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World News

Samsung now sells a wireless charger 'that STERILISES your phone with UV light in 10 minutes'

SAMSUNG is selling a charger that promises to sterilise your phone while it's juicing up the battery.

The wireless charging pad uses UV light to eradicate "up to 99 per cent of bacteria within 10 minutes", according to the South Korean tech titan.

Phones are among the filthiest things we own, with some studies suggesting the average mobile is ten times dirtier than a toilet seat.

That grim reality has come into the limelight during the coronavirus pandemic, which has forced billions of people to take extra care to keep their surroundings clean of viruses and other pathogens.

Samsung's new charger, dubbed the ITFIT UV Sterilizer, is a white box that the firm says is big enough to fit one of its chunky Galaxy S20 smartphones.

The device will sterilise mobiles not built by Samsung, but it won't necessarily charge them too.

Once you've placed your gadget inside, simply hit the switch and the Sterilizer will blast your device with ultraviolet radiation.

Samsung doesn't specifically state that the charger kills the COVID-19 virus, but studies have shown UV lamps can kill more than 99.9 per cent of airborne coronaviruses.

Of course, the device also features a 10W QI charger that juices up your phone while it's getting a clean.

That means you'll need a mobile with wireless charging capabilities to get the full benefit of the Sterilizer – though most modern smartphones do.

Samsung – a brief history

Here's what you need to know…

  • Samsung is a major South Korean company made up of many businesses that operate globally
  • It's known locally as a "chaebol", which means "business conglomerate"
  • It was founded by Lee Byung-chul in 1938 as a trading company
  • But over several decades, it branched out into food processing, insurance, textiles and retail
  • It wasn't until the late 1960s when Samsung entered the electronics industry – for which it's best known in the west today
  • It also launched businesses in construction and shipbuilding in the 1970s
  • Today, Samsung's most important sources of income are its smartphones and computer chips
  • The firm accounts for around a fifth of South Korea's total exports, and roughly 17% of the country's GDP
  • More than 320,000 staff are employed by Samsung globally
  • And in 2017, Samsung turned over the equivalent of £174billion today in revenue

The twist is that Samsung is only selling the device in Thailand for now.

It's going for the equivalent of about £40 ($50). It's not clear whether the charger will ever hit shelves in the US or UK.

Quick-fix cleaning technology has unsurprisingly boomed in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.

In May, Ford revealed it was kitting its latest vehicles with a 56C "oven mode" that heats the car's interior to wipe out lingering viruses.

In other news, a social distancing gadget that beeps whenever you're not keeping two metres from someone could help people return to work.

A huge Google Chrome update reveals if your passwords have been hacked.

And, the iPhone 12 could be the thinnest ever thanks to new screen technology.

What's your favourite phone brand? Let us know in the comments…

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World News

Hillary Clinton Uses Barbra Streisand’s Pandemic Question To Taunt Donald Trump

Music icon Barbra Streisand asked via Twitter how Hillary Clinton would have handled the coronavirus pandemic had she won the 2016 election and now been in office:

Clinton answered Tuesday with a dig at President Donald Trump’s dislike of intelligence briefings and reported ignoring of early warnings about the looming public health crisis:

Trump has previously claimed he doesn’t need to receive daily intelligence briefings because he is “smart.”

The president continues to face widespread criticism over his administration’s response to the public health crisis as the nationwide number of new infections soars to record levels.

The virus has now killed more than 128,000 people nationwide.

Streisand, who actively campaigned for Clinton four years ago, last month slammed the federal response to the pandemic, describing Trump as ”dangerous to our health.”

“We cannot afford four more years of malice, division and lies, and neither can our planet,” she said at a virtual fundraiser for presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden. “We don’t need a bully as a president who picks fights and rules by retaliation. Let’s face it: Trump is unfit mentally and morally to hold this office.”

The singer/actress/director has in the past called Trump a “conman.”

“In this upcoming election, we must bring back dignity and grace,” she wrote in an op-ed for Variety in March.

Clinton, meanwhile, this week continued speaking out against Trump’s pandemic failings by repurposing the slogan he used to campaign against her.

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Business

Drastic Covid-19 Slowdown May Hinder Any Green Recovery

As Covid-19 spread across the globe this spring, flights were halted, commutes were cancelled and oil tankers floated offshore, waiting for a spike in demand. 

The coronavirus cut global carbon emissions more than any other event in the last century. But the pandemic-induced slowdown may ultimately hamper efforts to curb climate change.

Dubai, United Arab EmiratesMost polluted air today, in sensor range 31% Carbon-free net power in the U.K., most recent data

50,​820 Million metric tons of greenhouse emissions, most recent annual data 0 3 2 1 0 9 ,0 8 7 6 5 4 0 0 9 8 7 6 0 4 3 2 1 0 Soccer pitches of forest lost this hour, most recent data 0 6 5 4 3 2 0 3 2 1 0 9 0 6 5 4 3 2 .0 0 9 8 7 6 0 1 0 9 8 7 0 7 6 5 4 3 0 8 7 6 5 4 0 6 5 4 3 2 0 5 4 3 2 1 Parts per million CO2 in the atmosphere

$81.​9B Renewable power investment worldwide in Q4 2019 -10.​87% Today’s arctic ice area vs. historic average

“If we end up in a deep recession, that will cut emissions in the short term. But in the long term, the increase in emissions from less clean energy investment could easily outweigh those short-term reductions,” said Kenneth Gillingham, associate professor of economics at Yale and lead author of a new study on possible climate outcomes from the virus. 

Daily U.S. carbon emissions dropped 15% overall from March to early June, according to the new study. Energy use from jet fuel was halved while gasoline fell by 30%, but Gillingham noted there are cheaper ways to reduce emissions than an economic slowdown. 

The researchers model two possible paths forward. In one, Covid-19 is controlled soon and the economy is completely reopened by the end of the year, (the best-case scenario). In another, the virus continues to spread, causing a global recession (which the researchers consider more likely). In the latter scenario, the researchers estimate an additional 2.5 billion metric tons of CO2 would be emitted by 2035, or the equivalent of 6.8% of 2019 CO2 emissions from energy.  The IPCC has set a goal of halving global emissions by 2030.

While emissions would drop in the short-term under the likely scenario, the economics of the situation would lead to a larger rise over the long time. Long-term investment in the energy sector would lag, and low electricity costs could draw funds away from renewable energy. Sales of electric vehicles would also suffer, and there’d be less new infrastructure for charging them. 

The research team concluded permanent energy consumption would need to be reduced by 4% to offset their projected delay in investments.

Government response, however, is “the wild card that can change everything,” according to the study. The emergence of the virus initially drew the world’s focus from climate issues. Now, as governments inject money into their economies, many are making sure those funds have green strings attached. The European Union, United Kingdom, Japan and South Korea are all considering stimulus bills that include a focus on clean energy, according to Gillingham and his co-authors. 

There are a myriad of ways the U.S. government could back green initiatives with its stimulus funds, but the $2.2 trillion CARES act passed in March was stripped of green earmarks. Oil companies took advantage of nearly $2 billion in tax benefits provided by the bill.

House Democrats on Tuesday unveiled a 500-page climate plan, including a goal to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. The House is also considering a $1.5 trillion stimulus bill that would include $100 billion for transit issues (including electric buses), $70 billion for electric vehicles and grid improvements and $4.5 billion for zero-emission postal trucks. The legislation faces dim prospects in the Republican-controlled Senate.

The researchers used data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Environmental Protection Agency and Federal Highway Administration, among others, and looked at the effects of the 2008 recession to model the potential effects of delayed clean energy investment and emissions, focusing on vehicle fuel economy and renewable electricity.

— With assistance by Eric Roston

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World News

Attackers targeted dozens of corporations, eight Fortune 500 companies: Symantec

How to protect your data while working remotely

Firewalla co-founder Jerry Chen created a device that combats online threats while working from home. Fox News Headlines 24/7 Radio Host Brett Larson with more.

Symantec, a division of technology firm Broadcom, said Thursday that it identified a string of ransomware attacks against American corporations, including eight Fortune 500 companies, in what appeared to be an effort to demand millions of dollars in ransom.

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The company said it alerted customers about the attacks, which featured hackers attempting to deploy the WastedLocker ransomware onto networks to cripple each company's IT infrastructure.

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"The attackers had breached the networks of targeted organizations and were in the process of laying the groundwork for staging ransomware attacks," a Symantec blog reads.

At least 31 organizations were attacked, the company said, adding the figure could be much higher.

HACKER HITS MAGELLAN HEALTH WITH RANSOMWARE ATTACK

The end goal of the breaches is to encrypt the ransomware on computers and servers to set the stage of a multimillion-dollar ransom demand.

WastedLocker has been attributed to "Evil Corp," a cybercrime outfit responsible for the development and distribution of the Dridex malware. Two Russians were indicted last year in connection with using the ransomware to extort millions in alleged hacking and banking fraud offenses.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
AVGO BROADCOM LIMITED 308.85 +1.88 +0.61%

The attacks discovered by Symantec were spotted on a number of customer networks, it said.

"This discovery enabled us to identify further organizations that had been targeted by WastedLocker and identify additional tools, tactics, and procedures used by the attackers, helping us to strengthen our protection against every stage of the attack," the blog said.

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All but one of the targeted companies are based in the United States. The other is a U.S.-based subsidiary of an overseas multinational company.

"Had the attackers not been disrupted, successful attacks could have led to millions in damages, downtime, and a possible domino effect on supply chains," Symantec said.

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