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April 22, 2012 | By Shane Goldmacher and Anthony York, Los Angeles Times
SACRAMENTO — As the sun set behind Monterey Bay on a cool night last year, dozens of the state's top lawmakers and lobbyists ambled onto the 17th fairway at Pebble Beach for a round of glow-in-the-dark golf. With luminescent balls soaring into the sky, the annual fundraiser known as the Speaker's Cup was in full swing. Lawmakers, labor-union champions and lobbyists gather each year at the storied course to schmooze, show their skill on the links and rejuvenate at a 22,000-square-foot spa. The affair, which typically raises more than $1 million for California Democrats, has been sponsored for more than a decade by telecommunications giant AT&T.
April 13, 2012 | By Marc Lifsher, Los Angeles Times
SACRAMENTO - A coalition led by AT&T Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc. is backing legislation that critics contend would strip the state Public Utilities Commission of its last vestige of regulatory power over basic land-line telephone service. The bill, authored by the powerful chairmen of the Senate and Assembly committees overseeing utilities, would ensure that state agencies have "no regulatory jurisdiction or control" over telephone calls that involve sending voice signals over the Internet.
April 10, 2012 | David Lazarus
Bill Robbins was having trouble with telemarketers. Even though his number is on the government's Do Not Call list, he was getting about four sales pitches a week. Exasperated, Robbins contacted his phone company, AT&T, and asked that his number be changed. "That tells you how irritated I was," he said. "It's a real nuisance to change your number. " Robbins, 82, of Eagle Rock, also specified that he didn't want AT&T sharing his new number with anyone who called the old one, and that he wanted his new number unlisted.
March 25, 2012 | Michael Hiltzik
For generations of industry research executives, AT&T's Bell Telephone Laboratories served as an inspiration: a warren of youthful scientists and engineers assigned to go where their intellects took them, not especially concerned about serving the corporate bottom line, picking up cartloads of Nobel Prizes along the way. Bell Labs was the model for, among others, Xerox Corp.'s legendary Palo Alto Research Center, or PARC, which spun out the personal computer,...
March 23, 2012 | Bloomberg News
AT&T Inc. got more than $16 million from the U.S. government to offer a calling service for the deaf that the company knew was being used by Nigerian fraudsters to steal from American merchants, the Justice Department said. The U.S., which intervened in a whistle-blower lawsuit in federal court in Pittsburgh, alleges that AT&T allowed an Internet-based phone system to be overrun by criminals and then improperly billed the U.S. to reimburse the calls in violation of the False Claims Act. As many as 95% of the calls in AT&T's hearing-impaired program were made by people outside the U.S. attempting to defraud merchants through the use of stolen credit cards, counterfeit checks and money orders, according to the complaint.
March 15, 2012 | David Lazarus
A week seldom goes by without someone forwarding me an email of dubious authenticity, typically appearing to be from some business urging you to log in to your account or perform some other transaction. Most such emails fall into the category of "phishing" - phony messages that are basically fishing trips by scammers seeking your personal information. It's a growing problem affecting millions of Internet users and hundreds of businesses. It's also becoming more difficult to spot phishing emails as frauds.
March 2, 2012 | By Nathan Olivarez-Giles, Los Angeles Times
AT&T, citing limited availability of wireless spectrum, said Thursday that it will slow upload and download connection speeds for mobile phone users who use too much data even though they signed up for an unlimited data plan. The carrier said speeds will slow for 3G (HSPA+) users who consume more than 3 gigabytes of data in a month. Users of 4G LTE phones will see their speeds slow when they exceed 5 gigabytes of data in a month. The latest move follows a policy change in June, when AT&T began slowing speeds for users in the top 5% of consumption.
February 12, 2012 | By Diane Pucin
Reporting from Pebble Beach -- Whether it was the 38-foot par putt that Phil Mickelson pounded in just after Tiger Woods had gotten everyone revved up with a birdie or Mickelson's spectacular eagle three on the par-five sixth hole, or Mickelson's sweet hug with wife Amy or her eagerly enthusiastic words, "What a round. Are you kidding me?" all the best moments Sunday belonged to Phil. Mickelson, 40, who had started the final round of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am tied for fourth place and six shots out of the lead, surged to a day's best of eight-under-par 64 to win his fourth Pebble Beach tournament and earn the 40th PGA Tour title of his career.
February 12, 2012 | Bill Dwyre
From Pebble Beach -- In the wake of Sunday's Tiger-Phil showdown at the Pebble Beach corral, one prevailing image emerges. It is of Phil Mickelson, standing over a coffin, hammer in hand, pounding down a final nail. Will Tiger Woods ever recover from this one? Can the 64-75 final-round beating that Woods took at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am be shrugged off as just another bad day, another step in the "process" that Tiger keeps talking about? It's one thing to have your brains beaten out, entirely another to have it happen when you are playing head to head, in the second-to-last pairing of a tournament that has a huge following, that is played in one of the most picturesque places in the world.
February 10, 2012 | By David Sarno, Los Angeles Times
The iPhone has been a huge hit for Apple Inc., helping send the company's stock to all-time highs and producing record-breaking profits. But for AT&T Inc., Sprint Nextel Corp. and Verizon Communications Inc., it's breaking the bank. The three wireless carriers all found themselves answering to Wall Street in recent weeks for posting depressed quarterly earnings, and analysts pointed to the heavy cost of offering the iPhone as a culprit. The iPhone has become the single most popular smartphone in the U.S., and that has left the carriers trapped in a kind of Faustian deal: The more iPhones they sell, the more money they lose.
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