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April 19, 2014 | By Bill Shaikin
The Dodgers play host to the Colorado Rockies on Friday, exactly two months after the launch of SportsNet LA. At this rate, there will be nothing to celebrate. For far too many fans, there will be no game to see. Vin Scully does not get SportsNet LA in his home. Peter O'Malley does not. Fred Claire does not. Claire was the general manager the last time the Dodgers won the World Series, in 1988. That was the year a cable television outfit called the Z Channel carried 35 Dodgers home games.
April 18, 2014 | By Mary MacVean
Just as consumers make their preferences for cereal flavors or pizzas known with dollars, they can choose to patronize companies that they believe do good in the world. And companies are competing for consumer attention with labels calling out their causes. But a product's claims to be providing clean drinking water to desert villages or saving an endangered species doesn't answer all the important questions. How much is donated? How reliable is the cause? The nonprofit organization B Lab gives companies a "B Corp" certification and icon that it says is a litmus test that gives shoppers confidence they're supporting more than good marketing.
April 14, 2014 | By Ryan Faughnder
Lionsgate has Katniss, Tris and Bella, and now it has another young-adult hero -- YouTube star Freddie Wong.  Lionsgate, the company best known for "The Hunger Games," "Twilight" and "Divergent," has made a multi-year deal with Wong's YouTube network RocketJump Studios to develop film, television and digital content, the companies said Monday. The deal gives Lionsgate access to RocketJump's coming video slate, talent and fans, and RocketJump will take advantage of Lionsgate's development and marketing abilities and add more long-form video to its growing roster of weekly shorts, podcasts and tutorials, the companies said.
April 13, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
The discovery of the Heartbleed bug, an online security flaw that's alarmingly widespread, was just the latest reminder of how vulnerable Internet users are to the mistakes made by others. In this case, a programming error in a supposedly secure Internet communications protocol allowed hackers to steal passwords, credit card details and other sensitive information from websites for up to two years before the problem was found. A new version that removed the bug quickly became available, but even if Internet users change their passwords and credit card numbers, their personal information will still be up for grabs until the websites they used for banking, shopping and services install the update.
April 12, 2014 | Robert Lloyd, Los Angeles Times Television Critic
This is not a review, exactly, of the new season of "Mad Men," its seventh and, depending on how you slice it, its last. In order to hang on to this jewel as long as is seemly, AMC will divide its 14 episodes into two parts, to conclude in 2015. It could dollop it out over 14 years, I suppose, each year bringing a single new hour, as precious as that new Wu-Tang album. But there is only so much the people will stand. This is also not a review partly because Matthew Weiner, whose creation this is, is finicky about spoilers - "finicky" doesn't really do it justice.
April 12, 2014 | By Craig Nakano
Oberon lost his thumb while in Los Angeles. With no warning, pop - it just fell off. Such are the dangers when you're a character in the Bristol Old Vic's latest production with the Handspring Puppet Company. The collaboration that turned skeletal steel and leather into "War Horse" is at it again, this time creating illusions for "A Midsummer Night's Dream" through Wednesday at the Broad Stage in Santa Monica with little more than wood and rubber bands. The rudimentary puppets in the show do get bashed and occasionally broken, said assistant stage manager Andy Guard, who performed emergency Oberon finger reattachment during the first week "Midsummer's Night" played in L.A. Some are essentially blocks of wood with no mechanical function, but others flutter and fly, as animated as the actors running onstage.
April 11, 2014 | By Kathleen Hennessey
WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration on Friday sanctioned six Crimean leaders, a former lawmaker from Ukraine and a natural gas company as it tried to ramp up pressure on Russia to de-escalate tensions over control of Ukraine. The Treasury Department identified the individuals as Crimean separatists and leading organizers of the March referendum approving the Crimean peninsula's secession from Ukraine. The U.S. and many European officials say the vote was unconstitutional and invalid.
April 10, 2014 | By Frank Shyong
The news that Irwindale has declared Sriracha hot sauce a public nuisance has set the Internet aflame, but a shortage is unlikely. Irwindale is expected to adopt a resolution labeling the smell of Sriracha production a public nuisance and declaring the company in violation of its development agreement. The resolution is expected to give Huy Fong Foods 90 days to fix the problem, according to city officials. But the company says it can fix the smell problem by June 1, which is well before that deadline.
April 9, 2014 | By Chris O'Brien
The "Heartbleed" software flaw that triggered alarm bells around the world could fundamentally undermine two decades' worth of efforts to persuade consumers they could trust the Web to securely handle such tasks as buying a pair of shoes and applying for a job. The discovery of a gaping hole in a piece of software that was supposed to protect personal information from hackers left websites rushing to fix the bug while consumers struggled to understand...
April 8, 2014 | By Ryan Faughnder
Nick Stepka knew what gift would make his daughter's third birthday a hit, and it wasn't a toy or doll. He gave her a tablet - not a sleek new iPad or a hand-me-down Samsung, but one specifically designed and marketed for little ones. It even came with a purple protective casing and loaded with kids' apps and games. "Her eyes lit up when she opened it," said Stepka, 34, a Shakopee, Minn., father of three. "Everything else got put to the side. " That's exactly what tablet makers and companies that create children's entertainment were hoping for. PHOTOS: Top 10 gadgets we want to see this year Stepka's household is part of a growing group of consumers for whom traditional children's toys and games are not enough.
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