March 11, 2010 |
There has been a lot of speculation recently that Toyota's problems with sudden acceleration may be caused by a problem in the vehicles' electronics systems. The "electronics" includes millions of lines of software running on the automobiles' computers. As The Times reported on March 3, Toyota's chief engineer testified to Congress that the company has done extensive testing on its cars' electronics and believes they are not the cause of the sudden acceleration. Having owned a Toyota myself, I have always been a fan of what I perceived to be the automaker's high standards for quality.
March 10, 2010 |
In a last-ditch effort to revive struggling MySpace, owner News Corp. has adopted a new strategy that it hopes will give the site's millions of users a reason to keep coming back. MySpace -- which had begun to offer horoscopes, weather reports and other services -- wants to go back to its roots: entertainment. The online social network, which once dominated the field now lorded over by Facebook, will use information that users volunteer on the site -- and the celebrity pages they check out -- to recommend movie trailers, recently released songs and video games to them.
March 10, 2010 |
The topic at the Batcave on Monday night was the future of that other superhero -- you, know, the one from Metropolis. "It's very exciting, we have a fantastic story," Christopher Nolan said while sipping tea in the sleek editing suite that fills the converted garage adjacent to his Hollywood home. "And we feel we can do it right. We know the milieu, if you will, we know the genre and how to get it done right." FOR THE RECORD: Christopher Nolan: An article about filmmaker Christopher Nolan in Wednesday's Calendar said his next movie, "Inception," opens July 19. It opens July 16. — Nolan was standing next to his wife, producer Emma Thomas, his partner in all of his films -- including " Batman Begins" and " The Dark Knight," the grim franchise that pulled in more than $1.3 billion at theaters worldwide -- and he was explaining their plan to take on a challenge that has frustrated Hollywood for two decades: Getting another Superman film franchise off the ground.
March 9, 2010 |
As I started reading The Times' March 4 article, "California disqualified from receiving federal school funds," I hoped the story would examine the devastating impact the Obama administration's decision to disqualify our state from a round of "Race to the Top" grants would have on our schools and children. Instead, The Times devoted much of its story to finding explanations for why California was cut off from the first round of grants; the idea that reform-wary teachers unions deserve blame underlies many of the comments in the article.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 8, 2010 |
Saying a June ballot measure that would change how California's primary elections are held won't deliver on its reform promises, opponents are trying to change it -- and they appear to have allies in lawmakers who helped put it on the ballot. The legislators, who voted for the proposal grudgingly as part of a budget deal last year, have directed their attorneys not to fight a legal challenge that would significantly change the way the measure appears before voters, according to a legislative spokesman.
March 8, 2010 |
In its March 5 editorial, "At the Starbucks saloon," The Times criticizes the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence for launching a petition drive asking Starbucks Coffee Co. to change its policy welcoming armed patrons into its stores. The Times writes that Starbucks is merely an "innocent bystander" and that our "true foe" is the open-carry crowd. We certainly have strong concerns about allowing individuals who are not always required to have a permit, go through testing or training or show any knowledge of guns, gun laws or gun responsibilities carrying their weapons into places frequented by families.
March 3, 2010 |
The Times' Feb. 28 article, "Some fear California's high-speed rail won't deliver on early promises," reports that the system's cost projections have been underestimated and the ridership projections overestimated. The plans for the state's high-speed trains are indeed on the wrong track, but for a far more fundamental reason: The planned system, which would connect the far-flung regions of Northern and Southern California, wouldn't serve our actual needs. This is precisely why the ridership would be low. To the contrary, high-speed trains are needed, and they will be successful in attracting high ridership, if the trains would serve urban areas, where millions of people live and work.
March 3, 2010 |
It turns out that tainted food can not only make people sick, but it can also cost them a bundle in the process. A new consumer research report released Wednesday has found that the health-related costs of food-borne illnesses total $152 billion a year, including the costs of medical bills, lost wages and lost productivity. That total is more than four times that of earlier estimates calculated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The findings come as regulatory efforts to patrol the country's food sector are growing amid reports of a string of costly -- and sometimes fatal -- outbreaks of food-borne illness involving peanuts, jalapeno peppers, spinach, beef and other foods.
March 2, 2010 |
When American kids reflect upon their childhoods decades from now, snacks may figure more prominently in their memories -- and around their waists -- than meals shared around a table. From 1977 to 2006, American children have added 168 snack calories per day to their diets, a study finds. They're munching cookies after school, granola bars on the way to piano lessons, chips after an hour of soccer practice and peanut butter and crackers while waiting for dinner. For some, those extra 1,176 calories a week could amount to as much as 13 1/2 pounds of body fat a year.
March 2, 2010 |
Ronald O. Perelman is handing over Panavision Inc., the debt-laden camera rental company that is suffering from a steep downturn in movie and TV production, to its creditors. Perelman's holding company, MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings Inc., has reached an agreement in principle with a group of creditors -- including Cerberus Capital Management, the former owner of Chrysler -- for the billionaire investor to give up his controlling stake in the camera maker that has been a fixture on movie sets for decades, according to people familiar with the matter.