Business Briefs – October 31, 2017

Tech Giants Defend Security Measures

WASHINGTON (AP) – Tech giants Facebook, Twitter and Google are defending their security measures and promising a Senate subcommittee they will do more to stop the misuse of their platforms by a foreign nation. Their testimony comes as revelations emerge that Russian-linked accounts reached many more American voters than previously thought.

Exxon Settles Pollution Case With Feds by Upgrading Eight Plants

DALLAS (AP) – Exxon settled air pollution charges by paying a $2.5 million penalty and spending $300 million to upgrade eight petrochemical plants. Federal officials say the settlement will prevent tons of harmful pollution in refining and chemicals plants in Texas and Louisiana.

New Kindle e-reader Now Waterproof

NEW YORK (AP) – Amazon’s top-of-the-line e-reader is now waterproof — an excellent feature for a $250-and-up investment. But don’t go scuba diving just yet — your Kindle Oasis might not survive. Waterproofing has limits and is designed for fresh water, and not too deep at that. An optional leather cover won’t resist water at all. And forget about reading. The touchscreen gets erratic when wet.

California Wildfire Insurance Claims Top $3.3 Billion

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – Property damage claims from a series of deadly October wildfires now exceed $3.3 billion, California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones said Tuesday.

The figure represents claims for homes and businesses insured by 15 companies and is more than triple the previous estimate of $1 billion. Jones said the number will continue to rise as more claims are reported.

The amount of claims now reported means that the fires caused more damage than California’s 1991 Oakland Hills fire, which was previously the state’s costliest, with $2.7 billion in damages in 2015 dollars, according to the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America.