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Stocks tick higher in a quiet start; Apple is a bright spot

Los Angeles Times

U.S. stocks were slightly higher Wednesday morning as utility companies climbed. Energy companies were trading lower as the price of oil continued to slip. Stocks are at their lowest levels in two months after large losses in two of the last three days. The Dow Jones industrial average advanced 31 points, or 0.2%, to 18,097 as of 10:05 a.m. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 5 points, or 0.2%, to 2,132.


5 Ways Drones Are Changing the World

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Those who dream of getting an Amazon package, a prescription drug, or even a beer delivered to their doorsteps via drone might have their wishes fulfilled sooner than expected.


The Weather-Predicting Tech Behind 62 Billion Monsanto Bid

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A self-driving John Deere tractor rumbles through Ian Pigott's 2,000-acre farm every week or so to spray fertilizer, guided by satellite imagery and each plot's harvesting history. The 11-ton behemoth, loaded with so many screens it looks like an airplane cockpit, relays the nutrient information to the farmer's computer system. With weather forecasts and data on pesticide use, soil readings, and plant tissue tests pulled by various pieces of software, Pigott can keep tabs on the farm down to the square meter in real time without ever leaving his carpeted office. "This is becoming more standard," says Pigott, who grows a rotation of wheat, oilseed, oats, and barley on his farm in the rolling Hertfordshire countryside an hour north of London. German chemical company Bayer cited the growth in such digitally assisted farming as a key reason for its 62 billion bid for Monsanto, which has become a leading provider of analytics used by growers.


What Smart Cities Are Learning From Smart Farms

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Cities around the world are getting smarter. Already, street lights in places like San Diego are turning off, and conserving energy, when vehicles and pedestrians aren't around. Soon, connected garbage cans will tell waste haulers when they need to be emptied, optimizing collection routes. Smart buildings will notify maintenance staff of impending repair needs. And parking spots will find you, instead of the other way around.


Bayer contains cyberattack it says bore Chinese hallmarks

The Japan Times

FRANKFURT, GERMANY - German drugmaker Bayer has contained a cyber attack it believes was hatched in China, the company said, highlighting the risk of data theft and disruption faced by big business. Bayer found the infectious software on its computer networks early last year, covertly monitored and analyzed it until the end of last month and then cleared the threat from its systems, the company said on Thursday. "There is no evidence of data theft," Bayer said in a statement, though a spokesman added that the overall damage was still being assessed and that German state prosecutors had launched an investigation. "This type of attack points towards the'Wicked Panda' group in China, according to security experts," the spokesman added, citing DCSO, a cybersecurity group set up by Bayer in 2015 with German partners Allianz, BASF and Volkswagen. Third-party personal data were also not compromised, the spokesman said.