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July 27, 2012 | By Alejandro Lazo
One of California's highest-ranking politicians, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, has told an investor group to "back off" and allow San Bernardino County to explore a controversial plan that would employ its eminent domain powers to seize and restructure troubled mortgages. The cities of Ontario and Fontana, in partnership with the county, are exploring using private funds to acquire mortgages that are "underwater" -- that is, where the homes wouldn't sell for enough money to pay off the loans.
July 21, 2012 | By S. Irene Virbila, Los Angeles Times
René Rostaing is known for his stellar Côte-Rôtie, due in part to the old-vine vineyards he inherited from his father-in-law, Albert Dervieux-Thaize, and uncle Marius Gentaz-Dervieux. While Côte-Rôtie by definition is expensive, Rostaing's "Les Lézardes" Syrah, made from old vines adjacent to Côte-Rôtie, offers great value. The grapes may not boast that heady appellation, but they deliver an enchanting Syrah. Unmistakably northern Rhone, the 2009 "Les Lézardes" is rich and spicy, tasting of wild plums and carrying the scent of sun-baked herbs from the steep hillsides.
July 18, 2012 | By Richard Verrier
The parent company of Venice-based visual effects house Digital Domain has settled a legal tussle with 3-D conversion rival Prime Focus World. Digital Domain, which created visual effects for the "Transformers" movies and "Tron: Legacy," has dropped a lawsuit it filed against Prime Focus in 2011 alleging that the Indian company had infringed on its patented technology for converting films from 2-D to 3-D. Under a settlement agreement announced...
July 14, 2012 | By Alejandro Lazo, Los Angeles Times
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 | By S. Irene Virbila, Los Angeles Times
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 | By Ryan Faughnder, Los Angeles Times
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 | By Richard Verrier
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 | By Michelle Maltais
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.
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