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August 17, 2008 | David Colker, Times Staff Writer
When it comes to choosing broadband Internet providers, you can't always get what you want. But with certain limitations, you can get what you need. If you use the Internet regularly, chances are you already have broadband -- that is, a high-speed hookup, usually through your cable television provider or phone company. But are you getting it at the right speed and right price? There are more choices than ever, even though you typically have to go with a provider that serves your neighborhood.
April 25, 2014 | Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON -- Consumer confidence rebounded sharply this month to near a post-Great Recession high since 2007 as Americans were more positive about their financial situation and outlook for the economy, according to a leading private barometer released Friday. The monthly consumer sentiment index from the University of Michigan and Thomson Reuters, which is watched closely by economists and investors, rose to 84.1 from 80 the previous month. The jump surprised economists, who had expected a smaller increase to 82.5.
July 26, 1989 | LESLIE BERKMAN, Times Staff Writer
That envelope stuffed with discount coupons may be junk mail to you, but it's become a cost-effective way for a growing number of small businesses to get inside your home to peddle their products. It has also become a gold mine for Money Mailer, a Huntington Beach direct-mail firm that specializes in helping proprietors of small businesses band together to pitch their wares in one mailing. Money Mailer is one of a few national firms that specialize in what is called "cooperative" advertising.
April 25, 2014 | By Ralph Vartabedian
As temperatures plunged to 16 below zero in Chicago in early January and set record lows across the eastern U.S., electrical system managers implored the public to turn off stoves, dryers and even lights or risk blackouts. A fifth of all power-generating capacity in a grid serving 60 million people went suddenly offline, as coal piles froze, sensitive electrical equipment went haywire and utility operators had trouble finding enough natural gas to keep power plants running. The wholesale price of electricity skyrocketed to nearly $2 per kilowatt hour, more than 40 times the normal rate.
July 7, 2010 | By P.J. Huffstutter, Los Angeles Times
The federal government has become serious about virginity — at least when it comes to olive oil. Propelled by complaints about slippery food purveyors selling low-end product as high-end goods, or olive oils being doctored with cheaper canola, safflower or peanut oils, the U.S. Department of Agriculture this fall will roll out new standards to help ensure that consumers buying "100% extra virgin" olive oil get what they pay for. ...
February 25, 2014 | By Ricardo Lopez
Consumer confidence retreated in February as fewer Americans expressed optimism about near-term economic conditions, the Conference Board reported Tuesday. The consumer confidence index fell to 78.1, down from 79.4 in January. The drop was primarily in its expectations index -- which measures consumers' expectations of economic activity in the next six months.  The survey found that consumers had "concern over the short-term outlook for business conditions, jobs and earnings,” said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators.
February 15, 2013 | by Walter Hamilton
Consumer sentiment rebounded solidly early in February after a disappointing showing the previous two months, according to a survey released Friday. The monthly Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index rose to 76.3, up from 73.8 in January. Quiz: How much do you know about looming federal budget cuts? The readings in December and January were weighed down by Americans' concerns about the potential drag from the so-called fiscal cliff, which federal lawmakers averted with a last-minute deal.
May 22, 2012 | By Joe Flint
BOSTON - A new generation of consumers who have little regard for historical distribution systems will be what drives media companies to rethink their role as gatekeepers to content. "It always seems to be about the kids," said filmmaker Ed Burns who has taken to releasing his movies on non-theatrical platforms, including Apple's iTunes, and on video-on-demand. Speaking at the National Cable Telecommunications Assn. here, Burns said that young people today "are not nostalgic for the way we consumed entertainment.
June 19, 2001
Regarding the bills in front of our legislators and the last line of your June 17 editorial, "A Break for Joe Consumer": "Surely lawmakers care more about protecting consumers against major fraud than about maximizing these companies' revenue. Surely." I have but one thing to say. I'll see it; then I'll believe it. Eden Rosen Burbank
September 13, 2003
Re "Nickel-and-Diming Us," editorial, Sept. 8: The Times advocates that consumers get up in arms and fuss loudly if they are overcharged at the checkout. This is bad advice. Checkout rage should be discouraged at all costs. I also find it curious that The Times doesn't encourage honesty by telling consumers to alert cashiers when they are undercharged. It works both ways, doesn't it? Neil Proffitt Redondo Beach
April 24, 2014 | By Jim Puzzanghera and Meg James
WASHINGTON - Consumers could end up the losers in a high-stakes battle among regulators, broadband providers and online entertainment giants over access to the Internet's fastest speeds. A new proposal from the head of the Federal Communications Commission would allow network owners such as AT&T Inc. to levy extra charges on Netflix Inc. and other online video purveyors for speedier delivery of content. Those costs, consumer advocates said, ultimately would land on consumers' monthly bills.
April 22, 2014 | By Ricardo Lopez
A new report released Tuesday by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is warning borrowers of a catch that is pushing private student loans into default even if the loan is in good standing.    The federal consumer agency said that borrowers complain of being blindsided when their student loans automatically default when co-signers -- usually parents or grandparents -- die or fall into bankruptcy. When this happens, lenders demand that the full amount be paid immediately.
April 21, 2014 | By Ricardo Lopez
General Mills Inc., maker of Cheerios and other grocery staples, has reversed a recent change to its online legal policy after an outcry by consumers. The policy had been quietly updated last week to include terms under which any dispute with the company would have to be decided through arbitration, a change first reported by the New York Times last week. Critics and legal experts said the new terms could cost consumers their right to sue in court if they merely "liked" General Mills' social media pages, downloaded coupons from its website or entered any company-sponsored contests.
April 21, 2014 | David Lazarus
General Mills, maker of Cheerios and Wheaties, thinks it deserves credit for reversing itself after quietly trying to strip customers of their constitutional right to a day in court. But that's like a homeowner saying he deserves credit for putting out a house fire after deliberately setting his living room ablaze. The reality is that General Mills Inc., one of the nation's largest food companies, tried to pull a fast one on consumers and was caught off-guard by the volume and the scope of the backlash.
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 15, 2014 | By Paresh Dave, This post has been updated, as indicated below.
Denver police are investigating whether a man suspected of fatally shooting his wife Monday night had been acting strangely because he may have consumed edible marijuana, a law enforcement official said Tuesday. Richard Kirk's wife called 911 to report that her husband was "talking about the end of the world" and hallucinating, behavior that was scaring their three children, according to a Denver Police Department arrest warrant. The woman, whose name was redacted from the warrant, told the dispatcher that Kirk wanted her to shoot him. Eventually, he retrieved a gun from a safe, screamed and then a gunshot is heard on the 911 tape, according to the court document . Officers found the woman lying on the floor of the couple's home, dead from an apparent gunshot to the head.
April 17, 2012 | By Chad Terhune
One-third of consumers are using Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites to seek medical information, discuss symptoms and express their opinions about doctors, drugs and health insurers, according to a new report. These latest results from PwC's Health Research Institute underscore the need for healthcare providers and insurance companies to engage more with consumers online since they are increasingly making medical decisions based on the information they find there. The stakes are likely to grow as millions of younger consumers comfortable with social media enter the insurance market for the first time under the federal healthcare law.  “Those medical providers and payers who are able to use social media are likely to do better in the marketplace as consumers make these decisions,” said John Edwards, a director in PwC's healthcare strategy and business intelligence practice.
February 2, 2002
"Cell Phone Numbers Racket" (editorial, Jan. 17) is well-intentioned but misinformed. As attractive an idea as taking your number with you when you switch wireless providers may be, it will redirect almost $1 billion in its first year and half-a-billion dollars every year thereafter away from consumers' No. 1 concern: continuing to expand coverage and quality. This is a matter of choice. Should the industry spend billions on continuing to fight blocked calls and dropped calls, or should that money be spent on rebuilding the infrastructure for something that will be of value only to a few?
April 14, 2014 | By Chad Terhune
A historic slowdown in U.S. healthcare spending in recent years may be drawing to a close. An industry report published Tuesday and healthcare experts point to a steady rise in medical care being sought by consumers seeing specialists, getting more prescriptions filled and visiting the hospital. Other factors such as millions of newly insured Americans seeking treatment for the first time and higher prices from healthcare consolidation could also help drive up costs. Experts aren't predicting an immediate return to double-digit increases in medical spending.
April 11, 2014 | By Chris O'Brien
The National Security Agency denied a report that it has exploited the "Heartbleed" bug to spy on consumers for the past two years. "NSA was not aware of the recently identified vulnerability in OpenSSL, the so-called Heartbleed vulnerability, until it was made public in a private sector cybersecurity report," the agency said in a statement. "Reports that say otherwise are wrong. Reports that NSA or any other part of the government were aware of the so-called Heartbleed vulnerability before April 2014 are wrong.
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