July 14, 2012 |
A plan to seize and restructure troubled mortgages using eminent domain in San Bernardino County is under assault by investor groups, which call it unconstitutional and potentially costly to homeowners. The cities of Ontario and Fontana, in partnership with the county, are exploring using private funds to acquire mortgages that are "underwater," where the homes wouldn't sell for enough money to pay off the loans. Under the Homeownership Protection Program, the loans acquired by government authority would be restructured, lowering the amount owed, with the intent of helping the owner keep the home.
July 9, 2012
Property values have fallen so sharply in San Bernardino County that nearly half of the homeowners with mortgages owe more than their houses are worth. Hoping to aid at least some of those "underwater" borrowers, the county is considering a novel plan to use venture-capital dollars to buy and refinance their mortgages. The plan's authors say that homeowners would end up with less debt and the county and its financial backers would make a profit - all without the taxpayers spending a penny.
July 7, 2012 |
The Bandol rosé with which I celebrate birthdays and most major warm weather occasions now, Domaine Tempier, costs about $40 a bottle. I've still got a couple of bottles tucked away, but I'm on the hunt for alternatives. Previously, I've loved Pradeaux and Domaine Sorin. Domaine Dupuy de Lôme (don't let the difficult-to-remember name put you off) is a real find. The vineyard is sustainably farmed, which is expensive, yet Gérald Damidot is producing a beautiful Bandol rosé for about $20. A blend of 70% Mourvedre with 20% Grenache and the balance Cinsault, the 2011 is dry and zesty with notes of apricot and rose petals and a complexity that makes it ideal for summer foods.
June 28, 2012 |
Forget .love and .joy. For now, it's only .wait. A closely watched effort to broaden Internet suffixes to include common names and words such as .google, .love and .car has been put on hold, leaving the hundreds of applicants who paid up to $185,000 for an extension in a lurch. The Marina del Rey organization that decides how Internet addresses are determined has suspended the selection process "pending further analysis," marking another setback for a plan to expand the suffixes beyond the ubiquitous .com, .edu, and .org.
June 25, 2012 |
Digital Domain's virtual version of Tupac Shakur has won a top honor at the world's largest advertising festival. The Venice-based visual effects studio announced Monday that the company had received a Titanium Award at the 59th annual Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity for its virtual performance of the late rap star Tupac Shakur. The award, presented Saturday in Cannes, France, recognizes the most groundbreaking work in the creative communications field. "Virtual 2Pac" was chosen by a jury of experts from the world's top advertising agencies as one of the year's most innovative ideas, from an initial field of more than 500 entrants, Digital Domain said in a statement.
June 21, 2012 |
Of the 1,930 new domain names submitted to ICANN recently, who had the most applications? Was it Amazon with 76? Not even close. How about Google with 101? Nope. Actually, that'd be Donuts with 307 submissions from .app to .sucks. The group beat out behemoth Google for most submissions by more than a factor of three. They've staked their claim for domains such as .basketball, .shop, .computer and .film. "We're very happy chaps at the moment," Donuts co-founder Dan Schindler told The Times in an interview from the company's Los Angeles office.
June 15, 2012 |
Too bad ICANN didn't register .D'oh or .TMI itself. In the second recent big glitch in the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers' process to expand domains beyond the era of .com, the domain name administrator inadvertently revealed a little too much information when it posted details about the previously secret names submitted. The information online included the mailing addresses and contact information of some applicants, details that were to remain private.
June 15, 2012 |
Some of the next steps as .com makes room for a flurry of new generic domains such as .baby, .Lexus, .AARP will make you scratch your head. The question of how to pick which applications get first consideration will be settled by jumping through a set of hoops in an little bit of online Olympics. The event to figure who gets first dibs: "digital archery. " It all actually sounds more like something out of a game show than a formal business application process. Ultimately, the fastest clickers will get placed in the first group to be officially reviewed.
June 13, 2012 |
Google hopes to inherit the Earth -- or at least .earth. And Amazon wants to bring you .joy. It's probably no surprise that they both want .you. Those were among the 1,930 applications for new generic top-level domain names, replacing the ubiquitous .com that we see on most commercial websites in an online land-grab that could be the largest expansion of the Internet's domain-name system. Many of the applications are to be expected. Companies including ABC television, BMW and Yahoo staked their claim on their names.