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527 South Koreans sue Samsung on Galaxy Note 7 recall

Mon, 24 Oct 2016 08:55:35 UT

Attorney Peter Young-Yeel Ko, head of the Harvest Law Firm, said the 527 plaintiffs want Samsung to compensate them for the costs to visit shops to exchange their phones, for the hours they had to wait while transferring data and for psychological harm from using a hazardous product. Samsung recalled the Galaxy Note 7 phone first on Sept. 2, citing a defective lithium-ion battery after confirming reports that the phone tended to overheat or catch fire. Ko, who had used Samsung phones only for the past 15 years, said he had to visit a mobile shop three times after buying a Note 7 in August, first to get the battery checked when reports of the devices catching fire first surfaced. [...] he still needs to go get a refund and hand in the replacement phone: he plans to get an LG-brand smartphone next time, he says. Apparently in response to criticism over its handling of the recalls, Samsung announced Monday that customers who replace their Note 7s with Samsung Galaxy S7 or S7 Edge smartphones can get 50 percent discounts on upgrades to Galaxy S8 or Note 8 smartphones next year if they return the S7 or S7 Edges.

Robots at center of China's strategy to leapfrog rivals

Mon, 24 Oct 2016 08:30:18 UT

Other robots China is displaying at the World Robot Conference can play badminton, sand cell phone cases and sort computer chips. China is showcasing its burgeoning robot industry at the five-day exhibition in Beijing, part of a national effort to promote use of more advanced technologies in Chinese factories and create high-end products that redefine the meaning of "Made in China." Automation is crucial for industries facing rising labor costs and slowing growth in the work force thanks to the "one-child" policy era and aging of the population. China made robotics a focal point of its recent "Made in China 2025" plan, and has set national goals of producing 100,000 industrial robots a year and having 150 robots in operation for every 10,000 employees by 2020, a figure known as robot density. Chinese appliance maker Midea Group recently announced it was purchasing almost all of German industrial robot manufacturer Kuka.

Philips net profit up 18 percent thanks to health care

Mon, 24 Oct 2016 08:11:54 UT

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Dutch electronics and health care giant Philips says net profit rose 18 percent to 383 million euros ($417 million) in the third quarter from the same three months last year as its health care technology portfolio recorded solid sales growth.

Asia shares gain as Japan trade data better than forecast

Mon, 24 Oct 2016 06:34:02 UT

Asia shares gain as Japan trade data better than forecast TOKYO (AP) — Asian markets mostly rose Monday after the release of improved Japanese manufacturing and trade data that suggest activity is picking up in the world's third biggest economy. "Keep in mind that growth has averaged around 1 percent in the past three quarters, so a snap back to the consensus estimate of 2.5 percent would be welcomed," he wrote. [...] a preliminary survey of factory managers showed a fifth straight month of improvement in manufacturing sentiment and the measure for output rose for the first time since January. Benchmark U.S. crude fell 25 cents to $50.60 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Japan posts trade surplus in Sept; exports down 7 percent

Mon, 24 Oct 2016 04:27:39 UT

"The strong rise in export volumes underlines that Japan's manufacturing is showing resilience as external demand remains weak," Marcel Thieliant of Capital Economics said in a commentary. The trade data coincided with the release of a preliminary survey of factory managers showing a rebound in manufacturing in October. The Nikkei "Flash" purchasing managers' index, or PMI, for October showed increases in new export orders, other new orders and output.

REI to close again for Black Friday

Mon, 24 Oct 2016 04:03:02 UT

NEW YORK (AP) — Sporting goods retailer REI will keep its stores closed on the day after Thanksgiving for the second straight year, even though it's one of the busiest shopping days of the year. CEO Jerry Stritzke told The Associated Press that the company's move last year, which it dubbed #OptOutside, gained momentum on social media from various outdoor groups. REI, which has 149 stories, is now working with more than 200 organizations from the nonprofit, private and public sectors, including the National Parks Service, to push the idea. Some stores such as Office Depot and hhgregg that have opened on Thanksgiving in the past are not doing so this year, saying workers should have family time.

A merged AT&T-Time Warner may not do consumers much good

Sun, 23 Oct 2016 22:57:57 UT

Here's how that would work. Because of Time Warner's world-famous shows and movies — "Game of Thrones," the "Harry Potter" films, professional basketball — and AT&T's ability to gather information about its tens of millions of customers, AT&T thinks it could do a better job tailoring ads and video to user preferences. [...] many consumers already consider ads that know everything about them creepy or invasive, and digital-rights groups complain that any preferential deal AT&T could offer with, say, HBO would hurt competition. If AT&T did that with, say, HBO shows and TNT's basketball games, it could upset other video providers, who could reasonably worry that customers might shun their streaming services to avoid exceeding their monthly data limit and possibly suffering slower data speeds as a result. [...] prices have been increasing broadly, although Greenfield said there's no way to know whether the deal contributed to that trend.

Keeping bank fees at bay

Sun, 23 Oct 2016 12:03:10 UT

The American Bankers Association estimates that 61 percent of Americans pay nothing for bank services. ATM fees, overdraft fees and monthly account maintenance fees are the ones most commonly faced by consumers, according to Greg McBride, chief financial analyst at If you share the account with a spouse or someone else, make sure you have a system in place for sharing and tracking this information. Set up safeguards in case you do slip up, such as establishing a link between your checking and savings account. Many institutions offer free checking accounts, particularly at credit unions.

Insider Q&A: Global X Funds Research Director Jay Jacobs

Sun, 23 Oct 2016 12:01:17 UT

Global X Funds Research Director Jay Jacobs LOS ANGELES (AP) — Millennials have eclipsed baby boomers as the largest living generation, and that represents an opportunity for investors who can identify companies offering the goods and services they want. Jacobs spoke recently to The Associated Press about how investors can profit from forecast growth in millennials' spending power in the years ahead. Why take this approach of investing in companies that will benefit from spending by millennials? In addition to the millennials ETF, you've also rolled out other "thematic" funds based on the demographic trends of people living longer and health and wellness. Why is investing in such funds a better option than going with a broader index fund, for example? If you look at broad market indexes right now, look at the S&P 500, valuations are near historical highs, and people are starved for growth opportunities.

AT&T's $85.4B deal for Time Warner: A new bet on synergy

Sun, 23 Oct 2016 04:19:55 UT

The acquisition would combine a telecom giant that owns a leading cellphone business, DirecTV and an internet service with the company behind HBO, CNN, and some of the world's most popular entertainment, including "Game of Thrones," the "Harry Potter" franchise and professional basketball. The prospect of another media giant on the horizon has already drawn fire on the campaign trail. Sen. Al Franken, a Minnesota Democrat, said the deal "raises some immediate flags about consolidation in the media market" and said he would press for more information on how the deal will affect consumers. After its attempt to buy wireless competitor T-Mobile was scrapped in 2011 following opposition from regulators, AT&T doubled down on television by purchasing satellite-TV company DirecTV for $48.5 billion. AT&T is expected to offer a streaming TV package, DirecTV Now, by the end of the year, aimed at people who have dropped their cable subscriptions or never had one. Jeff Bewkes, the Time Warner CEO who will stay with the company for an undefined transition period, added that more money will help fund production of additional programming and films. (AT&T, of course, will still have to strike such deals with entertainment conglomerates it doesn't own.) The combined company is also likely to lean more heavily on advertisements targeted at individuals based on their interests and personal details. Buying Time Warner may be "a good defensive move" against Comcast as the cable giant continues stretching into new businesses, New Street Research analyst Jonathan Chaplin said in a Friday note.

AT&T buying HBO, CNN owner Time Warner for $85.4 billion, uniting a telecom giant and an entertainment conglomerate

Sun, 23 Oct 2016 00:03:18 UT

NEW YORK (AP) — AT&T buying HBO, CNN owner Time Warner for $85.4 billion, uniting a telecom giant and an entertainment conglomerate.

Attacks on the internet keep getting bigger and nastier

Sat, 22 Oct 2016 22:33:18 UT

NEW YORK (AP) — Could millions of connected cameras, thermostats and kids' toys bring the internet to its knees? [...] the attackers now have a secret weapon in the increasing array of internet-enabled household devices they can subvert and use to wreak havoc. Jason Read, founder of the internet performance monitoring firm CloudHarmony, owned by Gartner Inc., said his company tracked a half-hour-long disruption early Friday affecting access to many sites from the East Coast. According to a report from the cybersecurity firm Verisign, the largest DDoS attack perpetrated during the second quarter of this year peaked at just 256 billion bits per second. Lance Cottrell, chief scientist for the cybersecurity firm Ntrepid, said while DDoS attacks have been used for years, they've become very popular in recent months, thanks to the proliferation of "internet of things" devices ranging from connected thermostats to security cameras and smart TVs. The average North American home contains 13 internet-connected devices , according to the research firm IHS Markit. Since the attacks usually don't harm the consumer electronics companies that build the devices, or the consumers that unwittingly use them, companies have little incentive to boost security, Cottrell said. For its part, a member of New World Hackers who identified themselves as "Prophet" told an AP reporter via Twitter direct message exchange that collective isn't motivated by money and doesn't have anything personal against Dyn, Twitter or any of the other sites affected by the attacks. [...] monthly subscription fees for these services are generally equal to a typical DDoS extortion payment, giving companies little incentive to pay for them.

India launches phone app to monitor New Delhi's pollution

Sat, 22 Oct 2016 12:49:03 UT

A smartphone application that allows residents to report the presence of construction dust or the burning of leaves and garbage in New Delhi's public parks to authorities was launched Friday. The newest measure, the phone app, was launched by the Environmental Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority, a monitoring group set up on the order of India's Supreme Court in April.

Hard crash-landing may have wrecked Europe's Mars probe

Sat, 22 Oct 2016 07:14:02 UT

BERLIN (AP) — Scientists say Europe's experimental Mars probe has hit the right spot but may have been destroyed in a fiery ball of rocket fuel because it was traveling too fast. Pictures taken by a NASA satellite show a black spot where the Schiaparelli lander was meant to touch down Wednesday, the European Space Agency said. The images end days of speculation over the probe's likely fate following unexpected radio silence less than a minute before the planned landing. The agency said in a statement that the probe dropped from a height of 2 to 4 kilometers (1.4 miles to 2.4 miles) and struck the surface at a speed exceeding 300 kph (186 mph), "therefore impacting at a considerable speed." The European Space Agency said the probe's mother ship was successfully placed into orbit Wednesday and soon will begin analyzing the Martian atmosphere in search for evidence of life. The Beagle 2 probe landed on Mars in 2003 but failed to deploy its solar panels properly, preventing it from functioning.

Cyberattacks on key internet firm disrupt internet services

Sat, 22 Oct 2016 00:18:36 UT

Withering cyberattacks on server farms of a key internet firm repeatedly disrupted access to major websites and online services including Twitter, Netflix and PayPal across the United States on Friday. Manchester, New Hampshire-based Dyn Inc. said its data centers were hit by three waves of distributed denial-of-service attacks, which overwhelm targeted machines with junk data traffic. The data flood came from tens of millions of different Internet-connected machines — including increasingly popular but highly insecure household devices such as web-connected cameras. The level of disruption was difficult to gauge, but Dyn serves some of the biggest names on the web, providing the domain name services that translate the numerical internet addresses into human-readable destinations such as "" Steve Grobman, chief technology officer at Intel Security, compared an outage at a domain name services company to tearing up a map or turning off GPS before driving to the department store. Jason Read, founder of the internet performance monitoring firm CloudHarmony, owned by Gartner Inc., said his company tracked a half-hour-long disruption early Friday in which roughly one in two end users would have found it impossible to access various websites from the East Coast. For James Norton, the former deputy secretary at the Department of Homeland Security who now teaches on cybersecurity policy at Johns Hopkins University, the incident was an example of how attacks on key junctures in the network can yield massive disruption. Dyn officials said attacks stemmed from tens of millions of devices connected to the internet — closed-circuit video cameras, digital video recorders and even thermostats — that were infected with malware. Security experts have recently expressed concern over increasing power of denial-of-service attacks following high-profile electronic assaults against investigative journalist Bri

Russian indicted on charges he hacked LinkedIn

Sat, 22 Oct 2016 00:10:34 UT

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A Russian man has been charged with hacking and stealing information from computers at LinkedIn and other San Francisco Bay Area companies, federal prosecutors announced Friday. A grand jury indicted Yevgeniy Aleksandrovich Nikulin, 29, of Moscow on Thursday on charges including computer intrusion and aggravated identity theft, the U.S. Attorney's Office in San Francisco said. The U.S. has accused Russia of coordinating the theft and disclosure of emails from the Democratic National Committee and other institutions and individuals in the U.S. to influence the outcome of the election.

Funky Greenwood homes to see this weekend

Fri, 21 Oct 2016 21:52:51 UT

If you're on the hunt for bright colors and bold designs, check out these open homes in Greenwood this weekend.

Figures on government spending and debt

Fri, 21 Oct 2016 21:52:03 UT

WASHINGTON (AP) — Figures on government spending and debt in millions of dollars. The government's fiscal year runs Oct. 1 through Sept. 30. Total public debt subject to limit Oct. 20$19,750,573Statutory debt limitSuspendedTotal public debt outstanding Oct. 20$19,785,585Operating balance Oct. 20$433,309Interest fiscal year 2016$240,722Interest pvs fiscal year$223,680Deficit fiscal year 2016$587,412Deficit pvs fiscal year$439,089Receipts fiscal year 2016$3,266,688Receipts pvs fiscal year$3,248,701Outlays fiscal year 2016$3,854,100Outlays pvs fiscal year$3,687,790Gold assets in Sept$11,041

Business Highlights

Fri, 21 Oct 2016 21:36:42 UT

LONDON (AP) — British American Tobacco has offered to buy out Reynolds American Inc. for $47 billion in an attempt to gain a strong presence in the U.S., a lucrative market where sales of electronic cigarettes are booming as traditional smoking fades. The takeover would create the world's largest publicly traded tobacco company and combine BAT's presence in developing countries, where anti-smoking campaigns are not as strong as in the U.S. and Europe, with Reynolds' almost exclusive focus on the U.S. The attack had knock-on effects for users trying to access popular websites from across America and Europe, including Twitter, Netflix and Sony's PlayStation Network. Health care and energy stocks also took some losses, while consumer staples and technology companies held on to slight gains. NEW YORK (AP) — The launch of all-day breakfast helped McDonald's record higher sales at established U.S. locations for a fifth straight quarter, but the boost from that is shrinking and the company is hoping new menu items and recipe tweaks will keep customers coming back. (AP) — Jim Beam ended a nearly weeklong strike at two bourbon distilleries in Kentucky on Friday, toasting a labor settlement that answers the workers' key demand with a commitment to hire more full-time staff. Union members picketing since last Saturday approved the company's latest contract offer on a 204-19 vote and will resume producing whiskey Monday, said United Food and Commercial Workers union official Tommy Ballard. BRUSSELS (AP) — Canada walked out of talks Friday meant to save a massive trade deal with the European Union, unable to break a deadlock with a small Belgian region that has been defying multinational efforts to have the pact signed next week. Supporters of the measure say many property owners use sites like Airbnb to offer residential apartments as short-term rentals to visitors, hurting existing hotels while taking residentia

How the Dow Jones industrial average fared on Friday

Fri, 21 Oct 2016 21:24:24 UT

U.S. stocks closed mostly lower Friday, led by declines in phone companies, health care and energy stocks. Consumer staples and technology companies eked out slight gains. Investors continued to focus on corporate America, reviewing earnings from General Electric, McDonald's and other big companies.

Muni week in review: Yields trend still trending higher

Fri, 21 Oct 2016 21:17:47 UT

[...] while investors buying muni bonds for interest income have likely welcomed the recent rise in yields, those that already hold them have seen prices fall. Long-term bonds carry the risk that future interest rate increases could cause their prices to fall. Local governments and other municipal borrowers issued $35.7 billion in muni bonds last month, the largest September issuance on record, according to a recent report from asset manager BlackRock. According to the report, September supply was up 51 percent versus 2015 and 35 percent above the five-year average.

US stocks close mostly lower; eke out gain for the week

Fri, 21 Oct 2016 21:10:54 UT

Health care and energy stocks also took some losses, while consumer staples and technology companies held on to slight gains. Roughly two weeks into the third-quarter financial reporting period, earnings for companies in the S&P 500 are projected be down about 0.8 percent overall from a year ago, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence. General Electric slipped 9 cents to $28.98 after the company said its latest quarterly sales fell more than anticipated due to weaker results from its lighting and transportation businesses. Microsoft climbed 4.2 percent a day after the software giant posted a surprisingly high profit for its fiscal first quarter. Reynolds was evaluating the offer, which analysts say would help both sides overcome a decline in smoking rates in their home markets and competition from electronic cigarettes. Beyond earnings, concerns about the implications of a rising dollar and a possible interest rate hike from the Federal Reserve this year have kept the market in a listless state recently, noted Krishna Memani, chief investment officer at OppenheimerFunds. After an early slide, crude oil prices recovered in afternoon trading. In other U.S. energy futures trading, wholesale gasoline added 4 cents to $1.53 a gallon, while heating oil gained a penny to $1.57 a gallon.