January 19, 2014 |
SEATTLE - The new year is shaping up to be one of the marijuana movement's strongest ever. The first legal pot storefronts in America opened to long lines in Colorado 20 days ago. Washington state is poised to issue licenses for producing, processing and selling the Schedule I drug - once officials sift through about 7,000 applications. Signature gatherers have been at work in at least five states, including California, to put marijuana measures on the ballot in 2014. On Wednesday, organizers announced they had gathered more than 1 million signatures in favor of putting a medical marijuana measure before voters in Florida, a high-population bellwether that could become the first Southern state to embrace pot. "Florida looks like the country as a whole," said Ben Pollara, campaign manager for the Sunshine State's effort.
January 16, 2014 |
If, as has been said, the movie business is like a giant tanker ship that can't change course on a dime, this year's Oscar nominations show an organization in the midst of making that kind of adjustment in direction, moving slowly but steadily from the past to the future. Imagine a world where movie stars of the pedigree of Robert Redford and Tom Hanks give two of the best performances of their careers but don't get Oscar nominations. On the other hand, imagine a world where the stunning "Stories We Tell," Sarah Polley's ground-breaking documentary that mixes re-creations with reality, is snubbed.
January 16, 2014 |
SACRAMENTO - California regulators decided Thursday not to consider the need for tougher privacy protection for smartphone users. In a 3-2 vote, the Public Utilities Commission denied a petition from consumer groups asking it to investigate the need for stronger privacy standards. It would have been the PUC's first attempt to update 2-decade-old phone privacy protections in effect since the dawn of the hand-held cellphone era. Siding with phone companies, Commissioner Mark J. Ferron opposed new privacy regulations and said there was "a lack of documented examples of actual breaches of customer privacy.
January 10, 2014 |
Businesses have the tools and know-how to keep our personal information safe. They just don't do it. "It's expensive," said Nick Mancini, a partner at Tech Consultants, a Woodland Hills information technology firm. And that, in a nutshell, is why big companies that should know better routinely issue red-faced notices that they've been hacked and that customers' confidential info is on the loose. Target took it on the chin again Friday when it revealed that up to 110 million customers - not just the 40 million it originally reported - may have had their names, addresses, credit and debit card numbers and other information stolen.
January 2, 2014 |
Sometimes, when adapting history for the big screen, a few fabrications are required. Take, for example, Irving Rosenfeld, the schlubby Bronx huckster Christian Bale plays in the period caper "American Hustle. " A consummate swindler with a fondness for jewel-toned velvet jackets and an outrageously bad toupee, the character is inspired by real-life con man Melvin Weinberg. But the actor is careful to point out that they are not the same person. "Mel would absolutely kick me ... if I ever said it was him," Bale, 39, said with a grin.
December 26, 2013 |
Santa Anita Park couldn't have ordered up nicer weather Thursday for the traditional day-after-Christmas start to its winter/spring meeting. "We always come to opening day," said Virginia Derossi of Manhattan Beach as she and her family basked in 80-degree sunshine next to the paddock area. "It's just our holiday tradition. " For horse racing fans, Santa Anita's opening - which drew a healthy 30,540 spectators - also was a welcome antidote to the final race Sunday at the 75-year-old Betfair Hollywood Park track, which is set to close.