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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 18, 2009 | Tony Barboza
Online travel websites have been ordered to pay Anaheim $21 million in hotel taxes that officials say they are owed, but the companies are fighting back against the increasingly common claim that they have shortchanged cities from Los Angeles to Las Vegas. The fight in Anaheim is the latest in an escalating debate between online travel companies and tourist-dependent cities.
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BUSINESS
February 18, 2009 | Alana Semuels
Don't you hate it when your online map doesn't tell you what you need to know? Like when MapQuest sends you down a dark alley, or when Google sends you on four freeways when you really needed just one? A Los Angeles start-up called Zoodango is launching a local service today for finding restaurants, bars and entertainment venues on digital maps.
BUSINESS
February 16, 2009 | Scott J. Wilson
smartaboutmoney.org There's no shortage of financial advice on the Internet, but much of it comes from doubtful sources or is choked with confusing jargon. How do you find guidance that is both trustworthy and in plain English? Smartaboutmoney.org meets both tests. The site, produced by the well-regarded National Endowment for Financial Education, addresses common money issues with articles that are sound and clearly written.
BUSINESS
February 13, 2009 | Bloomberg News
The Federal Trade Commission's new Internet-advertising guidelines don't put enough pressure on companies to protect consumer data used in targeted marketing campaigns, privacy advocacy groups said. The agency released the voluntary standards Thursday to guide Web marketers' efforts at self-regulation. The FTC report urged advertising providers such as Google Inc.
TRAVEL
February 1, 2009 | Jen Leo
Gorp.com, the extensive online resource that specializes in travel information for national parks, outdoor activities and adventure travel gear, also happens to have a great destination guide on California, the topic of this week's Travel section. What's hot: You don't have to know what type of Polartec fabric is appropriate for which season to find something that appeals to you in the many sections of the California destination guide.
BUSINESS
December 24, 2008 | ASSOCIATED PRESS
A country that shunned Christmas for decades is now looking to cash in on the holiday season, promoting an online shopping site designed to let Cubans overseas buy products, including flowers and flat-screen TVs, for delivery to relatives in the island nation. Grupo Excelencias, based in Spain, teamed with Cuba's communist government to create MallHabana.com, which offers prices in U.S. dollars and says it can deliver products within 24 hours to homes in Havana and get purchases to even the country's most remote addresses within three weeks.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 20, 2008 | associated press
So you fancy yourself a singer, eh? . . . Alone, in your car, with the windows up, when no one's looking. Well, now you can test your pipes against Martina McBride and Elvis Presley in private, and if you like what you hear, you can share them with your friends via e-mail. As a promotion for the "Elvis Presley Christmas Duets" album, Sony BMG Music Entertainment has created a website that allows you to record "Blue Christmas" as a duet with Presley, singing McBride's part from the album.
BUSINESS
December 16, 2008 | Jessica Guynn, Guynn is a Times staff writer.
Yahoo Inc. is getting more open and more social. The Internet giant said Monday that it was rolling out features designed to make its e-mail service and other properties more like popular social networking sites Facebook and MySpace. The features, more than a year in the making, are the brainchild of Yahoo Chief Executive Jerry Yang, who previewed them in a keynote speech at the Consumer Electronics Show in January.
BUSINESS
December 15, 2008 | Scott J. Wilson
10-10phonerates.com "Dial-around" phone services, also known as 10-10 plans, occupy a narrow niche among today's communications choices. They offer a way to go around your land-line telephone's regular long-distance company and access lower rates offered by a different service. To use these plans you dial an access code beginning with 10-10, then the number you want to call. The charge will show up on your regular local phone bill. These services generally don't work on cellphones.
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