Samsung Note7 Fire in Southwest Airlines Jet Under Investigation

Today's topics include Samsung's investigation of a Note7 fire that caused an airplane evacuation, Yahoo's development of a search feature that allows it to scan emails per government requests, Intel's move of the analytics work of its anti-malware engine to the cloud and Lenovo's potential plans to acquire Fujitsu's PC business.

A Southwest Airlines jet was evacuated Oct. 5 in Louisville, Ky., after a Samsung Galaxy Note7 smartphone began smoking while the plane was still at a gate, potentially adding to Samsung's woes in connection with its recent Note7 global recall due to battery fires and explosions. The Louisville incident was revealed in an Oct. 5 report byNBC5 in Texas, which said the flight to Baltimore was evacuated when the fire was discovered.

The airline's gate agents had already warned passengers about flying with Note7s that were turned on, the report said. The owner of the phone that began emitting smoke told the TV station that he was surprised when the incident unfolded in his pocket.

In 2015, Yahoo allegedly developed a system that enables it to search all of its Yahoo Mail user accounts for information requested by the U.S. government, according to a Reuters report published on Oct. 4.

Yahoo responded to media outlets requesting comment on the allegation with a terse one line comment: "Yahoo is a law-abiding company and complies with the laws of the United States."

According to the report, Alex Stamos, Yahoo's former chief information security officer, left the job in June 2015 as a result of the company's compliance with the alleged U.S. government directive to enable email searches. Stamos had joined Yahoo in March 2014 and notably directly challenged National Security Agency Director Admiral Mike Rogers at a February 2015 event about security back doors for U.S. intelligence agencies in consumer software and services.

Intel is turning to the cloud to make its consumer security capabilities more effective. The chip maker's security group this week unveiled enhancements to its McAfee AntiVirus Plus, Internet Security, Total Protection and LifeSafe software suite that aim to protect the growing number and variety of connected devices consumers are using as the internet of things ecosystem continues to grow.

"People are enjoying more and more connected devices as part of everyday life—in their homes, in their cars and even in the things they wear," said John Giamatteo, corporate vice president and general manager at Intel Security. "This wave of new connectivity is exciting, and a reminder that security is more important than ever. We know our customers need solutions that protect their digital lives, particularly as connectivity continues to rise and threats continue to evolve," he added.

Lenovo reportedly may buy Fujitsu's PC business, a move that would further expand Lenovo's lead position in the struggling global PC market while enabling Fujitsu to get the money-losing unit off its books.

Fujitsu officials, in a statement to The Wall Street Journal, said they "are considering various options for the PC unit, including a possible deal with Lenovo."

Lenovo has declined to comment on the reports, which included the Nikkei business daily in Japan citing an unnamed source saying officials with the two companies are in talks with the hope of reaching a deal this month. The deal would move about 2,000 Fujitsu employees over to Lenovo, the Nikkei reported.

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