The New Market for Drones: Farming?
While Americans are abuzz about Amazon's plans to use self-guided drones to deliver packages, most future unmanned aircraft may operate far from large population centers.
Experts point to agriculture as the most promising commercial market for drones because the technology is a perfect fit for large-scale farms and rural areas where privacy and safety issues are less of a concern.
Already, farmers, researchers and companies are developing unmanned aircraft equipped with cameras and sensors to survey crops, monitor for disease or precision-spray pesticides and fertilizers.
Farmers say the technology could revolutionize agriculture by boosting crop health, improving field management practices, reducing costs and increasing yields.
The Federal Aviation Administration does not allow drones' commercial use. But next year, the agency plans to propose a rule for small unmanned aircraft.
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The New Market for Drones: Farming?
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Last Update on August 28, 2015 08:52 GMT
ECONOMY-THE DAY AHEAD
WASHINGTON (AP) -- As the trading week winds down, stock investors won't be getting much more economic news from the government.
There is, however, one report today that could move the markets a bit. The Commerce Department will release its report on personal income and spending for July.
BEIJING (AP) -- An American business group has urged to China to allow more access to its insurance and other service industries, saying foreign skills could help develop its volatile stock markets and cope with disasters like the recent chemical explosion in Tianjin.
The American Chamber of Commerce in China said Friday allowing more foreign competitors into banking, logistics and other markets would support the communist leadership's plans to nurture service industries and reduce reliance on trade and investment to drive economic growth.
The group's deputy chairman, Lester Ross, pointed to China's stock market plunge and the Aug. 12 explosion in Tianjin that killed at least 145 people, and said bringing in more global expertise could help to develop financial markets and reduce the impact of disasters.
TOKYO (AP) -- Japan reports that its inflation rate fell slightly in July while household spending also edged lower, though incomes were boosted by higher bonus payments.
The government reported Friday that the inflation rate in July was 0.2 percent, compared with 0.4 percent in June. Core inflation excluding volatile food prices was flat. Price increases moderated with the fall in oil prices.
Household spending fell 0.2 percent in real terms on an annual basis, though incomes rose 5.4 percent in real terms, likely thanks to semi-annual bonus payments.
Japan's economy contracted 1.6 percent in April-June, but many economists are forecasting a renewed expansion in the current quarter. So far, the consumer spending that accounts for most of Japan's growth has failed to pick up much despite modest increases in some workers' wages.
FACEBOOK-ONE BILLION A DAY
NEW YORK (AP) -- For the first time, a billion people used Facebook in a single day on Monday.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg marked the occasion with a post on his Facebook page, saying that one out of seven people on Earth logged in to the social network to connect with their friends and family.
The 1 billion figure is different from the daily user numbers Facebook discloses each quarter when it reports its financial results. Those are the average number of daily users, counted over a 30-day period. Facebook had 968 million daily active users in June.
Overall, Facebook has nearly 1.5 billion users who log in at least once a month. It hit the 1 billion user milestone in October 2012. Most people on Facebook live outside the U.S. and Canada.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Amgen Inc. has won approval for the second medicine in a new class of biotech drugs that reduce artery-clogging cholesterol more than older statin drugs that have been used for decades.
The drug Repatha could eventually help millions of Americans who face increased risks of heart disease because they cannot control their cholesterol with existing drugs. But concerns about the injectable medication's price tag and long-term benefits will likely limit its use in the near term.
The Food and Drug Administration said Thursday it approved the drug for two groups of patients. First, for patients with extremely high levels of bad cholesterol due to an inherited disorder. Second, for patients with a history of heart attack and stroke who are not able to control their cholesterol levels with older drugs.
CONTACT LENS LAWSUIT
DENVER (AP) -- Contact lens makers struggled Thursday to defend their pricing policies in a federal appeals case that could have wide-ranging effects on the $4 billion industry.
At issue is a Utah law banning minimum prices for contact lenses. The nation's largest contact lens companies asked the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver Thursday to strike down the measure. They say it was crafted just to help a homegrown discounter, 1 800 Contacts.
But a three-judge panel grilled the contact lens lawyers about why they don't simply stop doing business in Utah if they insist on price minimums.
A lawyer for Utah accused the contact lens makers of nationwide price-fixing and said that lens prices would drop as much as 35 percent nationally if the manufacturers dropped price minimums.
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