Samsung Recalls New Galaxy Note7 Phones After Battery Fires

Today's topics include Samsung's recall of all Galaxy Note 7 phones due to battery fires, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of California's arrest of the suspected Linux kernel hacker, Google's test launch of a new carpool service for office workers, and Ericsson and Nokia's push to make 5G adoption easier.

Samsung is recalling all of its new Galaxy Note7 smartphones following at least 35 incidents of battery explosions or fires. The phones, which went on sale Aug. 19 in the United States, are the company's premier flagship handsets, incorporating a 5.7-inch quad HD dual-edge Super AMOLED touch-screen display and a pen stylus that lets users add drawings and handwritten text to images, documents and more.

In a Sept. 2 statement, the consumer electronics company announced a global recall of all of its Galaxy Note7 large smartphones that have been sold so far and that are in distribution channels.

In September 2011, news first broke that the kernel.org site that hosts the core development infrastructure behind the Linux kernel was breached. For the last five years, few facts about the attack have been revealed and the attacker remained at large—that is, until he was picked up during a traffic stop in Miami on Aug. 28.

The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of California issued a release on Sept. 1 announcing the arrest of 27-year-old Donald Ryan Austin in connection with the kernel.org attack. Austin is being charged in a four-count indictment in violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. Austin appeared in a federal court in Miami on Aug. 29 and was released on $50,000 bail on Sept. 1. He is scheduled to be back in court on Sept. 21.

Google's Waze Carpool rideshare service for office workers, which launched in limited mode in the San Francisco Bay area last week, actually marks the second major test of the concept for the company in the past year. Last July, Google quietly began pilot tests of an identical service in Israel called RideWith for linking people looking for rides to work with drivers headed to the same destination.

Pilot versions of the service were launched in Tel Aviv, Herzliya and Ra'anana. Initial plans had also called for RideWith to be available to students and faculty at Tel Aviv University. Haaretz, the Israeli newspaper that first reported on the pilot, described RideWith as being developed by Waze, the Israel-based maker of navigation applications acquired by Google in 2013 for about $1 billion.

Ericsson and Nokia are getting new products ready for next year that officials with both companies say will push telecommunications companies closer to creating 5G wireless networks. In fact, Ericsson executives said last week that the addition of a 5G NR radio for massive MIMO support combined with other 5G technologies the company has released will give Ericsson all the components needed for carriers to build 5G networks in 2017. That would put it three years ahead of the expected completion date of international standards for the wireless technology. The company also is rolling out technologies designed to enhance the performance and efficiency of current networks, with concepts that officials said will become 5G.

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