Program at NOAA's Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center, told HuffPost he expects the article was meant to highlight the urgency of the situation. But those who don't know any better "are going to take it at face value that the Great Barrier Reef is dead," he said. The Spokesman-Review, in Spokane, Washington, fueled the myth Thursday, when it published a blog with the headline: "Great Barrier Reef pronounced dead by scientists." Brainard told HuffPost the recent bleaching event was a "severe blow" that resulted in serious mortality. Still, "we're very far from an obituary," he said.

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