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March 10, 2014 | Sandy Banks
I feel out of the cultural loop these days, as I try to follow the news. I can't wrap my mind around bitcoins and I'm not sure what an e-cig is. Pretend cigarettes? Virtual money? It's all too tech-centric for me. If you're also confused about the bitcoin system, here's how Wikipedia explains it: "Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer payment system and digital currency introduced as open source software in 2009.... It is a cryptocurrency, so-called because it uses cryptography to control the creation and transfer of money.
March 9, 2014 | By Christopher Chabris and Jonathan Wai
Laszlo Bock, the head of human resources at Google, made quite a splash with his announcement last year that the technology firm has changed the way it hires people. Gone are the brainteaser-style interview questions that so many candidates abhorred. But also gone, it would seem, is any concern with discovering how smart applicants really are. "GPAs are worthless as a criteria for hiring, and test scores are worthless.... We found that they don't predict anything," Bock told the New York Times.
March 7, 2014 | By Ruben Vives
Five suspected White Power gang members were arrested Wednesday on suspicion of breaking into Eastside High School in Lancaster and stealing more than $15,000 in property and causing about $22,000 in damage to classrooms. In a statement, Los Angeles County sheriff's investigators said they arrested David Van Rossum, 18, and four others between the ages of 15 to 17 on suspicion of burglary and felony vandalism. Rossum is being held in lieu of $20,000 bail. One 17-year-old juvenile was taken to Sylmar Juvenile Detention Center.
March 6, 2014 | By Abby Sewell
Personal data of as many as 168,500 patients of Los Angeles County medical facilities may have been stolen in a break-in at a county contractor's office last month. A Torrance office of Sutherland Healthcare Solutions, which handles billing and collections for the county's Department of Health Services and Department of Public Health, was burglarized Feb. 5 and computer equipment was stolen, according to a county statement issued Thursday. The computers contained data including patients' first and last names, Social Security numbers and certain medical and billing information, and they may also have included birth dates, addresses and diagnoses.
March 2, 2014 | By Tony Barboza
El Niño, nature's most powerful influence on weather around the globe, has been in a lull for two years. But indications suggest that could change as early as fall. Since spring 2012, the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean has not warmed enough to create an El Niño. Nor has it cooled to form a La Niña. Instead, it has lingered in an in-between state some experts call "La Nada. " Though it is too early to predict with much certainty, scientists say their observations and computer models show increasing signs of El Niño's return, which might portend more rain for California.
February 26, 2014 | By Patrick McGreevy
SACRAMENTO -- A computer project to modernize the way the state of California manages its finances will take 12 months longer to complete and cost $55.8 million more than originally budgeted, the state auditor warned Wednesday. The Financial Information System for California project is aimed at coordinating and improving state government activity on budgeting, accounting, procurement and cash management. A decision to change the way the project is implemented to reduce risk and increase the probability of its success has increased its price tag from $616.8 million to $672.6 million and added a year to its schedule, State Auditor Elaine Howle said in a letter to Gov. Jerry Brown and leaders of the Legislature.
February 18, 2014 | By Hugo Martín
United Airlines' computer systems shut down briefly Tuesday, delaying takeoffs and frustrating passengers. The system problems that began in the morning represented the latest malfunction for the nation's third-largest carrier since United switched over to the computer systems of merger partner Continental Airlines starting in 2012. In a statement, the airline said: "This morning we experienced intermittent issues with our passenger service computer system, causing some flight delays.
February 14, 2014 | By Ken Dilanian
WASHINGTON - Three people at the National Security Agency have been implicated in Edward Snowden's efforts to copy classified material, including a civilian employee who resigned last month after acknowledging he allowed Snowden to use his computer ID, according to an NSA memo sent to Congress. The other two were an active-duty member of the military and a civilian contractor. The memo does not describe their conduct, but says they were barred from the NSA and its systems in August.
February 13, 2014 | By Michael Ordoña
Spike Jonze's idiosyncratic risk-taking has been rewarded with broad acclaim throughout his career, including two Directors Guild of America nods and four Oscar nominations (three this year alone for "Her"). Still, he's not immune to doubt. "To be honest, in editing, there's always periods where I feel like the movie is never gonna work," he says. "'It's a noble idea, but ultimately a flawed idea.' Usually it'll go away after a week or so and I'll be excited about the movie again.
February 12, 2014 | By Eryn Brown
In December, Ben Villarreal graduated with a bachelor's degree from Samuel Merritt University's nursing program in Oakland. In short order, he received two job offers at UC hospitals with programs for new graduates. But with less than a month to go before his start dates, the 22-year-old said he is concerned that he could lose both promising opportunities. As of mid-February, California's Board of Registered Nursing still hadn't given him the go-ahead to take the nursing exam needed to get his license and start a new job. "I've been told my application is on my evaluator's desk with hundreds of others," he said.
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