A well-respected consumer advocacy organization in Germany claims that Ritter Sport's popular chocolate product contains synthetic aroma. It has ignited a fierce court battle. But Ritter Sport says the aroma is natural, extracted from plants like dill or vanilla.
There is, in case you haven’t heard, a big cranberry surplus. We can thank our northern neighbors for that -- Canada produces hundreds of millions of them every year.
The Congressional Cranberry Caucus -- yes, such a thing exists -- asked the Department of Agriculture to add cranberries to what’s called the “USDA Foods Available List.” These are “foods that are available for schools to purchase as part of their commodity feeding programs,” says Scott Soares, the head of the Cranberry Marketing Committee.
These are the kinds of fruits and vegetables the federal government buys for school meals programs.
“When the National School Lunch Program started in 1946, it was very explicitly half about helping children and half about commodity disposal,” says Parke Wilde, who teaches nutrition at Tufts.
These days, Wilde says, that balance has shifted; now it is more about nutrition goals. The trouble is cranberries typically require some added sugar to make them palatable.
The Ag Department has approved dried cranberries and cranberry sauce, but that’s it. The cranberry industry needs to offload more than that. It has 750,000 barrels to get rid of -- that’s 75 million pounds.
Tonight millions of kids will be revved up in anticipation of tomorrow’s bacchanalia of presents, followed by a nice long break from dreaded school, making this the perfect time for Netflix to unveil its first original series for kids. It’s an animated show about a super-fast snail.
But before Netflix and DVRs, there was one day when children gathered around the TV, cereal bowl in lap and watched cartoons -- Saturday morning. And along with those cartoons came lots and lots of commercials. “So afar at least, the majority of online programming isn’t interspersed with commercial advertising,” says Rebecca Hains, who studies children’s media at Salem State University.
Many of the parents she talks to for her research prefer ad free content for their kids. And streaming services are also well-suited for keeping kids within a safe zone of programing, another plus for parents. It’s these parents that Netflix is courting with its first original kids series, "Turbo F.A.S.T."
“Little children love watching the same program again and again,” says Peter Bowden, a children’s television producer. This is yet another key advantage of on demand programing. Unlimited viewing is included in the monthly subscription fee. And if kids ever do ever tire of an episode they can binge on multiple episodes at once, like their parents do with other Netflix originals, "Orange is the New Black" and "House of Cards."
One of the most respected cybersecurity firms in the business, RSA, has reportedly accepted money from the NSA to push a flawed security product. This latest news comes from a report by Joseph Menn, an investigative reporter with Reuters. It's connected to earlier revelations about the National Security Agency building back doors into encryption to help its surveillance programs, which has had even the most capable cryptologists very worried.
The new report cites two unnamed sources that say the NSA gave $10 million to the cybersecruity firm in order to make a random number generator (often used in encryption) the default security setting in the product. Since RSA is a trusted security source, it was effectively an arrangement--paid for by the spy agency -- for the company to help establish the flawed encryption tool to be accepted by thousands of people who were building software. Some of the sources speaking to Menn said that RSA wasn't fully aware of what it was doing, but the suggestion is that the company should have known better, having a history of fighting things like the government's Clipper Chip.
RSA released a statement in response, which Ars Technica called a non-denying denial. It is interesting to read through it and try to parse the language; the part with the words "categorically deny" could refer to the suggestion that the contract with the NSA was "secret," or that there was a contract, or even that the flaw was known.
However you feel about the report or the response from the RSA (the NSA declined comment), the story brings an uncomfortable truth to light: for years, the NSA has worked in concert with cybersecurity experts. That's a good thing when it comes to national security--the U.S. government has expertise in the area of fighting a broad spectrum of cybercrime that has a very real impact on Americans. But as revelations about secret government surveillance continue, questions grow about whether online security is totally broken -- and who, exactly, can help fix it.
Also: Edward Snowden says his mission has been accomplished; Target says the Justice Department is investigating its data breach; and the execution of the North Korean leader's uncle is tied to a business dispute.