December 13, 2013 |
SAN FRANCISCO - Even for Yahoo Inc., a company with a lengthy track record of failure, this was an epic fail. For five days this week an untold number of its 100 million users couldn't send or receive email, prompting many longtime, loyal users to savage the company on social media and threaten to leave for another email service. Despite the misery the outage caused people and businesses - who could have sent a letter faster than they could an email - Yahoo was slow to respond and even slower to inform users about it. And that has cast a shadow over Chief Executive Marissa Mayer's yearlong effort to turn around the troubled Internet company.
November 17, 2013 |
The text messages and voice mails started blowing up on Ed Orgeron's phone soon after USC upset Stanford. Former Trojans coach Pete Carroll and others from the Seattle Seahawks staff sent congratulations. So did former Miami players such as Warren Sapp and Cortez Kennedy and former USC players Brian Cushing , Kenechi Udeze , Marcus Allen and Anthony Munoz and many others. "On and on and on," Orgeron, USC's interim coach, said Sunday during a teleconference with reporters.
September 12, 2013 |
LONDON - Britain's Royal Mail, whose origins date back to the reign of Henry VIII, is to be sold off to private investors, the government announced Thursday, setting up a bitter battle over the selling of a national icon. Even former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who happily sold off other services such as Britain's railways, considered unloading the Royal Mail a step too far, reputedly saying that she wasn't ready to “have the queen's head privatized.” Queen Elizabeth II's profile appears on all stamps in this country.
September 11, 2013 |
Tammie, like many people, receives catalogs she doesn't want. Lots of them. She wants to know: How did these guys find her? And what can she do to get rid of them? Finding people is the easy part. Marketers routinely buy and sell mailing lists. There are also list brokers who make a living selling consumers' contact info, sliced and diced into every possible demographic and personal interest. ASK LAZ: Smart answers to consumer questions Getting rid of an unwanted marketer can be a chore.
July 22, 2013 |
Susan Segal normally spends about $30 for a three-month supply of a thyroid medication from CVS Caremark's mail-order pharmacy. Recently, though, CVS sent her a different thyroid drug, which cost $23 more - a 77% increase. Segal, 56, called to complain. A CVS service rep told the Irvine resident that the pharmacy wasn't trying to pull a fast one. Have a consumer question? Ask Laz The rep explained that Segal's usual med, Levoxyl, couldn't be obtained, so CVS called her doctor and received permission to send her a similar drug, Synthroid, instead.
July 10, 2013 |
Britain is privatizing its Royal Mail postal service through a public stock offering within the next nine months. The step is expected as the British government has been giving the Royal Mail a big overhaul in preparation for going public, including paying its whopping $6.9-billion pension fund deficit and bolstering its profit. So far, so good. Revenue from parcel deliveries was up 13% in the last fiscal year, thanks to the growing popularity of online shopping. Overall profit climbed to $600.5 million, from $226.5 million in the previous year.
July 5, 2013 |
There are many disturbing questions raised by the dog shooting by Hawthorne police. The video of a police officer shooting the 80-pound Rottweiler, Max, as the dog's owner was being arrested has gone viral online and prompted outrage far beyond the South Bay city. The second most heartbreaking part of this video -- after the injured dog rolls over, flinching from the shots -- is the sound of the bystanders screaming and crying out in horror as they watch. The video shows five police cars blocking off a street and officers halfway down the block from Leon Rosby, who saunters back and forth as he videotapes the police action.
June 22, 2013 |
In this age of Instagram and Twitter, it is easy to forget how recently postcards were a principal way of sending images and short messages. Nothing about postal communication seems appropriate for that today: Someone once confessed to me that he hand-delivers postcards after he returns from a trip because they arrive more quickly that way. Yet when postcards were invented, they were revolutionary technology - and caused their own uproar. It was 1865 when German postal official Heinrich von Stephan was the first to propose the adoption of what he described as an "open post-sheet" made of stiff paper.
June 14, 2013 |
Facebook has begun sending out invitations for its next media event, but not in a way one would expect from a top tech company. Facebook is using the U.S. Postal Service. Numerous news publications discovered envelope-clad invitations for a June 20 Facebook event in their mailboxes Friday. Facebook is no stranger to media events -- the company seems to hold one every two months or so -- and it doesn't normally send out its invitations via old-fashioned mail. PHOTOS: Last-minute Father's Day gift idea: Tablets under $200 Like others in the industry, Facebook typically uses email for its event invitations.
June 9, 2013 |
Twitter, text-messaging, email, apps, social media and an ever-proliferating stampede of wireless devices have colonized pretty much every form of communication that can be digitized. Yet one contrarian Los Angeles company believes slow but steady snail mail wins the race when it comes to deepening connections between online gurus and their followers. Billing itself as a "subscription service for wonderful things," Quarterly delivers mystery boxes the old-fashioned way - through the U.S. Postal Service.