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September 25, 2012 | By Pat Benson
Bond king Jeffrey Gundlach has offered a $1.7-million reward for the safe return of artworks stolen recently from his Santa Monica home. The stolen pieces, worth an estimated $10 million, included some of the biggest names in contemporary art: Piet Mondrian, Jasper Johns and Richard Diebenkorn. What happens to art after it's stolen? Join us for a live video chat today at 4:30 p.m. with retired FBI agent Robert K. Wittman, who wrote the book "Priceless: How I Went Undercover to Rescue the World's Stolen Treasures.
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BUSINESS
March 26, 2014 | By Salvador Rodriguez
HTC unveiled the One (M8) smartphone Tuesday and immediately began selling the device. The phone features a five-inch full 1080p HD screen, uses a 2.3-GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor and runs on Android 4.4 KitKat. The HTC One (M8) comes with 32 gigabytes of storage and also includes a microSD slot. We were able to get a hold of an HTC One (M8), so join The Times' Stacey Leasca and me at 2 p.m. to watch us unbox the device live. LIVE DISCUSSION: Join us at 2 p.m. as we unbox the HTC One (M8)
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NEWS
April 10, 2013 | By Lisa Boone
Despite its irreverent title, there's much sense to Christy Wilhelmi's charming new book, "Gardening for Geeks: DIY Tests, Gadgets and Techniques That Utilize Microbiology, Mathematics and Ecology to Exponentially Maximize the Yield of Your Garden. " As someone who grows most of her own food, Wilhelmi knows that aphids will attack your Swiss chard. Or that beloved pets will dig up your veggies -- by the roots. And because some of us buy plant packs, not heirloom seeds, she can give advice on how to pick the best ones.
BUSINESS
February 5, 2014 | By Salvador Rodriguez
One day before its 10th anniversary, Facebook released Paper, an app that gives iPhone users a new way to see the content their friends post on the social network. Paper is laid out like a magazine, with numerous sections for users to turn to. The first section includes posts from users' friends and the pages they follow -- it's essentially a new take on the News Feed. Users can customize the Paper app to add whichever sections they want. The available options range from top headlines, tech and sports to Pride, a section about gay rights.
BUSINESS
September 11, 2012 | By Pat Benson
This is good news? Premiums for employer-sponsored health coverage rose 4% on average this year, a new study shows. That hike is actually down from previous years. Healthcare reporter Chad Terhune, columnist David Lazarus and Shana Alex Lavarreda, director of health insurance studies at UCLA's Center for Health Policy Research, discuss rising healthcare costs in this video chat. A survey released Tuesday by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research & Educational Trust found that the annual healthcare tab for families has risen to $15,745.
BUSINESS
December 19, 2012 | By Pat Benson
Technology has changed a lot in 15 years. It's been nearly that long since the Federal Trade Commission has updated rules protecting kids' online privacy. The Federal Trade Commission said Wednesday that it has given parents greater control over the information that online services collect from kids 12 and under. Read Jessica Guynn's story on the issue here . Among the changes to the 1998 Children's Online Privacy Protection Act: The FTC updated rules for mobile apps and made it clear that a child's location, photographs and videos cannot be collected without a parent's permission.
BUSINESS
April 10, 2012 | By Mike Swift
SAN JOSE — Christine Egy Rose realized she was on to something powerful. Instead of the awkward monosyllabic two-minute exchange her 2-year-old son, Jackson, typically had over a video chat link with relatives, he spent a full 50 minutes happily working on a shared drawing with his grandmother in Florida, using the video chat's embedded drawing feature that Egy Rose was developing. Egy Rose's mother-in-law, feeling so much closer to the little boy in California, was almost in tears by the end of the chat.
NEWS
October 13, 2012 | By Carolyn Kellogg
Join us Tuesday at 10 a.m. PDT for a conversation with Maria Semple , author of one of the funniest books of the summer, "Where'd You Go, Bernadette. " Semple was a television writer on shows including " Arrested Development " and "Mad About You. " A former Angeleno, she now lives in Seattle, and the contrast of cultures runs through "Where'd You Go, Bernadette," her second novel. Seattle is overly full of craftsman houses and natural hair color; L.A. has more jerks per square mile.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 23, 2012 | By Charles Fleming
Federal and state regulators are investigating whether a vintage air conditioning system at Walt Disney Studios in Burbank played a role in contaminating groundwater with chromium 6, a cancer -causing heavy metal widely used in aerospace manufacturing and other industries. The Times will host a Google+ Hangout at 1 p.m. PDT with Times reporters Richard Verrier and Chip Jacobs, moderated by Times columnist David Lazarus. We invite you to join in on the conversation by posting comments below or on The Times' Facebook and Google Plus pages or on Twitter using the #asklatimes hashtag.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 6, 2013 | by Carolyn Kellogg
The very funny Dave Barry joined us for a video chat from his home in Florida. During our conversation, he turned his laptop so that we could see his pool and his writing desk, where he once found a snake sitting on his can of Diet Coke. Snakes are just one of the Florida-ific peculiarities in Barry's new novel, "Insane City. " The book, his first solo novel for adults in a decade, is what he joined us to talk about. Both hilarious and serious, it's the story of the destination wedding of Seth, a relatively ordinary guy, and his wealthy, high-achieving fiancée.
BUSINESS
December 17, 2013 | By Salvador Rodriguez
Christmas is just about a week away, so if you need a last-minute tech gift idea, here are a few. Join us at 10 a.m. as the Times' Stacey Leasca and I open up a few tech gadgets and discuss a few cool devices you can give as presents. If you don't want to spend too much Looking for a gift that won't bust the bank? Go with Google Chromecast. The nifty little device lets users play movies, songs and TV shows from their smartphones on their HD TVs. That means Netflix, Hulu Plus, HBO GO and other content providers.
BUSINESS
November 5, 2013 | By Ricardo Lopez
The California Assembly will hold a hearing Wednesday to determine what exactly went wrong with a botched upgrade to the state's unemployment benefits computer system that has left thousands without jobless checks for weeks. The Times has reported extensively on the problems that began over Labor Day weekend, when the California Employment Development Department launched the update. A problem occurred when transferring old claims data to the new software, which was designed by Deloitte Consulting, a New York firm with a record of delivering IT projects in California over budget and often with problematic results.  LIVE CHAT: Join us at 11 a.m. The glitch affected as many as 300,000 claims, delaying payments to tens of thousands of unemployed Californians, according to internal emails.
BUSINESS
November 5, 2013 | By Jessica Guynn
SAN FRANCISCO -- Google is launching a live video chat service that connects people with personal trainers, contractors, music teachers and other experts who can teach them how to do stuff. Think Hangouts with an expert on the other end, say a yoga teacher or a math tutor. The idea is to get a helping hand when you need one, say if you want to learn to speak conversational French, remove a computer virus from your laptop, repair a hole in your wall or make Thanksgiving turkey stuffing.
BUSINESS
October 23, 2013 | By Salvador Rodriguez
You might not have noticed, but Microsoft began selling the latest versions of its Surface tablets Tuesday. The Redmond, Wash., company started rolling out the Surface 2 and the Surface 2 Pro on the same day as Apple unveiled the latest versions of its iPads, and as you would expect, the iPads got more attention. But despite launching in the shadows of Apple's iPad Air, Microsoft has high hopes for its Surface 2 tablets. LIVE DISCUSSION: Join us at 3 p.m. as we unbox Microsoft's latest tablet Join The Times' Stacey Leasca and me at 3 p.m. as we unbox the Surface 2, the light version of Microsoft's two new tablets.
BUSINESS
October 16, 2013 | By Salvador Rodriguez
A new wave of Chromebook laptops is rolling out for the holiday season, and among them is the new Acer C720 Chromebook. The C720 Chromebook is one of two new laptops released last week running on Chrome OS, Google's computer platform. The other machine is the HP Chromebook 11. Acer's new laptop goes for $249, and it features an 11.6-inch screen. The machine is light and thin at just 2.42 pounds and 0.7 inches thick. It uses a Haswell processor and has a battery life of 8.5 hours, according to Acer.
BUSINESS
September 18, 2013 | By Salvador Rodriguez
After a few months of waiting, Apple's iOS 7 has arrived. The colorful new iPhone and iPad operating system represents the first time Apple has done a major overhaul of iOS, which was originally called iPhone OS when it launched with the first iPhone in 2007. Although iOS 7 looks drastically different than its predecessors, anyone who has ever used an iPhone or iPad should still be able to make his or her way around the new operating system. LIVE DISCUSSION: Join us at 3 p.m. to chat about iOS 7 Everything functions very much the same as it did before.
BUSINESS
March 14, 2013 | By Salvador Rodriguez
The BlackBerry Z10 touchscreen smartphone will make its U.S. debut next week, but we just got a pair that we'll unbox live at 12 p.m. The new BlackBerry device is the first to run the Canadian tech company's new BlackBerry 10 operating system. The Z10 features a 4.2-inch HD screen, 16 gigabytes of internal storage and an 8-megapixel rear camera. The LTE smartphone uses a 1.5-GHz dual-core processor and has a microSD memory card slot that can be used to expand its storage.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 8, 2012 | By Patrick Kevin Day
By now, "Car Talk" fans have heard the bad news. Boston gearhead brothers Ray and Tom Magliozzi are putting an end to the live NPR call-in radio show that was their media home for 25 years. The pair, who owned a struggling do-it-yourself car repair shop in Cambridge, Mass., began their call-in show on local Boston NPR affiliate WBUR in 1977. It went national 10 years later. The brothers, who still operate their full-service shop Good News Garage in Cambridge, have recorded more than 1,200 episodes and can currently be heard on NPR stations across the country, as well as NPR's Sirius XM channel.
BUSINESS
September 6, 2013 | By Salvador Rodriguez
Is the ability to customize your smartphone worth $200? That's the main question to ask when deciding whether to buy Motorola's new Moto X. Unlike any other smartphone, the Moto X can be personalized to your taste. In total, Motorola says, customers can come up with more than 2,000 different combinations for the device. However, Moto X's customization is at the moment exclusive to AT&T customers. That means if you get the Moto X from Verizon or Sprint, you'll only be able to choose from black or white options for the phone's color.
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