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Caught off guard by accusations that its mice and other hardware products are being produced under prison-like conditions, Microsoft said it has officials on their way to China to see for themselves if the allegations are true.
The allegations regarding a Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) overseas manufacturing contractor surfaced in a report issued this week by the not-for-profit National Labor Committee, a global labor watchdog.
The NLC is perhaps best known for helping to blow the whistle in 1996on sweatshop labor used to make Kathie Lee Gifford’s line of clothing.
This latest NLC report said KYE, a Microsoft contract manufacturer in Dongguan, China, works teenaged employees as many as 15 hours a day and six to seven days a week, putting them up in squalid dorms and paying as little as $0.52 an hour after deductions for factory food that must be consumed basically on the run.
Microsoft’s Vendor Code of Conduct clearly states that contractors must pay “living wages under humane conditions.”
The report has apparently gotten Microsoft’s attention.
“As a result of this report, we have a team of independent auditors en route to the facility to conduct a complete and thorough investigation. If we find that the factory is not adhering to our standards, we will take appropriate action,” Brian Tobey, corporate vice president for manufacturing and operations in Microsoft’s Entertainment and Devices Division, said in a blog postThursday.
The NLC’s report characterizes KYE’s working conditions as “monotonous, numbing and exhausting.”
“Twenty or 30 workers on a line must complete 2,000 Microsoft mice in 12 hours. The workers’ hands and fingers are constantly moving, many suffering abrasions and cuts, since the connectors must be inserted very closely together. Once workers meet the production goal, management raises it,” the NLC report said.
Turnover is high, with few workers lasting two years. But many work the hours for six months or more, suffering indignities such as no bathroom breaks during a shift, and public scoldings for dropping parts on the floor, in order to save for marriage or to help support their families, according to the report.
The NLC is alleging that KYE hires mostly women and that sexual harassment is common, while workers, although often in the range of 16 to 18 years old, can be as young as 14 or 15, both practices that are banned in Microsoft’s contracts.
For its part, Microsoft claims that it hires independent auditors to annually inspect factories where its products are made to keep them up to international labor guidelines.
“In addition, Microsoft personnel conduct quarterly on-site assessments, and … no incidence of child labor has been detected. Worker overtime has been significantly reduced, and worker compensation is in line with the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition standards for the Dongguan area,” Tobey said.
“We will have monitors on site pending the results of the inspection. We will take all appropriate steps to ensure the fair treatment of the KYE workers,” he added.
Microsoft has run into noncompliance issues in China more than once recently, including one incident when a third-party Chinese contractor allegedly stole copyrighted program code to incorporate into a Microsoft product.
Stuart J. Johnston is a contributing writer at chúng tôi the news service of chúng tôi the network for technology professionals.
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Bad breath also known as halitosis may be embarrassing, but in some cases, it may even cause anxiety. There are several health conditions, foods, and habits that are the main causes of bad breath. In several cases, you may improve bad breath with consistent proper dental hygiene. The main cause of bad breath is poor dental health habits which may be also a symptom of other health problems. If you have a problem with persistent bad breath in your mouth, then it can be also a symptom of gum disease. Gum disease is mainly or commonly caused by the buildup of plaque on the teeth. If gum disease is not treated, then it may harm the jawbone and the gums.
If you do not brush your teeth regularly then food particles may remain in your mouth and encourage bacterial growth between teeth around the gums that causes bad breath. Chewing or smoking tobacco may also cause bad breath, decrease your capability to taste foods, irritate the gums, and stain teeth. There are several other dental causes of bad breath are yeast infections of the cavities and mouth and poor fitting dental appliances. Many other diseases may cause bad breath such as diabetes, seasonal allergies, gastrointestinal issues, kidney or liver problems, chronic lung infections, and many more.Find out these 9 Conditions Your Breath Can Reveal
There are several conditions your breath can reveal are discussed below –
GERD May Cause Bad Breath – There are several digestive conditions including gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and acid reflux may cause bad breath. If food does not move through the digestive system, then it may start to decay thus less amount of undigested food can even vomit which causes bad breath. During the condition of acid reflux, it makes stomach acid flow the wrong way back into the tube which links the throat to the stomach that causes a sour smell.
Fishy Breath May be a Symptom of Kidney Failure – A fishy-odor urine smell bad breath that is similar to ammonia which can indicate kidney failure in the human body. The main work of kidneys in the human body is to remove toxic chemicals from the blood by creating urine. In the case of kidney failure, the kidneys become so damaged that they are not capable of filtering toxic chemicals and waste products from the blood in the human body. If this condition occurs then the toxic chemicals and waste products are not discharged and may accumulate nearly in each part of the human body. In this way, the fishy smell may occur if the kidneys fail which affects the respiratory system and can cause breathing problems.
Postnasal and Allergies May Drip Lead to Foul Breath – Many respiratory tract infections such as sinusitis, flu, and bronchitis are very common causes of bad breath. These three respiratory tract infections may send mucus that is filled with bacteria through your mouth and nose which may cause bad breath. The nasal congestion can force one to breathe through the mouth which may lead to the growth of bacteria and can cause foul bad breath.
Smoking causes foul breath – If you smoke regularly then it may cause a foul smell through the mouth. Smoking is mainly based on tobacco that yellows your teeth and increases the risk of gum disease and mouth cancer.
Sleep apnea may cause bad breath– After a night of sleeping, morning breath may be normal before brushing the teeth. During sleep, saliva production reduces gives odor-producing bacteria and provides an opportunity to multiply and grow. However, the slow production of saliva throughout sleep may be occasionally caused by leaving the mouth open for a long time. Individuals with sleep disorders such as snoring and sleep apnea can cause difficulty in breathing through the nose and are more probably to breathe through their mouths which causes bad breath.
Breath Tests May Diagnose Lung Cancer – There are several lung infections including tuberculosis, pneumonia, pulmonary abscess, bronchitis, and emphysema may also cause bad breath. Generally, lung cancer causes a distinct bad breath and now the bad breath is being used in early detection. Individuals with asthma are more probably suffer from dry mouth because asthma restricts airflow thus, they breathe through their mouth which may cause bad breath.
Bad breath due to sinus – Bad breath may also be caused by microbial infections, growth, build the sinuses. Sinus is the inflammation of the nasal sinuses which can be a short-term acute inflammation that is also caused by an infection. Nasal polyps are jelly-like and soft which can also block the airway and lead to sinus infection. This type of infection may cause bad breath due to run-over of post-nasal drip. Thus, post-nasal drip, sinusitis, and nasal polyps are the main causes of bad breath because they promote the build-up of foreign objects, microbes, ad many more which may cause bad breath.
Bad breath due to Tonsil Stones – Bad breath can also be caused by tonsil stones or tonsillitis. Bad breath is also associated with tonsilitis which may occur in recurrent and acute chronic forms of tonsilitis. Sometimes, food debris, mucus, bacteria, and dead cells can get trapped in the crevices in the tonsils may build up, and finally, calcify to form tonsils stones. Tonsil infection may also cause bad breath and is the main indicator of a tonsil stone.Conclusion
If you have a bad breath issue then it may be embarrassing in society, office, college, any occasion, and many more. But bad breath may also link with severe diseases that are discussed in this blog. So, if you had a bad breath issue for a long time then immediately visit a doctor for a normal checkup.
In the ongoing Battle for Ramadi, an Iraqi Security Force CH-4 drone attacked an Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) artillery position on December 6, 2023. This is the first documented use of a Chinese-made armed drone in Iraq.
One Giant Leap for Iraq
In addition to fire support, Iraq’s CH-4 drones are invaluable aerial reconnaissance assets. This footage shot by a CH-4 shows an ISIS encampment near Ramadi, seconds before the drone’s missile smashes the terrorists.
The CH-4, built by Chinese Aerospace and Technology Corporation, is a medium altitude, long endurance UAV with a payload of 350kg. Previously, the Iraqi Ministry of Defense released an October 2023 video showcasing its CH-4 drones, in a propaganda move apparently aimed at rebuilding Iraqi morale in the lead up to the Ramadi operations.
The KD-9, which shares similar technology to the larger KD-10 and HJ-10 anti-tank guided missiles, is likely one of the primary weapons carried by the CH-4 for counterterrorist missions.
Judging by the video taken from the CH-4’s camera, the precision guided munition fired at ISIS forces is likely to be an anti-tank missile, such as a HJ-10 derivative. While the Iraqi Air Force’s manned strike aviation assets are scarce enough that ISF units often depend on American and Iranian support, the long loiter time and precision weaponry of armed drones give small Iraqi units flexible and rapid response fire support to exploit sudden battlefield conditions.
This CH-4 drone is carrying two satellite guided bombs on its inner pylons, and two Blue Arrow 7/9 anti-tank missiles on the outer pylons. The CH-4’s electro-optical sensor turret is retracted in flight, under the fuselage, to reduce drag.
Previously, armed Chinese-made drones have been flown by the Nigerian armed forces against Boko Haram terrorists, while Chinese UCAV technology may have also been employed in Pakistan and Yemen. With China becoming the world’s third largest arms exporter last year, videos like the Ramadi strike show how Chinese weapons aren’t just trade tools to earn cash and spread influence, but also are beginning to shape today’s ongoing conflicts.
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Yahoo Wants Collective Action Against Chinese Web Regulations
A report in today’s Financial Times says, “Yahoo has called for broad co-operation among internet, media and communication companies and the US government to counter Chinese censorship on the web.”
The company is calling on the other tech giants, along with the US Government to take a harder, collective stand against Chinese Government censorship of the web.
Along with rivals Google, MSN and Cisco Systems, Yahoo has drawn a lot of flak from human rights activists and values based western businesses for appearing to give in to Chinese Government demands regarding the censoring of information and for providing information on China based users.
Yahoo has faced a great deal of criticism after information it gave the Chinese Government in at least two instances resulted in prison terms for Chinese bloggers. Last week, the press freedom organization Reporters Sans Frontieres (RSF) called on Yahoo to supply a list of all cyber dissidents it has provided various governments data on, starting with 81 people in China.
In its release, RSF said, “The firm (Yahoo) says it simply responds to requests from the authorities for data without ever knowing what it will be used for. But this argument no longer holds water. Yahoo certainly knew it was helping to arrest political dissidents and journalists, not just ordinary criminals. The company must answer for what it is doing at the US congressional hearing set for February 15.”
Michael Callaghan, Yahoo’s general counsel told the Financial Times, “This is everyone’s dilemma, operate in a country and comply with laws that lack transparency, or withdraw. No one company, no one industry can tackle this on its own. We very much look forward to taking this to Washington.”
Yahoo’s basic dilemma is this. They are required to follow the law of the land in which they operate or leave. Leaving is, of course, not an option, especially with direct rivals Google and MSN competing their way into the Chinese space. Yahoo is not going to make sacrifices on its own unless every other player agrees to make similar sacrifices. That seems natural. Would you want to be on the management team explaining to shareholders the details of a sudden, unilateral exit from the fastest growing market in the world?
Yahoo appears to be taking a moral stand, one that is a long time in coming. It will be very interesting to hear their Congressional testimony on Wednesday February 15. It will also be interesting to see if other western businesses who profess to value freedom of speech and freedom of information heed Yahoo’s call for collective action.
Jim Hedger, Search Engine News Writer – Jim Hedger is a writer, speaker and search engine marketing expert working for StepForth Search Engine Placement in Victoria BC. He has worked as an SEO for over 5 years and welcomes the opportunity to share his experience through interviews, articles and speaking engagements.
Also Read: GARTNER: Overall Smartphone Shipments Dropped By 20.4% In Q2, 2023
Those who know the smartphone industry specifications, should know that smartphone production is mainly divided into three modes. The first is the OEM mode, that is, the smartphone manufacturer completely produces according to the customer’s design and functional requirements. Obviously, the products are sold under the customer’s brand. The second is the ODM model, that is, the original design manufacturer. The smartphone product structure, appearance, and craftsmanship are all independently developed by the smartphone manufacturer. After the customer places an order, the product is going on production. The product is sold under the customer’s brand. The third is the IDH model. There are independent design companies that are engaged in design and research and development activities. So they get many orders from smartphone brands. After getting approval for the suggested variants, they send them to the production. Among them, ODM is the most important kind of existence.Chinese ODM Smartphone Manufacturers Performance
According to data from well-known market research institutions IHS and Omdia, in 2023 and 2023, smartphone shipments of Chinese ODM smartphone manufacturers increased by -9% and +2%, higher than the -11% and -8% growth rate of smartphones in China. Among them, at present, Huawei, OPPO and Xiaomi and other domestic smartphone brands all have a certain percentage of models that are shipped in the form of ODM. It is worth noting that VIVO does not have models produced by OEMs. So what is the current proportion of Chinese smartphone OEMs?
In September this year, there was a special report titled ‘Chinese Smartphone Brands Fighting the World’. The latter mentioned the ‘ODM smartphone shipment ratio of major OEMs and ‘main ODM Partners’. Lenovo’s ODM shipments accounted for 89%. Xiaomi ranked second with 74% mark. OPPO ranked third with 51%. Huawei ranked fourth, accounting for 18%. VIVO is not on the list because there is no foundry model, which means that its ODM model ratio is zero.
Judging from the ranking of the list, there are many expected and unexpected results. For example, Huawei, Xiaomi, and Lenovo have been expected to be on the list. As a technology company with more than 30 years of development history, Huawei uses switches as its starting point.Gizchina News of the week
Join GizChina on TelegramXiaomi Is Joining The Race
However, in August this year, the Xiaomi opened the so-called Smart Factory. This so-called ‘black light factory’ is an automated unmanned production that can realize the entire factory production management process, mechanical processing process, and packaging, storage and transportation process. In other words, on the basis of continuing to cooperate sincerely with the foundry, Xiaomi began to participate in the manufacturing industry. It not only self-develops a large number of high-end equipment but also designs and completes a fully automated high-end smartphone production line. The Xiaomi Mi 10 Ultra transparent model is the first generation of smart factory product.
As for why Lenovo accounts for 89%, it’s easier to understand. From the beginning of its establishment, Lenovo has always followed the ‘trade, industry and technology’ route. In other words, it is doing business first to achieve certainty, to survive, to develop new technologies and new products and to sell them to find new profit growth points. Many of its products rely on OEMs for processing and outsourcing processing.
However, what is more surprising is that OPPO accounts for as high as 51%.The Bottom Line
In fact, many people don’t know that today’s smartphone foundries in China are already among the top in the world. This is why most of Apple’s iPhones are manufactured by Foxconn, and Samsung also chooses Chinese foundries for some models. Now, we know that Huawei and Xiaomi have a certain degree of overlap in foundries. This also confirms the hard power of Chinese smartphone foundries. We can expect that in the future, the entire smartphone industry will still maintain the two modules of self-developed factories and foundries. And ODM manufacturers, as the backbone of them, are also helping Chinese smartphone brands to compete globally.
Two prominent House Democrats are calling on the Federal Communications Commission to impose conditions to preserve affordable broadband service and fair access to online content on any approval of the merger of Comcast and NBC Universal.
Rep. Henry Waxman, the California Democrat who chairs the Energy and Commerce Committee, sent a letter to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski on Tuesday asking him to impose what would amount to net neutrality rules barring the combined entity from giving its own online video content favorable delivery over competitors.
“The combination of Comcast and NBCU will give the nation’s largest cable TV company and broadband provider control of a massive catalogue of content, channels and household Internet connections,” Waxman said. “Video programming and Internet distribution will be inextricably intertwined to an unprecedented degree.”
The proposed $30 billion combination is currently under separate reviews at the FCC and Justice Department.
Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) penned a separate letter to Genachowski this week warning that the merged company might raise the prices for standalone broadband service as a way to compel subscribers to pay for a bundled TV and Internet package.
“With customers increasingly using their broadband connections to access video content online, control of both the content and the conduit through which it is delivered would provide Comcast the ability to make ‘cutting the cord’ less financially attractive to consumers, undermining competition and choice,” Markey wrote.
Markey also raised similar concerns to Waxman’s about the incentive the combined entity might have to discriminate against rival Web video content.
“We thank Chairman Waxman for joining other Congressional leaders in calling on the regulatory agencies to conclude their review of our transaction before year end,” Fitzmaurice said in an email to chúng tôi “This deal will bring significant benefits for consumers, independent programmers and diversity groups, and the sooner approvals are concluded, the sooner these benefits will be seen in the marketplace. We continue to work with the regulatory agencies on the issues identified by Chairman Waxman.”
Waxman and Markey both warned of an array of other potential consumer harms that could arise from the merger, including unfavorable carriage pricing for unaffiliated cable stations and independent channels that could limit programming choice.
The calls for conditions on the Comcast-NBC merger come more than a year after the proposed transaction was first announced, and just days ahead of a scheduled FCC vote on net neutrality rules. Genachowski billed his plan to a vote on the net neutrality item at the agency’s Dec. 21 meeting as a compromise that would back away from an earlier proposal to reclassify broadband access as a regulated telecommunications service, an idea that drew vehement opposition from the phone and cable industries.
Comcast has endorsed the new plan, though the two Republican FCC commissioners have panned it as unwarranted regulatory overreach, a view echoed by many GOP lawmakers, including Michigan’s Fred Upton, who yesterday received the nod from the Republican Steering Committee to chair the Energy and Commerce Committee, replacing Waxman in the 112th Congress.
Upton campaigned for the chairmanship on a hard-line conservative platform, pledging to lead the effort to repeal President Obama’s health-care reform bill and, among other things, call Genachowski to task for what he described as an over-zealous regulatory agenda. As word began to leak out last month that the FCC was renewing its efforts to enact net neutrality rules, Upton called on the agency to “stand down,” promising that Genachowski “will soon be a familiar face on Capitol Hill” as the committee launches a rigorous oversight process.
Kenneth Corbin is an associate editor at chúng tôi the news service of chúng tôi the network for technology professionals.
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