April 8, 2014 |
Nick Stepka knew what gift would make his daughter's third birthday a hit, and it wasn't a toy or doll. He gave her a tablet - not a sleek new iPad or a hand-me-down Samsung, but one specifically designed and marketed for little ones. It even came with a purple protective casing and loaded with kids' apps and games. "Her eyes lit up when she opened it," said Stepka, 34, a Shakopee, Minn., father of three. "Everything else got put to the side. " That's exactly what tablet makers and companies that create children's entertainment were hoping for. PHOTOS: Top 10 gadgets we want to see this year Stepka's household is part of a growing group of consumers for whom traditional children's toys and games are not enough.
April 7, 2014 |
SEATTLE - A day after the secretary of homeland security and the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency toured the site of the deadly landslide in Washington state, authorities announced Monday that they have found the remains of three more victims, bringing the death toll to 33. Only three of those killed in the March 22 disaster, which left a square mile of debris spread over the town of Oso, are still unidentified, the Snohomish County...
April 6, 2014 |
The stock market is hitting new highs - just as corporate profit growth is slowing to a crawl. Rising earnings helped drive share prices to a series of record peaks in the last few years. But that dynamic could be tested this week when companies such as Alcoa Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. begin releasing first-quarter results. Quarterly profits are expected to drop for just the second time in four years. The decline would be relatively small: 1.2% for companies in the Standard & Poor's 500 index, according to FactSet Research Systems.
April 6, 2014 |
Airbnb is all the talk on Wall Street. Its thirtysomething founders were nearly broke six years ago. Now it seems likely they will soon become billionaires. Their company, which connects 600,000 apartment dwellers and homeowners in 160 countries with millions of people seeking cheap lodging online, is closing a new round of private funding, and it is expected to be valued at $10 billion or more by the end of April. In one night alone during 2013, Airbnb boasted 250,000 guests staying in its members' apartments and houses.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 5, 2014 |
A tribe is preparing to invest more than $100 million in an expansion and upgrade of its Vegas-style casino in the Santa Ynez Valley, tripling the size of its hotel and opening the door to negotiations that could lead to a greater footprint in California's $7-billion Indian gambling industry. But word of the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians' expansion plan has ratcheted up tension and distrust between the Native Americans and some of their neighbors in Santa Barbara County. "It's huge - a huge expansion," said Robert F. Field, a local resident.
April 4, 2014 |
Buellton, 25 miles north of Santa Barbara, has been known for just one thing: split pea soup. For years, Buellton was that midday rest stop on the way to points north where you lunched at Pea Soup Andersen's. No longer in the shadow of trendier neighbors Solvang and Los Olivos, Buellton has taken on a life of its own. It's a fun place to stay, explore, eat and drink - and I'm not just referring to wine. The bed Buellton has at least one remarkable place to spend the night, the Flying Flags RV park (180 Avenue of Flags; 
April 3, 2014 |
WASHINGTON -- Initial jobless claims unexpectedly increased last week but remained low in a positive sign for labor market growth before Friday's jobs report. About 326,000 people applied for first-time unemployment benefits in the week ended Saturday, the Labor Department said Thursday. The figure was up from 310,000 the previous week, the lowest level since September. Analysts had projected a smaller increase to 320,000 last week. PHOTOS: Richest and poorest cities in America The four-week average was little changed at 319,500 and pointed to an improved jobs situation in March.
April 3, 2014 |
Call it a dark farce, human comedy or wartime satire. But however you slice it, the ill-conceived morality tale "A Farewell to Fools" is a bust. Set in the waning days of World War II, the movie involves a group of Romanian villagers attempting to trick the resident fool, Ipu (Gérard Depardieu in hyper-slob mode), into giving up his life in order to save theirs. Unfortunately, the script by Anusavan Salamanian, based on the novel by Titus Popovici (first filmed as 1972's "Then I Sentenced Them All to Death")
April 2, 2014 |
Thanks to state Sen. Leland Yee's alleged attempts to broker illegal gun deals for campaign contributions, candidates for California's secretary of state are suddenly getting a lot of attention and news coverage. Yee is out of the race, although his name will still appear on the ballot in the June primary. But his scandal is giving some candidates an opportunity, if they choose to use it. On Tuesday, Dan Schnur called a news conference in Sacramento in which he denounced lawmakers for failing to pursue meaningful reforms after the recent ethics scandals among legislators.