How the "Varsity Blues" admissions scam punished deserving, hard working kids so that mediocre kids of the super-rich could prosper

Propublica's latest longread is ostensibly a profile of two kids who attended Orange County's Sage Hill School, where tuition runs $40,000/year and where an estimated 25% of students get into elite colleges thanks to their parents shelling out for "independent counsellors" who run the gamut from people who help with admissions essays and strategic donations to the schools of their choice all the way up to William "Rick" Singer, who pleaded guilty to collecting millions to grease the path for mediocre rich kids to attend elite colleges by bribing coaches. Read the rest

Samsung gives up on exploding cellphone, withdraws Galaxy Note 7 for good

The Wall Street Journal reports that Samsung is to withdraw the Galaxy Note 7 cellphone for good. Subject to recurring reports of fires, even after replacement, the dodgy smartphone's burned through users' pockets to threaten the Korean brand itself.

The New York Times describes it as a "a humbling about-face."

The demise of the Galaxy Note 7 is a major setback for Samsung, the world’s largest maker of smartphones. The premium device — with a 5.7-inch screen, curved contours and comparatively high price — won praise from consumers and reviewers, and was the company’s most ambitious effort yet to take on Apple for the high-end market.

But Samsung has struggled to address reports that the Galaxy Note 7 could overheat and catch fire because of a manufacturing flaw. Last month, the company said it would recall 2.5 million phones to fix the problem. But in recent days, Galaxy Note 7 users emerged with reports that some devices that had supposedly been repaired were overheating, smoking and even bursting into flames. And on Monday, Samsung asked Note 7 customers to power off the phones while it worked on the problem.

Previously: Southwest plane evacuated after Samsung Note 7 catches fire. It was a recall replacement. Read the rest

Samsung pauses production of exploding phone as retailers pull it from the shelves

The Samsung Galaxy should be renamed the Samsung Supernova: despite recall and replacement, the company's smartphones keep burning up in spectacular fashion. The Korean manufacturer has paused production and retailers are pulling it from the shelves, reports the BBC.

In a further blow, two US mobile networks have stopped replacing or selling the phone.

The AT&T and T-Mobile networks said they would no longer replace the devices in the US, while the latter said it would halt all sales of the phone. "While Samsung investigates multiple reports of issues, T-Mobile is temporarily suspending all sales of the new Note 7 and exchanges for replacement Note 7 devices," T-Mobile said on its website.

This Samsung phone led to a flight being evacuated

Meanwhile, AT&T said: "We're no longer exchanging new Note 7s at this time, pending further investigation of these reported incidents." It advised customers to exchange them for other devices.

Among the unlucky customers was Brian Green, who took the above photo of a Note 7 that wrought havoc on an airplane. Read the rest