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Ford launches pilot program to equip California winegrowers with EVs, software services

SEBASTOPOL, California — Ford Motor Co. on Wednesday announced the launch of a pilot program that will equip winegrowers in northern California with electric pickup trucks, cargo vans and software services in a bid to boost EV and technology adoption among farmers and other commercial customers.

The automaker also announced the launch of Ford...Read more

Sergei Babenko/Dreamstime/TNS

Crypto, NFTs Are Rife With 'Mountains' of Fraud, IRS Says

IRS criminal investigators see cryptocurrencies and nonfungible tokens as ripe for fraud, including money laundering, market manipulation and tax evasion — and even celebrities could get caught up in the agency’s probes.

Digital assets have been a growing concern for government agencies as they’ve become more mainstream, with regulators ...Read more

Dreamstime/Dreamstime/TNS

Tech Q&A: Keep copies of data on your computer and in the cloud

Q: I don't like it when Dropbox, Microsoft OneDrive and Google Drive take data off my computer and store it online instead. How can I get my data back without losing anything?

—Dan Behnke, Eau Claire, Wisconsin

A: While it may look as if the online services took data off your PC and transferred it to the cloud, I don't think they really did....Read more

David McNew/Getty Images North America/TNS

Activision's next few 'Call of Duty' games will be on PlayStation

Activision Blizzard Inc. will release at least the next three games in its hit video game franchise "Call of Duty" on Sony Group Corp.’s PlayStation, even after the publisher was bought by rival Microsoft Corp.

Before news of the $69 billion acquisition broke last week, Activision had already committed to make the next few "Call of Duty" ...Read more

Steven Ferdman/Getty Images North America/TNS

Jimmy Fallon hyped his Bored Ape NFTs on 'The Tonight Show.' Conflict of interest?

From actors to athletes to influencers, celebrities can't seem to stop talking about their enthusiasm for all things crypto. Never one to sit out a trend, on Monday, "The Tonight Show" host Jimmy Fallon was eager to show off his acquisition of a pricey digital collectible — even if it meant flouting an ethics policy that governs most ...Read more

Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Editorial: Fate of climate change bills an early test for California Legislature

Bills on corporate carbon emissions and air quality regulation will demonstrate whether the Legislature and its current leadership intend to act with urgency in addressing climate change this year. As important, their handling of the bills will signal whether Democratic legislators have the backbone to prioritize climate action over political ...Read more

Handout/Getty Images North America/TNS

Tonga volcano 'hundreds of times' more powerful than Hiroshima bomb explosion, NASA says

The undersea volcano that erupted off the coast of Tonga this month was “hundreds of times” more powerful than the nuclear bomb that hit Hiroshima in World War II, according to NASA.

The Jan. 15 blast of the Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha’apai volcano, which triggered tsunami waves which stretched to the Pacific Coast in the U.S. The eruption, ...Read more

MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images North America/TNS

SEC's Peirce says agency guidance on nonfungible tokens needed

The growth of so-called nonfungible tokens has at least one Securities and Exchange Commission member thinking the agency needs to release guidance on the digital assets this year.

Commissioner Hester Peirce, a cryptocurrency supporter, said such guidelines would help the public understand the agency’s thinking.

“As a regulator, I mean it�...Read more

Washington attorney general sues Google over location tracking

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson is suing Google in an effort to change how the company handles users’ personal data.

Ferguson joined attorneys general in Texas, Indiana and the District of Columbia in filing a lawsuit Monday alleging the company misled consumers about its location-tracking services and, at times, collected data ...Read more

Deaths of Florida's starving manatees surge amid winter chill

ORLANDO, Fla. — Chilly temperatures are rekindling a manatee die-off in Central Florida’s Indian River.

“Winter is here,” said Martine de Wit, a state veterinarian and scientist.

Along a Brevard County piece of the Indian River on Thursday, which turned warmer and sunny, a snapshot of the ominous, protracted plight of manatees came ...Read more

Dirk Shadd/TNS

Florida lead factory faces $518,000 more in fines for environmental violations

TAMPA, Fla. — A Tampa lead factory is facing $518,000 in additional fines following a two-month inspection by local environmental regulators prompted by a Tampa Bay Times investigation.

If finalized, the penalty against Gopher Resource would be the largest in the history of the Hillsborough County Environmental Protection Commission, said ...Read more

Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Kamala Harris announces wildfire money in California visit

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — With large, damaging wildfires becoming more common due to the effects of climate change, the federal government is redoubling its efforts to mitigate them.

That’s the message Vice President Kamala Harris delivered Friday during a visit to San Bernardino in which she highlighted billions of dollars in federal ...Read more

Steven M. Falk/The Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS

Comcast is teaming up with Nokia to sell private 5G networks to big business, government

Comcast has partnered with Nokia to sell businesses private 5G networks, the new high-speed wireless internet that could power ports, factories, and other large enterprises.

The cable giant's business services unit, Comcast Business, will deploy its first private 5G network at the Wells Fargo Center during the first quarter this year, company ...Read more

Joe Cavaretta/South Florida Sun-Sentinel/TNS

Central Florida manatees finally eat lettuce offered to them to hold off starvation

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Manatees started eating lettuce being offered to them by wildlife officers this week, in the first success of an unprecedented effort to prevent another season of starvation.

The effort to feed them began in November near the Florida Power & Light plant in the Indian River Lagoon. But it took place without any known ...Read more

Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times/TNS

December storms allow for 'modest increase' in state water deliveries

LOS ANGELES — Nearly two months after extreme drought conditions forced the state to eliminate water allocations along the massive State Water Project, regulators have announced a modest increase in deliveries because of a recent series of drenching storms.

December’s surprising but welcome surge of record-breaking rain and snow — ...Read more

Intel/Intel/TNS

Intel CEO 'thrilled to be launching the Silicon Heartland in Ohio'

Intel's promise to invest $20 billion to build two semiconductor plants in Licking County could be just the start for what the Silicon Valley giant has in mind for Greater Columbus, the company's CEO told The Dispatch.

The plants, also called fabs, will employ 3,000 workers, and 7,000 construction workers will be needed to build them, Intel ...Read more

Mark Hume/Chicago Tribune/TNS

Yosemite National Park may limit visitors this summer due to major construction projects

Concerned about nightmarish traffic jams at Yosemite National Park from more than half a dozen major new construction projects, park leaders are drawing up plans that could limit the number of visitors this summer by requiring reservations for day visits.

“This summer is going to be a crazy construction season in Yosemite like you have never ...Read more

Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times/TNS

A sign the drought is easing: California officials to ship more water to farms, cities

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — State officials said Thursday they will increase deliveries to farms and cities that belong to the State Water Project — a sign that this winter’s rain and snow has eased drought conditions in California.

The Department of Water Resources said farm and municipal water districts can expect to receive 15% of requested ...Read more

Los Angeles Times/TNS

Kamala Harris to announce wildfire money in visit to California on Friday

WASHINGTON — Vice President Kamala Harris plans to visit a San Bernardino fire station Friday to announce the federal government will provide California $600 million to help the state recover from a historically severe wildfire season while highlighting plans to spend $5 billion more to prevent fires, an administration official said.

The ...Read more

Dania Maxwell/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Federal agents return 4,000-year-old artifacts to Iraqi government

LOS ANGELES — Federal agents on Thursday returned two ancient stone artifacts to representatives of the Iraqi government at the country’s consulate in Los Angeles.

The artifacts — a fragment of a stone tablet inscribed with cuneiform characters and a hexagonal prism used to teach schoolchildren the cuneiform alphabet — are believed to ...Read more