November 30, 2011 |
Hoping to attract more users and keep them enthralled with its digital music service, Spotify has partnered with other Web and media companies such as Rolling Stone magazine, Songkick and TuneWiki to juice up its service with articles, reviews, recommendations, lyrics and other content. Rolling Stone, for example, will integrate its year-end magazine issue with Spotify's service so readers can instantly play most, if not all, of the songs featured in the articles. The integration will involve the magazine's future issues as well.
November 26, 2011
The Times' Nov. 23 editorial, "Clueless candidates," which criticized Newt Gingrich for his call to loosen child labor laws and allow kids to work as janitors at their schools, prompted reader Mike Gallagher to write the following defense of the former House speaker's proposal: "I can only assume that the editor did not work as a child, unlike the children of most small-business owners. I've never known a working kid who didn't have time for homework, so long as there wasn't a long transportation requirement.
November 9, 2011 |
The Senate is expected to decide as early as Wednesday whether to throw out the Federal Communication Commission's "net neutrality" rules before they go into effect Nov. 20. The stakes are high for the phone and cable companies that sell Internet access services, as well as the companies that offer content and services through the Internet. To get a grip on the issue, it's important to understand what prompted the FCC to act and what it's actually done. First, however, let's cover the basics.
October 8, 2011
The Labor Department released another lackluster jobs report Friday, announcing that the unemployment rate remained at 9.1% last month even though private employers added 137,000 positions. That's five months now with roughly 14 million Americans out of work and another 9 million part-time employees unable to find full-time jobs. Meanwhile, Congress teeters from one near-shutdown to the next as lawmakers posture to avoid blame for the sputtering economy. A good illustration of Congress' dysfunction is its response to President Obama's $447-billion jobs bill.
October 3, 2011
A slew of state attorneys general banded together 11 months ago to try to extract a multibillion-dollar settlement from banks for the way they mishandled foreclosures. The prospects of a deal have been clouded, however, by dissension in the AGs' ranks. On Friday, California Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris became the latest to drop out, announcing that she would pursue her own investigation. Top prosecutors in half a dozen other states, including New York, Nevada and Massachusetts, have already pulled out of the multi-state talks, saying they were concerned that the group wasn't demanding enough from banks in exchange for settling the states' claims.
September 1, 2011
The Justice Department filed suit Wednesday to block AT&T's proposed $39-billion takeover of wireless rival T-Mobile USA, with its top antitrust lawyer declaring, "Any way you look at this transaction, it is anticompetitive. " Only the most ideologically hidebound supporters of the deal ever claimed it would boost competition, however. The question has always been whether the benefits it could deliver would outweigh the loss of an innovative, low-priced service provider. That's a far murkier issue.
September 1, 2011
It was a natural reaction after 9/11: Protect the nation at any cost. But a survey of homeland security projects by Times staff writer Kim Murphy reveals that the "any cost" rationale has resulted in unnecessary and eccentric responses to the possibility of a terrorist act. Congress should block such projects in the future. For example, Murphy told of a grant for anti-terrorism equipment to a county in Nebraska, which received thousands of dollars for cattle nose leads, halters and electric prods — in case terrorists waged biological warfare against cows.
August 12, 2011
The new law that allows President Obama to raise the debt ceiling created a bipartisan "super committee" to seek a major deficit-reduction deal by Thanksgiving, and this week congressional leaders named the 12 lawmakers who will be on it. Tellingly, not one of them signed on to any of the bipartisan budget proposals that have surfaced in the last year. Four were on the White House fiscal commission that offered a bold plan in December to close the federal budget gap, but all of them voted against it. And none is part of the so-called Gang of Six senators who outlined another way to tackle the deficit last month.
August 6, 2011 |
China called on the United States to "cure its addiction to debts" and "learn to live within its means" in a searing commentary published Saturday by the official New China News Agency in response to Standard & Poor's historic downgrading of the U.S. government's credit rating a day earlier. China, the largest foreign holder of U.S. federal debt, blamed "shortsighted political wrangling in Washington" for creating the financial morass that threatens to undermine the global economy.
August 4, 2011
If nothing else, the extended debate over raising the federal debt ceiling, which brought the country to the brink of economic catastrophe, demonstrated that this Congress was unusually willing to risk doing extreme harm to the nation in order to score political points. Ultimately, lawmakers stepped back from the edge on that issue — but when it came to funding the Federal Aviation Administration, they jumped off a cliff. Because Congress failed to approve a temporary spending measure for the FAA before leaving town for the rest of August, 4,000 FAA employees have been furloughed, airport construction projects have been halted, 70,000 construction workers have been idled, and the federal government stands to lose roughly $1 billion in uncollected airline ticket taxes.