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Samsung stops making Galaxy Note 7 due to safety concerns

UPDATE, 5:46 a.m. ET: Samsung Electronics "has made a final decision to stop production" of the Galaxy Note 7 as reports come in that the smartphones are igniting, the Associated Press reported early Tuesday.

In a regulatory filing Tuesday, the company said it made the move for customers' safety.

Samsung previously halted sales of the phones worldwide and told users to turn off the devices and stop using them.

ORIGINAL STORY: Samsung has halted production of one on its newest phones after more reports about replacement models and is asking those who still have the phone to turn it off.

"Consumers with either an original Galaxy Note 7 or replacement Galaxy Note 7 device should power down and stop using the device and take advantage of the remedies available," the company said in a news release.

>> Read more trending stories  

The world's biggest smartphone maker recalled 2.7 million Galaxy Note 7 phones in early September after reports that the battery can catch fire, The New York Times reported.

Samsung had been replacing the original models of the phone with new devices that it claimed were safer.

The company promised consumers that the replacement devices had safe batteries, but a Southwest Airlines flight last week had to be evacuated after a Note 7 started smoking. The phone's owner said it was a replacement model. Samsung is investigating, The New York Times reported

Some mobile carriers in the U.S. stopped selling the phones after that and after other reports of the phones smoking or catching fire.

AT&T and Verizon said Sunday that the companies were stopping sales or replacements of the device. T Moble also announced that it was also halting the sales of the phone, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Verizon said that if customers didn't feel safe with their current Note 7s that they can replace it with another smartphone.

The Note 7 was introduced as a response to Apple's iPhone, retailing for about $900.

Lightning Hockey Puck Drop Contest

Text DOVE to 61873 starting Monday, October 10th through Sunday, October 16th to win 2 tickets to the Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Florida Panthers game on Tuesday, October 18th @ 7:30PM and an exclusive pre-game experience. The Tampa Bay Lightning will select a winner out of the entries on Monday, 10/17/2016 by 12pm to notify. (Click here for rules)

Replacement Samsung Note 7 smokes on plane, flight evacuated

A Southwest Airlines flight from Louisville, Kentucky, to Baltimore was evacuated Wednesday morning after officials said a Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphone belonging to a passenger began to smoke.

>> Read more trending stories

The Verge reports all passengers and crew exited the plane with no injuries reported, but the phone was a replacement that was verified as safe by Samsung. The Galaxy Note 7 smartphone was recalled by Samsung last month after multiple incidents showed the phone's battery causing injuries and damage.

Brian Green, the phone's owner, told The Verge that he picked up the phone from an AT&T store on Sept. 21 after bringing in his original phone. A photograph of the box displays a "black square symbol," which indicates that it is one of the verified replacement phones by Samsung, The Verge added.

>> Related: FAA doesn't want Galaxy Note 7 phones on planes

According to Green, he "powered down the phone" when he entered the plane and placed it in his pocket, which is when it began to smoke. He dropped it onto the floor of the plane and saw a "thick grey-green angry smoke" emanating from the device. The phone later burned through the carpet and subfloor of the plane, which a friend of Green's observed when he returned to retrieve some personal items, The Verge added.

Green told The Verge that his phone had an 80 percent charge when the incident occurred and he had been using a wireless charger since being given the device. Samsung has not yet commented on the incident and Green's phone was taken by the Louisville Police Department arson unit and he was given an iPhone 7.

>> Related: Why are electronics like Galaxy Notes exploding?

The CPSC issued a warning to people with Samsung Galaxy Note 7 devices to stop using their phones last month and a Palm Beach Gardens man learned the hard way after the device exploded in his pocket.

Read more at The Verge.

5 hacks to keep your smartphone charged during a power outage

A smartphone can be a lifeline in a storm, but it's useless without power. Fortunately, there's never been more ways to keep a smartphone juiced up

Here are some easy ways to keep your phone in the green if you lose power: 

>> PHOTOS: Hurricane Matthew

1. Charge up every laptop in your home. If you lose power, turn a laptop on (but don't unlock the screen) and use your iPhone or Android cable to charge your phone via the USB ports. Most newer laptops can charge a smartphone multiple times. 

>> 'Creepy' skull satellite image of Hurricane Matthew has people freaking out

2. Keep your phone on "Low Power Mode." This setting will use far less juice. On an iPhone, go to "Settings," scroll down to "Battery" and turn on "Low Power Mode." On an Android, swipe down from the top menu and find the "Power Saving" icon. 

3. Use your car to charge your phone. Most newer cars have a USB port – or two. Even if your car is out of fuel, you can turn it on and charge it using the car battery. It's a last resort, but if you have a newer car battery, it will charge a phone multiple times easily.

>> Central Florida cruises rerouted because of Hurricane Matthew

4. Buy an external charger if you don't have one; most drug stores have them. Portable smartphone battery chargers are getting better and less expensive. Most drug store chains have them near the counter, but you will pay more for the convenience. But if you need one right now, that is a good place to look. 

Companies such as Anker and Aukey sell high-quality, high capacity chargers on Amazon. Consider buying one before the next storm. Some of the new one have capacities approaching 30,000 mAh, which is enough to charge an phone over five times. 

>> Read more trending stories

5. Still have power but want to charge a phone quickly without using a wall socket? Plug it into the USB port on your TV. Most newer TVs have one. 

Companies don't have to tell you when they're hacked, but that might change

Lawmakers are considering several pieces of legislation that would require notifying customers when their personal information is compromised in a data breach.

>> Read more trending stories

The push for setting a national standard for notification comes weeks after Yahoo announced more than 500 million accounts were hacked in 2014. The company did not notify customers for two years.

Some privacy and consumer advocates argue legislation isn't the answer.

>> Related: Yahoo confirms hack of 500 million users

Jim Harper, senior fellow at the Cato Institute, says there are cases when it may not be best for companies to notify people about each and every time they are hacked.

"You want to notify people when they can do something to protect themselves," Harper said.  "When data is breached, notifying may just concern (consumers) because they can't do anything about it."

Harper says the focus should be on holding companies accountable to keep their users' information secure.

>> Related: Yahoo hack: What do you do if your account was hacked?

"It's not a matter of federal regulation but common law litigation," he said. "Nothing the government can do now can fix this these problems. They're too complex for a single standard especially from the federal government."

Ed Mierzwinski, of the consumer advocacy group tje U.S. Public Interest Research Group, says consumers need to take their digital security into their own hands. He says that includes using passwords which include letters, numbers and symbols.

>> Related: Brad Pitt death hoax could open accounts to hackers

"Consumer groups recommend a security freeze, which is sometimes called a credit freeze, that locks the door on your credit report so no one can get in," Mierzwinski said.

He said the legislation could end up doing more to protect the companies that allowed the information to be stolen instead of the people that are victimized. He thinks state laws already protect the consumer and any federal action by Congress would weaken those protections.

>> Related: Foreign hackers target US election systems

"The strongest state laws say if 'you lose your information, tell your customers,'" Mierzwinski said. "The company that lost your info wants the right to decide when it's been lost and we disagree with that."

Congress could take up notification legislation during the lame duck session after the election.

Toyota made a tiny robot to keep you company on your commute

This is Kirobo Mini, and he's your new best friend.

While other car companies have been busy making self-driving vehicles, Toyota was busy making this little guy. The car giant wants Kirobo Mini to keep you company while you drive. 

>> Read more trending stories

Kirobo Mini is part of the Toyota Heart Project, which aims to get humans and artificial intelligence working together in everyday life.

The bot is only 10 centimeters high and small enough to fit in a cup holder. The mini companion can talk, make gestures and respond to emotions — which is great for those days when you just need to have an emotional breakdown behind the wheel.

Kirobo Mini is actually the second companion to come from Toyota. A larger version of Kirobo went on a space mission in 2013 to see if robots and humans can coexist for extended periods of time.

But for those of us back on Earth who really, really want a cool robot buddy — Kirobo Mini will hit the market next year for about $400.

Oktoberfest Tampa Contest

All week long, Ann is giving you the chance to win a pair of tickets to enjoy Oktoberfest Tampa, happening Saturday, October 8th to Sunday, October 9th in Downtown Tampa's Curtis Hixon Park!

Listen to mornings with Ann Kelly this week for your chance to win!

Call (888) 723-9388

UPDATE 10/6 - Due to projected high winds, Oktoberfest Tampa is cancelled for FRIDAY 10/7 ONLY - Saturday and Sunday's festival is going ahead as planned.

Click here to view Ann's preview of Oktoberfest!

Why are electronics like Galaxy Notes exploding?

Samsung said it has collected more than 60 percent of all the Galaxy Note 7 phones sold in the U.S. and South Korea.

A worldwide recall of the phones was issued earlier this month because the batteries can start fires while charging.

>> Read more trending stories  

The company plans to release a new version of the phone at the end of this week.

But phones aren't the only gadgets that have been malfunctioning. A Delta flight was diverted last weekend when a tablet burst into flames.

And last Christmas' must-have, the hoverboard, was banned by airlines after many of them caught fire. There have also been numerous stories of e-cigarettes exploding and burning smokers.

All of the items are powered by lithium batteries.

Wentworth Institute of Technology assistant engineering professor Aaron Carpenter showed WFXT what happens inside a phone before it bursts into flames.

To do that, he forced the short circuit of an AA battery. Just like the batteries found in a smartphone, the battery has a positive side and a negative side.

When they're able to connect, a fire ensues.

The battery inside many electronic devices is much stronger than a lithium ion battery, with a thin piece of plastic that helps protect the battery from fire.

When the piece of plastic breaks down, the chemicals on either side react, sparking flames.

Carpenter told WFXT that there are two reasons why it happens. In the case of the Samsung recall, it's a manufacturing error.

In the case of hoverboards, it's likely that the toy has been banged around, cracking the battery's separator.

Carpenter said scientists are always working to make batteries more powerful.

"Everyone wants to be able to have their phone last longer and charge faster," he said.

Ramping up that ability means that scientists are constantly tinkering with strong chemicals, powering dozens of items that we use every day.

"As things are getting more compressed and concentrated, we're more likely to have these kinds of issues," Carpenter said.

Carpenter said the chance of catastrophic failure is very small -- less than one in 1 million.

Yahoo confirms hack of 500 million users

Yahoo has confirmed reports that millions of its users have had information compromised when "certain user account information was stolen from the company’s network in late 2014 by what it believes is a state-sponsored actor."

>> Read more trending stories

The company said that the ongoing investigation, which involves law enforcement, has uncovered that information associated with at least 500 million accounts has been stolen.

"The account information may have included names, email addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, hashed passwords (the vast majority with bcrypt) and, in some cases, encrypted or unencrypted security questions and answers," the company said in a statement Thursday.

"The ongoing investigation suggests that stolen information did not include unprotected passwords, payment card data, or bank account information; payment card data and bank account information are not stored in the system that the investigation has found to be affected."

Customers are encouraged to review their accounts for suspicious activity and change their password, security questions and answers for other accounts that may be similar to Yahoo accounts, especially if they have not done so since 2014. Yahoo also asks customers to consider using a Yahoo Account Key, which it says eliminates the need to use a password.

The company is notifying users. More information is at the company's Security Issue FAQs page.

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