June 13, 2013 |
Forget ka-ching. Its all tap-tap these days. Restaurants and shop owners fed up with antiquated cash registers and expensive credit card terminals are switching to cheaper devices that plug into smartphones and tablets. And companies such as PayPal, Square Inc. and Groupon Inc. are rushing to meet them, developing sleeker stands to mount tablets running their software or hooking up with existing systems. The shift is happening as mobile devices permeate many facets of consumers' lives, including the way they shop and pay for everyday items.
November 8, 2012 |
Texting and driving? It's against the law in 39 states - including California - but that hasn't stopped many of us from reaching for the phone while we're on the road. About 100,000 people are texting and driving at any given moment, according to a study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. And more than 1 million accidents this year have been caused by distracted drivers, many of them while texting. Still, the chime of a new text message is enticing and the urge to look at it is almost Pavlovian.
April 28, 2013 |
LAREDO, Texas - This border city is trying to clear its name. It is so conjoined with its Mexican sister city across the Rio Grande, Nuevo Laredo, that the two are often referred to as "Los Dos Laredos," or simply Laredo. That was great for tourism in happier days. But as drug cartel violence exploded in Nuevo Laredo in recent years, pictures broadcast around the world of gunfights, decapitated bodies piled in abandoned minivans, and severed heads dumped in coolers often bore the same headline: "Laredo.
April 15, 2013 |
There's nothing like competition to bring down the price of a product, even expensive electric cars. Chrysler Group said it will be offering a special deal on its first electric car, the Fiat 500e, when it goes on sale this summer. While the sticker price will be $32,500 before various government incentives, California residents can lease the car for $199 a month, plus tax, and a $999 down payment. It is a 36-month lease. Photos: Top 10 cars with lowest cost per mpg “It is a pretty attractive deal to test the waters and see what kind of a take rate they can get,” said Mike Wall, an analyst with IHS Automotive.
November 18, 2010 |
Last year, Noel Sandoval, an accountant in San Mateo, Calif., who is disabled from epilepsy, asked Bank of America to ease the terms of his $369,000 mortgage under a federal program designed to help homeowners in distress. After almost 12 months of back and forth, the bank told him no. Its explanation: The mortgage was owned by an investor who wouldn't permit any modifications. It turned out, though, that the bank wasn't telling the truth ? something Sandoval's legal services lawyer discovered only after she finally obtained a copy of the mortgage servicing agreement.
December 3, 2010 |
California motorists who spend little time on the road could pay significantly lower insurance premiums with new "pay-as-you-drive" auto policies starting in February. To be offered first by California insurance giants State Farm Mutual and the Auto Club of Southern California, the new policies are designed to provide an incentive and reward for drivers who drive less. Other insurers are expected to follow. Under State Farm's plan, customers would provide their vehicle's actual mileage at the time they sign up for the program or they could automatically transmit their mileage if they have the OnStar computer-communication system in their General Motors Co. vehicle.
March 28, 2011 |
Should you be paid to part with a kidney? It's an unseemly question, but it's one that medical professionals have been grappling with as the waiting list for kidneys gets longer, supply of the organs stagnates and other solutions fall short. In 1999, just over 40,000 Americans were on the waiting list for a kidney, according to the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients, a record that's overseen by the government. By 2009, the list had grown to nearly 83,000 people, the National Kidney Foundation says.
June 12, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Enthusiasm in the Senate for the debate over immigration gave way to reality Wednesday as party leaders quarreled to a stalemate over how to consider dozens of proposed amendments. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's move to schedule votes on the first five amendments was rejected by Republicans who opposed the Nevada Democrat's plan to require 60 votes for passage. "There is no reason, particularly in this first week, at the beginning of the process, to be blocking our amendments with a 60-vote margin," said Sen. Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, who is leading the debate for Republicans.
HOME & GARDEN
August 27, 2011 |
Abundant sunshine has made Southern California one of the brightest markets for residential solar power in the country. Some might say too bright. Encouraged by federal tax credits and a municipal rebate, so many Los Angeles residents sought to add rooftop solar panels at the start of the year that the Department of Water and Power had to suspend its Solar Incentive Program in April because of overwhelming demand and funding concerns. But on Thursday — at 10 a.m., to be precise — the DWP will relaunch the program, albeit with reduced rebates and a new online system to process applications.
March 14, 2013 |
Still skeptical about solar power -- and especially about the wisdom of installing panels on your own rooftop? One can hardly be blamed, given horror stories about the difficulties in getting assistance from local utilities such as the L.A. Department of Water and Power. Yet more and more Californians are doing it anyway -- because it's paying off. The California Public Utilities Commission, which tracks solar installations statewide, on Thursday updated its ticker to show that California has now installed 1.5 gigawatts of rooftop solar, roughly equivalent to what would be generated by three medium-sized coal-fired power plants, according to clean energy expert Michelle Kinman at Environment California.