Hands-free phone conversations are also distracting to drivers, gas prices are dropping below $3 in some places, and the inventors of LED technology get a Nobel Prize. Here are the top news stories of the day for Oct. 7, 2014.
Turner Cuts Jobs All Over
Turner Broadcasting Monday announced it is eliminating approximately 1,475 jobs in 18 different locations across all units of its operation. Turner Broadcasting is the parent company of CNN, TBS and TNT networks. The cuts will eliminate approximately 10 percent of the company’s workforce. Prior to the announcement, the company offered voluntary buyouts to 600 veteran employees in August. The job cuts will come from its news, entertainment, sports and business units and will include corporate positions as well. The company said it plans to add about 150 new positions in areas of investment and growth.
Gas Prices Continue to Drop
GasBuddy.com reports that 10 percent of the gas stations in the country are currently selling gasoline for less than $3 a gallon and that the price could drop below $3 for approximately 60 percent of the nation. “There is even a chance that people in California and the Pacific Northwest could see prices close to $3 a gallon later this fall,’’ said GasBuddy chief oil analyst Tom Kloza. Missouri is the first state where the average price of gas has dropped to $2.99 a gallon, and Columbia, Missouri has the cheapest gas in the nation at $2.97 per gallon. Nationally, prices have fallen by an average of 15 cents per gallon from last month to an average price of $3.29.
Hackers Aimed At Other Banks
When hackers breached the computer network at JPMorgan Chase this summer, they also attempted to get into the systems of other American financial institutions but were blocked, according to a story in the Wall Street Journal. Federal officials have asked financial institutions to check their systems to see if there were indications of a cyberattack and several said they found evidence of attempts to break in. Computer techs for those institutions said they saw traffic from a suspected hacker address but did not see any actual breaches occur. Federal officials remain cautious about the possibility of future hacking events at U.S. financial institutions, the story reports.
Hands Free Not Risk Free: AAA
So, you are not using your hands any more to conduct telephone conversations while driving. But you are still distracted, says AAA in a new study about driver safety amid modern technology. AAA says all of the voice-activated and electronic notifications increase the amount of distractions a driver has to deal with and thus increases the chances for an accident. "Hands-Free is not risk-free," said Peter Kissinger, president and CEO of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. "There's a misunderstanding many people have that they are not increasing their chances of an accident just because they are using voice-activated systems when driving." AAA said a study shows that reaction times of 167 drivers using voice-activated systems to change radio stations or make phone calls was slower than drivers not conducting similar actions. Any mental exercise required to operate systems in a car distract drivers, the AAA says.
Nobel Prize in Physics for LED
American Shoji Nakamura and Japanese scientists Isamu Akasaki and Hiroshi Amano were each awarded the 2014 Nobel Prize for Physics for inventing the LED light source. "With the advent of LED lamps we now have more long lasting and more efficient alternatives to older light sources," the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said in a statement awarding the approximately $1.1 million prize. Nobel awards have been handed out since 1901 and honor achievements in science, literature and peace in accordance with the stated desires of business tycoon Alfred Nobel.
IMF Downgrades Global Growth Forecast
Amid divergent economic forecasts around the world, the International Monetary Fund announced Tuesday it has downgraded its global growth forecast for the remainder of 2014 and all of 2015. The organization of 188 countries said world growth will come in at 3.3 percent in 2014, a drop of 0.1 percent from the forecast set in July, and 2015 growth is expected at 3.8 percent, down 0.2 percent from earlier projections. IMF Research director Olivier Blanchard said the economic recovery around the world was “weak and uneven’’ and noted that many countries are on “very different evolutions. Blanchard noted decent growth in both the United States and United Kingdom but said the potential growth was still lower than it was in the early 2000s.