Business briefs: 'Second Life' crisis

Virtual-world game “Second Life” was struck with a financial crisis following a July 25 ban on gambling within the game that threatened to undermine the virtual currency used by players. John Zdanowsky, chief financial officer at San Francisco’s Linden Labs, operator of the game, said he enacted currency controls similar to those used in real world economies.

MECHANIZED FARMING

With authorities promising tougher border tactics, farmers who rely on immigrant labor are eyeing an emerging generation of fruit-picking robots and high-tech tractors designed to do everything from pluck premium wine grapes to clean and core lettuce. Such machines could become essential for harvesting delicate fruits and vegetables that are still picked by hand.

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