Jane Goodall urges U.S. Senate to halt push to drill in Arctic refuge

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – British primatologist Jane Goodall sent a letter to every U.S. senator on Tuesday urging them to oppose a push in the U.S. Congress to allow oil drilling in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, a region environmentalists say is one of the world’s last paradises.

Canada takes softwood lumber battle with U.S. to NAFTA appeal panel

OTTAWA — Canada is turning to the North American Free Trade Agreement in its bid to stop U.S. duties on Canadian softwood lumber.

A letter from a Canadian lawyer was hand-delivered Tuesday to the American NAFTA secretariat in Washington, requesting a panel review “in regard to the final determination of the U.S. Department of Commerce in the countervailing duty investigation of softwood lumber from Canada.”

In a written statement, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said Canada will “forcefully defend Canada’s softwood lumber industry.”

“The U.S. Department of Commerce’s decision on punitive countervailing and anti-dumping duties against Canada’s softwood lumber producers is unfair, unwarranted, and deeply troubling,” she said.

The challenge comes under section 19 of NAFTA, one of the sections in the crosshairs of U.S. President Donald Trump as the trilateral trade pact is renegotiated.

Canadian softwood lumber producers have already laid down about $500 million in countervailing and antidumping duties since the U.S. Department of Commerce ruled last spring Canada was unfairly subsidizing its softwood industry and selling wood into the U.S. at unfairly low rates.

The main issues stem from the fact that most Canadian softwood is on Crown land and producers pay stumpage fees, set by provincial governments, for the right to harvest the wood. The U.S. Lumber Coalition alleges these fees are deliberately set too low and represent an unfair subsidy to Canadian producers.

Canada vigorously denies these claims and has won several NAFTA challenges over similar softwood issues in the past.

Earlier this month, the U.S. government made final decisions about the amount of duty that would be charged on Canadian softwood, with the final total averaging about 21 per cent, down from almost 27 per cent in the initial decisions.

Canada and the U.S. have battled over softwood for decades and the disputes have been before both NAFTA and the World Trade Organization multiple times. Canada has won almost all of those challenges, and even in cases where Canada was found to be subsidizing its industry, NAFTA panels or the WTO have said the subsidy was so minimal it had no effect on U.S. producers.

Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr has repeatedly said Canada has every reason to believe it would prevail in such a challenge again.

However, until Tuesday it wasn’t clear whether Canada would take that route again in the midst of difficult NAFTA renegotiations, particularly given the American objective to eliminate Chapter 19 altogether.

Chapter 19 establishes a panel of five arbiters, agreed upon by both countries, who will decide if the duties meet U.S. law. Without that mechanism, Canada would have to use the U.S. court system to make such a challenge.

Canada likes Chapter 19 because it doesn’t trust the U.S. courts to be fair and timely in reviewing international trade challenges. The Trump administration believes the U.S. court system should determine if American laws are being properly applied; if the panel decides they aren’t, the U.S. would have to refund the money collected.

A Canadian government official said Tuesday that Canada could decide to take its case to the WTO as well, in addition to the NAFTA challenge.

Canada and the United States are attempting to negotiate a new softwood deal that would dictate how much wood Canada can sell to the U.S. The last deal expired two years ago.

Thus far Canadian producers have been shielded from too much harm from the duties because of high market prices and the low Canadian dollar.

Embracing the Notch: How Are You Adapting to the Most Controversial iPhone X Design Decision?

The “notch,” or sensor housing on the iPhone X is the single most polarizing design decision Apple made when creating its new flagship smartphone. Some people hate the way the notch eats into the display, while others appreciate that extra bit of visible space.

Love it or hate it, the notch is here to stay until Apple finds a better way to integrate the TrueDepth camera system into its iPhone lineup. Luckily, while the notch can be disturbing at first, most people find it’s easy to become accustomed to. In the video below, we explore the notch, how it affects day to day iPhone X usage, how apps are compensating, and some ways to hide it.

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Prior to the iPhone X’s launch, the notch sparked a lot of discussion, much of it negative, but hate for the notch has died down as people have become used to Apple’s design choice.

Apple’s official policy is that developers and users should embrace the notch, and as apps have implemented designs that work around it, it’s blended into the background and become less noticeable in day to day use.

There are still apps that have yet to adapt to the notch, but as optimizations continue, it’ll disappear even further. Here at MacRumors, we’ve found that the notch isn’t really bothersome at all.

One exception might be landscape mode, as it’s more noticeable in that orientation when doing things like browsing Safari, watching YouTube videos, and playing games. Safari browsing is getting better, though, with a new Webkit API in iOS 11.2 that allows developers to design around the notch for a better full screen experience, and in the YouTube app, if you double tap on a video, it expands to a full screen mode that’s easier to watch.

For those who absolutely hate the notch, there are a couple of new apps like Notcho, designed to edit wallpapers to add a black bar to the top, effectively hiding it on the Home and Lock screen. Notcho doesn’t work within apps, though, and in our opinion, hiding the notch looks worse than accepting it.

Related Roundup: iPhone X
Buyer’s Guide: iPhone X (Buy Now)

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U.S. ITC Investigating Claims Apple Infringed on Patents Owned by Aqua Connect

The United States International Trade Commission today announced that it has launched an investigation into allegations that Apple infringed on patents owned by Aqua Connect.

Back in October, Aqua Connect and its subsidiary Strategic Technology partners filed complaints against Apple with the United States International Trade Commission and the District Court for the Central District of California accusing Macs, iOS devices, and Apple TVs of infringing on two of its patents.



The two patents in question include U.S. Patent RE46,386, “Updating a User Session in a Mach-derived Computer System Environment” and U.S. Patent 8,924,502, “System, Method and Computer Program Product for Updating a User Session in a Mach-derived System Environment.”

According to Aqua Connect, both of the patents relate to screen sharing, remote desktop, and terminal server technology. Aqua Connect says that it built the first remote desktop solution for the Mac in 2008, which Apple later built into its iOS and macOS products in the form of AirPlay and other functionality without permission.

“Aqua Connect invented and built the first fully functional remote desktop and terminal server solution for Mac in 2008,” said Ronnie Exley, CEO of Aqua Connect. “Initially, our product had Apple’s full support. But years later, Apple built our technology into its macOS and iOS operating systems without our permission. These lawsuits seek to stop Apple from continuing to use our technology in their macOS and iOS operating systems.”

Aqua Connect’s complaint with the International Trade Commission asks for an exclusion order and a cease and desist order that would bar Apple from importing its products into the United States. The ITC says it will be investigating “certain Apple Mac computers, iPhones, iPads, iPods, and Apple TVs.”

The investigation is based on a complaint filed by Aqua Connect, Inc., and Strategic Technology Partners, LLC, of Orange, CA, on October 10, 2017. The complaint alleges violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 in the importation into the United States and sale of certain personal computers, mobile devices, digital media players, and microconsoles that infringe patents asserted by the complainants. The complainants request that the USITC issue a temporary exclusion order and a temporary cease and desist order based on a motion for temporary relief, and that the USITC ultimately issue a limited exclusion order and a cease and desist order.

Aqua Connect’s patent infringement lawsuit separately accuses Apple of willful infringement and seeks damages.

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Turkey ‘appalled’ by U.S. stance on IS withdrawal from Raqqa: ministry

ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkey on Tuesday said it was appalled by the approach of the U.S. Department of Defense towards an agreement between the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia and Islamic State to withdraw Islamic State militants from the Syrian city of Raqqa.

Britain targets tech talent by doubling visa numbers

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain is to double the number of visas available to exceptional workers in areas like digital technology and science to 2,000 to help retain an edge after Brexit.

Buffett’s Berkshire slashes IBM stake, adds to Apple

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc has sold another large piece of its stake in IBM Corp , backing further away from an investment that the billionaire has admitted was not…

Buffett’s Berkshire slashes IBM stake, adds to Apple

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc has sold another large piece of its stake in IBM Corp , backing further away from an investment that the billionaire has admitted was not one of his best.