Beau Biden and the burn pits: Are these toxic military waste sites making soldiers sick?

Burn pit in Afghanistan (Credit: Getty/Andrew Burton) Last week former Vice President Joe Biden reignited national interest and concern surrounding the use of burn pits, a common way to get rid of waste at military sites in Iraq and Afghanistan. In a recent PBS Newshour interview, Biden concedes for the first time the link between these burn pits and the brain cancer that killed his son, Beau Biden. The former Vice President said, “You take everything from the fuel oil, the plastic furniture, to all the waste and we just burn them . . . and a lot of work is being done [to prove the link between burn pits… Read More

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Verizon’s Go Unlimited plan will soon work in Mexico and Canada

In August, Verizon split its unlimited data plan into three new options with some annoying limits and restrictions on video streaming. The basic of those three plans, Go Unlimited, will soon work in Canada and Mexico. But there’s still some annoying restrictions. If you’re a Verizon customer on the basic plan, you won’t have to pay for an additional data plan if you travel overseas, according to Droid Life (via Engadget), and the changes to the plan kick on on January 25th, 2018. The change brings Go Unlimited up to speed with the company’s other unlimited offerings, Beyond Unlimited and Business Unlimited Plans, which already included the international calling, texting… Read More

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Space Startup Rocket Lab Has Reached Orbit For the First Time

The six-year-old startup Rocket Lab has successfully put a rocket into orbit, and deployed a payload of three satellites. The launch started from New Zealand at 2:43 Sunday afternoon, or 8:43 p.m. Saturday U.S. Eastern Time. The mission, dubbed “Still Testing,” was the second using the company’s lightweight Electron rocket. Rocket Lab streamed its launch live, and it can still be viewed on YouTube, complete with informative commentary. Rocket Lab aims to lower the cost of access to space, in a way parallel to, but distinct from, the mission of Elon Musk’s SpaceX. Where SpaceX seems near mastering the art of landing and reusing large rockets, Rocket Lab wants to… Read More

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Is San Jose winning its war on illegal dumping?

SAN JOSE — Two years ago, the city of San Jose got serious about the problem of illegal dumping by offering free trash pickups, easing the complaint process and imposing stiff fines on violators. The result: 2,443 mattresses, 2,250 tons of debris, 1,900 shopping carts and more than 500 gallons of human waste. And yet the streets are still dirty. Tenley Corpus lives near San Jose’s Martial Cottle Park and loves walking its trails. Lately, though, her walks have been spoiled by an eyesore just across the street: a giant pile of garbage on Chynoweth Avenue. Nearby Hellyer Park and Branham Lane also are dotted with garbage piles and yard… Read More

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South Korea prosecutors are investigating Apple’s iPhone battery controversy

Add the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office to the growing list of government units around the world that are investigating Apple over the reduced performance of iPhones with older batteries inside. The company’s poor messaging about an iOS update intended to prevent unexpected shutdowns — a change that required throttling the processor and slowing performance of iPhones with chemically-aged batteries — led to widespread controversy and customer frustration late last year. As reported by Apple Insider, the new probe comes after Seol’s Citizens United for Consumer Sovereignty filed a complaint against Apple that claimed the company is really slowing down iPhones to sway consumers towards upgrading sooner than would otherwise… Read More

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