Distracted driving or technical error? Uber fatality raises self-driving car questions

Business / Business News /

When Tempe police released video of a fatal accident involving an Uber self-driving car, most viewers paid attention to the disturbing footage of pedestrian Elaine Herzberg being struck by the car on March 18 in Tempe, Arizona.

But it's the second clip in the video that has raised concerns about self-driving cars taking up space on public roads...Read more

California farmers, winemakers kick dirt over Chinese tariffs

Business / Business News /

California's vintners and growers fumed Friday at the growing prospect that wine, nuts, fruit and other Golden State exports would become collateral damage in a trade battle between President Trump and China.

The $47-billion industry, which largely backed Trump, has been buffeted repeatedly as the Trump administration has halted or reopened ...Read more

Facebook shareholder sues Facebook after Cambridge Analytica scandal

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A Bay Area-based Facebook shareholder is suing Facebook, founder Mark Zuckerberg and the entire Facebook board for allegedly breaching their fiduciary duties by failing to prevent the millions of users' data from being improperly shared with third parties and to inform affected Facebook users or the public markets.

Jeremiah Hallisey filed a ...Read more

Michael Hiltzik: The gas tax repeal pothole: The need to fix the roads collides with fiscal politics

Business / Business News /

Here are two enduring certainties about California.

1. The roads are crumbling.

2. Californians hate taxes.

These points are going to be butting heads at the ballot box this year, if the opponents of the recent gas- and vehicle-tax hikes have their way. They've been collecting signatures to place a measure on November's ballot repealing the ...Read more

Elon Musk backs #DeleteFacebook, and Tesla's and SpaceX's Facebook pages vanish

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LOS ANGELES -- SpaceX and Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk supported the call to #DeleteFacebook on Friday morning, and the Facebook pages of his two most prominent companies quickly disappeared.

Musk was not the first prominent name in technology to line up against Facebook in the wake of the widening Cambridge Analytica controversy. WhatsApp ...Read more

5 things Federal Reserve interest rate hike means for your wallet

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Consumers tend to pay far more attention to the swings in their March Madness brackets than the latest moves by the Federal Reserve.

But the reality is the Fed's action last week will have more lasting impact on your wallet.

The Fed moved to raise rates by 25 basis points, as expected. The Fed's benchmark interest rate increases to 1.5 percent...Read more

Facebook users have been giving away their data for a decade. Is it too late to get our privacy back?

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Facebook users have been pouring personal data into the social media platform for more than a decade, often without realizing what they were giving up.

When third-party games or quizzes came along, users jumped on board with those too. Many of them were free, but what some users didn't realize -- or didn't care about -- was that they were ...Read more

Boost to affordable housing is part of new $1.3-trillion federal budget

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In passing a $1.3 trillion spending package, Congress not only averted a government shutdown. It also provided a boost to affordable housing developers who say their projects have been delayed -- even killed -- by recent tax-law changes.

The reduction in corporate rates this year indirectly lowered the value of the federal Low Income Housing ...Read more

California gains 14,000 jobs, and unemployment continues to fall

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California's job engine appears robust in the eighth year of an economic expansion, even if there are growing headwinds on the horizon after President Trump announced new tariffs this week.

The state added 14,000 net jobs to payrolls last month, while the unemployment rate fell to 4.3 percent from 4.4 percent a month earlier, according to data ...Read more

Consumer Confidential: White House could be blowing smoke with plan to cut nicotine in cigarettes

Business / Business News /

It looks like the Trump administration has finally found a business it doesn't like.

Amid a far-ranging push to deregulate American companies -- from payday lenders to internet service providers -- Trump has singled out Big Tobacco as the one industry he intends to crack down on.

Recently, the Food and Drug Administration announced it will ...Read more

China announces retaliatory tariffs on 128 US products

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BEIJING -- China on Friday announced it would impose retaliatory import tariffs on 128 U.S. products -- goods that amount to $3 billion -- targeting staples that include California wines, fruits and almonds.

The move follows President Donald Trump's decision this week to slap tariffs on about $50 billion worth in Chinese goods, triggering a ...Read more

How easy is it to #DeleteFacebook? Here's advice from those who have disconnected

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SEATTLE -- Facebook's image has taken a beating the past couple of years. First it was the Russians buying ads to try and influence U.S. elections, followed by the news this past week that the political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica harvested the data of 50 million Facebook users without their permission and used it to help Donald Trump ...Read more

Silicon Valley played by a different set of rules. Facebook's crisis could put an end to that

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Facebook was 2 years old when it introduced its most transformative feature: a news feed that offered users a running list of updates about their friends' love lives, favorite new bands and latest vacation photos.

For the hundreds of thousands of people on the social network, the idea of broadcasting personal details without consent came as a ...Read more

New data show the NRA increased online ad spending aggressively after Parkland shooting

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Immediately after the horror of the February 14 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., the National Rifle Association halted all of its digital advertising, including ads on YouTube, banner ads on websites, and Facebook ads.

Within four days, though, the NRA had returned in force, increasing its advertising ...Read more

H. Wayne Huizenga, business titan and pro sports owner, dead at 80

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- H. Wayne Huizenga, whose restless entrepreneurial spirit led him to become the only U.S. businessman to found three Fortune 500 companies, has died.

He was 80.

His death was confirmed by his daughter, Pamela Huizenga Alexander. The cause of death was not given.

In creating companies including Waste Management, ...Read more

The Week Ahead: The other inflation measurement

Business / Business News /

It doesn't get the media attention like its cousin, the Consumer Price Index, but the academic-sounding Personal Consumption Expenditures is the inflation gauge favored by the Federal Reserve. So investors should watch it carefully.

As its name suggests, the better-known Consumer Price Index measures price changes in things consumers are buying...Read more

Under the Hood: Making sense of scan tool readings

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Q: I took your advice and bought an inexpensive scan tool. It's been fun trying it out on several family cars, and I'm almost eagerly awaiting a problem so I can try to fix it! I'm curious about the "STFT" and "LTFT" percentage numbers -- and what they represent. I've also noticed one car shows a reading for "MAP" and the other shows it as "MAF"...Read more

American lovers of lingerie and luggage may feel tariff pinch

Business / Business News /

If you're an American who likes wearing Victoria's Secret bras, Guess jeans or Nike shoes, chances are you'll feel the impact of the $50 billion in tariffs that President Donald Trump is expected to unleash on Chinese imports.

A vast amount of items used by American consumers -- from Under Armour leggings to Bath & Body Works shower gel and ...Read more

Porsche rolls out plans to pump fossil fuel profits into electric car creation

Business / Business News /

SAN FRANCISCO -- The powerful new Porsche 911 GT3 RS's 500-horsepower gasoline engine can blast a driver from zero to 62 mph in 3.2 seconds.

How fast can the German automaker manage the transition to a future of electric vehicles and robot-driven cars?

The company addressed that question in its hometown of Stuttgart earlier this month, laying ...Read more

Byron Allen's company acquires Weather Channel in $300-million deal

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LOS ANGELES -- Byron Allen, the comedian-turned-media entrepreneur, has acquired the Weather Channel cable network as he seeks to build his TV and film business, he announced Thursday.

Allen's Los Angeles-based media company, Entertainment Studios, purchased Weather Group, the parent company of the Weather Channel and Local Now streaming ...Read more