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Published: Thursday, November 09, 2017 @ 1:13 PM
Updated: Thursday, November 09, 2017 @ 1:12 PM
TWIN FALLS, Idaho — The founder and CEO of Chobani has no regrets about moving his Greek yogurt company to south-central Idaho, a region embroiled in the national debate over refugee resettlement that spread to company boycotts by far-right bloggers and conspiracy theorists.
"I hear the conversations here and there, but it's a peaceful community that we all love," said Hamdi Ulukaya, a Turkish immigrant. "It's the home of Chobani."
Ulukaya spoke to The Associated Press before a Thursday announcement of a $20 million expansion of the company's facility in the city of Twin Falls — the world's largest yogurt plant — to serve as its global research and development center tackling how yogurt is made and consumed.
It's a project Ulukaya says he's been planning for several years. As to what innovations the company plans for the 70,000-square-foot facility, Ulukaya isn't sharing yet. He said the focus will be on offering natural and non-synthetic products.
The project follows a series of expansion efforts by Chobani since opening its Idaho plant in 2012. The $450 million, 1 million-square-foot plant is the company's second after Ulukaya started Chobani in New York. The company employs 2,000 workers, including 300 refugees.
However, Chobani's time in Idaho also has taken a darker turn as anti-immigrant advocates have seized on the company's open stance on refugees. Fringe websites have falsely claimed that Ulukaya wanted to "drown the United States in Muslims." Other websites, like Breitbart News, falsely attempted to link Chobani's hiring of refugees to an uptick in tuberculosis cases in Idaho.
To counteract the hateful rhetoric, Chobani sued right-wing radio host Alex Jones earlier this year, saying that Jones and his InfoWars website posted fabricated stories linking Ulukaya and the company to a sexual assault case involving refugee children in Twin Falls. Jones originally promised to never back down in his fight against the yogurt giant but eventually retracted his statements in a settlement.
Ulukaya declined to comment on the Jones lawsuit but said the rise in anti-refugee sentiment has never delayed a project he wanted to pursue. And he says he is committed to being a welcoming company.
"Don't leave anyone out," he said. "At Chobani, we believe in second chances."
During Thursday's expansion launch, Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter praised Chobani's impact on the community.
"This new investment in Twin Falls reflects Chobani's commitment to Idaho and to the people who have responded so positively to its corporate citizenship," Otter said in a prepared statement. "Congratulations to all those who are contributing to Chobani's growth, just as Chobani is contributing to ours."
Strong economic growth in south-central Idaho — an agriculture-dominant area dubbed the Magic Valley — led Ulukaya to describe the region as the "Silicon Valley of food," pointing to the wide range of food manufacturing plants that have invested in food science since Chobani moved to the state.
"It's an ecosystem generated for food making," he said. "There's now a general knowledge around food science that wasn't there 10 years ago."
The boon extends to Chobani's Idaho workers, who earn an average of $15 an hour, more than twice the minimum wage of $7.25.
Published: Friday, March 09, 2018 @ 9:54 AM
— Your kids are begging for the latest and greatest cellphones to hit the market.
They may not like a new one that’s being introduced, but you sure will like them to have it.
It can call and it can text. But it cannot use Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram or any other social media.
Basically, it’s an old-fashioned flip phone without the flip phone look.
It also uses E-Ink for the display and operates on a modified version of the Android operating system, the Telegraph reported.
“Unlike a flip phone, however, to children the Light Phone is seen as ‘cool’ amongst their peers,” Joe Hollier, co--founder of Light told “Good Morning America.” “We have been working with parents on the idea of a parental app to support their child’s Light Phone 2 as well.”
Light launched it’s first phone in 2016. It could only make calls and store nine numbers, the Telegraph reported. The company sold 10,000 devices, but they were too simple for many and were not practical for some, the Telegraph reported.
Light Phone 2 are expected to ship next year and will cost about $250, the Telegraph reported.
If you want to get in on the new technology, the company launched an IndieGoGo campaign to raise $250,000. So far it has exceeded that amount by 335 percent and has more than $836,000 pledged from supporters.
Published: Thursday, January 25, 2018 @ 5:13 AM
— If you needed a reason not to bite your iPhone battery, here it is.
According to Taiwan News, a man entered an electronics store in China hoping to purchase a replacement battery for his iPhone.
In an attempt to test its authenticity, the customer reportedly bit into the battery and as he removed it from his mouth, the product ruptured, exploding in his face.
Luckily, no one was injured.
The episode came soon after outrage over Apple’s admittance to slowing down older iPhone models with aging batteries led to big discounts on replacement batteries around the globe, including in China.
“However,” Taiwan News reported, “Chinese electronics stores are notoriously replete with fake goods, thus the man was in his own – but obviously wrong – way trying to test its authenticity.”
Published: Friday, December 22, 2017 @ 11:09 AM
— Soon after news emerged that Apple admitted to slowing down iPhone performance as the devices’ batteries age, multiple lawsuits have been filed against the company.
CNBC reported that Stefan Bogdanovich and Dakota Speas filed a class-action lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California against Apple, claiming the company never asked for consent from them to alter the performance of their phones.
The lawsuit says Apple breached the implied contracts with Bogdanovich and Speas “by purposefully slowing down older iPhone models when new models come out and by failing to properly disclose that at the time that the parties entered into an agreement,” according to WCBS.
The complaint also says that the two are entitled to compensation because the slowdown of their devices cause them to suffer “economic damages and other harm.”
“Our goal is to deliver the best experience for customers, which includes overall performance and prolonging the life of their devices. Lithium-ion batteries become less capable of supplying peak current demands when in cold conditions, have a low battery charge or as they age over time, which can result in the device unexpectedly shutting down to protect its electronic components,” Apple said in a statement to The Verge about performance of the devices.
“Last year we released a feature for iPhone 6, iPhone 6s and iPhone SE to smooth out the instantaneous peaks only when needed to prevent the device from unexpectedly shutting down during these conditions. We’ve now extended that feature to iPhone 7 with iOS 11.2, and plan to add support for other products in the future,” Apple said in the statement.
Bogdanovich and Speas are trying to get the case certified to cover all U.S. owners of iPhones older than the iPhone 8, according to CNBC. Their suit is not the only one against Apple since the company released its statement about iPhone battery speed. WCBS reported that a second class-action lawsuit was filed in Illinois on Thursday night.
The Chicago Sun-Times reported that the suit was filed in Chicago by two people in Illinois as well as by Ohio, North Carolina and Indiana residents with iPhone models 5 through 7.
The suit says Apple “needlessly subjects consumers to purchasing newer and more expensive iPhones when a replacement battery could have allowed consumers to continue to use their older iPhones.”
Published: Sunday, December 10, 2017 @ 1:44 AM
— Twitter has released its end-of-year stats and revealed that former President Barack Obama had the most-liked tweet of 2017.
His tweet, sent in August after white nationalists marched on Charlottesville, Virginia, has been liked 4.6 million times. The tweet reads, “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion,” accompanied by a picture of him looking up at a group of children.
"No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion..." pic.twitter.com/InZ58zkoAm— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) August 13, 2017
“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love. For love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite,” the quote, in whole, reads.
Obama’s tweet following the Charlottesville march wasn’t his only top tweet. He also took the third spot for most-liked, and the second, fifth, and eighth spots for most-retweeted tweets.
His other top tweets included his tweet to Sen. John McCain after the Arizona Republican was diagnosed with cancer; the final line of his presidential farewell address in Chicago; and his farewell after leaving the Oval Office for the last time.
John McCain is an American hero & one of the bravest fighters I've ever known. Cancer doesn't know what it's up against. Give it hell, John.— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) July 20, 2017
Thank you for everything. My last ask is the same as my first. I'm asking you to believe—not in my ability to create change, but in yours.— President Obama (@POTUS44) January 11, 2017
It's been the honor of my life to serve you. You made me a better leader and a better man.— President Obama (@POTUS44) January 20, 2017
Other top tweets included Ariana Grande’s tweet after the bombing at her Manchester, England, concert; LeBron James’s tweet when he called President Donald Trump a “bum"; a tweet promising to donate 6 pounds of dog food to Houston dogs affected by Hurricane Harvey for every retweet it received; another tweet asking for retweets to raise donations for Houston;, a photo from Linkin Park of its former frontman, Chester Bennington, after he committed suicide earlier this year; the number to the suicide hotline tweeted by social media star Seth Joseph; and finally, the most-retweeted tweet of the year came from 16-year-old Carter Wilkerson begging for retweets so he could win free chicken nuggets from Wendy’s for a year.
While Trump didn’t win a top spot for any of his own tweets, he was the most-tweeted-about world leader.