Republican push tax plan hard, but voters seem uninterested

Business / Business News /

WASHINGTON--Republicans are investing enormous amounts of political capital and dollars to pump up support for their tax bill in a risky, last-ditch legislative undertaking ahead of next year's midterm elections.

A group aligned with House Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., has spent $20 million so far on ads and outreach in communities across the ...Read more

Full-size pickup sales growth continues, led by Ford

Business / Business News /

Sam Parnagian oversees thousands of acres of fresh grapes and mandarin oranges that will be sold at Costco and Sam's Club. Each day, he drives a 2017 F-250 Platinum through California's heartland, the third full-size pickup he has owned. "I bought one Ford and never looked back."

The vice president of operations at Fowler Packing Co. in Fresno,...Read more

The Week Ahead: GM to lay out an 'autonomous future'

Business / Business News /

Talk of AVs, EVs and geofencing will replace horsepower, fuel efficiency and cylinders in the week ahead for General Motors. The automaker holds a webcast Thursday promising to "share our vision for an autonomous future."

What it means is cars and trucks without drivers.

The 110-year old company is embracing a zero-emission, driverless future....Read more

Brandshare's specialty is gifts for e-commerce customers

Business / Business News /

Mott's Fruity Rolls. Tide detergent pods. Art of the Shave razors.

These are just some of the surprises e-commerce shoppers have found when their packages arrived – tucked, for example, inside the children's pajamas from Zulily, the sheets from Bed Bath & Beyond or the men's shirts from Brooks Brothers.

The retail world no longer guarantees ...Read more

Morality, ethics of a self-driving car: Who decides who lives or dies?

Business / Business News /

WASHINGTON -- Consider this hypothetical:

It's a bright, sunny day and you're alone in your spanking new self-driving vehicle. You're sitting back, enjoying the view, moving along at the 45 mph speed limit.

As you approach a rise in the road, heading south, a school bus appears, driving north, driven by a human, and it veers sharply toward you...Read more

Retailers take another look at printed catalogs

Business / Business News /

In one TV commercial from this year's Toys R Us holiday campaign, a mom sweats through her cycling workout while her suspiciously helpful daughter tries to stir up a breeze.

"I'm just gonna leave this right here," the girl says, covering the stationary bike's display with her impromptu fan -- an old-school mail-order catalog.

The Toys R Us ...Read more

The FCC's abandonment of network neutrality will end the internet as we know it

Business / Business News /

No one could accuse Ajit Pai, President Donald Trump's appointee as chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, of concealing his intention to kill network neutrality. For nearly five years as a Republican FCC commissioner, and most recently in a speech in April, Pai depicted rules guaranteeing net neutrality as heavy-handed and ...Read more

As 'Fat Leonard' scandal grinds on, another Navy fraud case is under the radar

Business / Business News /

SAN DIEGO -- More than four years ago in a San Diego hotel, federal investigators arrested Leonard Glenn "Fat Leonard" Francis in what was the opening step in a fraud and bribery scandal that continues to resonate through the Navy.

Francis soon pleaded guilty to a decade-long scheme in which he bribed Navy officers and officials and enlisted ...Read more

CBS sees no quick resolution in fee dispute with Dish Network

Business / Business News /

CBS Corp. sounded a pessimistic note on the eve of Thanksgiving, saying that the broadcast company and Dish Network "remain far apart on terms" in an increasingly contentious carriage fee dispute.

CBS's comments Wednesday suggested there will be no quick resolution in the network's blackout for Dish subscribers in 18 cities -- including Los ...Read more

Larry Printz: Kia looks to bury past perceptions with the 2018 Kia Stinger GT

Business / Business News /

BURBANK, Calif. -- For Kia, the 2018 Kia Stinger is as much a marketing exercise as it is a product launch; a vehicle meant to close one chapter while opening a new one for the brand.

"You know for years we built so-so quality products that were really nondescript. They were low-priced vehicles with good fuel economy and that's what we were ...Read more

Online piracy device heightens anxiety in Hollywood and Silicon Valley

Business / Business News /

Jeffrey and Carrla Goldstein seem to have all the makings of a power couple from a reality TV show.

They host events for local religious groups at their mansion outside Atlanta, complete with a bowling alley and a mural of themselves posing with celebrities. A local news publication once referred to them as their community's "Brad and Angelina,...Read more

Under the Hood: What if tire pressure gauges don't agree?

Business / Business News /

Q. I have been working on cars for over 40 years as a hobbyist. I say this to establish that I am not new or inexperienced. My question is this: You have written about and I am a firm believer in maintaining correct tire pressure in vehicles, however, I own at least 3 tire pressure gauges, one an inexpensive pencil type and two dial type both ...Read more

Elon Musk's tunneling company wants to dig through L.A.

Business / Business News /

LOS ANGELES -- Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk has famously complained about the traffic he faces on his commute from his Bel-Air home to his office in Hawthorne, near Los Angeles International Airport.

His solution? An alternate transportation system that could whisk commuters from the San Fernando Valley to the Westside in a matter of ...Read more

The driverless revolution may exact a political price

Business / Business News /

WASHINGTON -- In its race to embrace driverless vehicles, Washington has cleared away regulatory hurdles for auto companies and brushed aside consumer warnings about the risk of crashes and hacking.

But at a recent hearing, lawmakers absorbed an economic argument that illustrated how the driverless revolution they are encouraging could backfire...Read more

Oakland's mayor wants residents to house the homeless

Business / Business News /

OAKLAND, Calif. -- For everyone who has ever passed one of this city's sprawling homeless encampments and wondered how to help, Mayor Libby Schaaf has an answer -- open your door to someone in need of shelter.

The Oakland mayor is asking residents to offer their spare rooms, Airbnb units and rental properties to the city's homeless, a radical ...Read more

A Stanford professor didn't just debate his scientific critics — he sued them for $10 million

Business / Business News /

In 2015, Mark Z. Jacobson of Stanford and several colleagues predicted that wind, solar and hydroelectric power could provide 100 percent of the energy demand in each of the 48 contiguous American states, "at low cost," by about 2050.

When their conclusions were published in the prestigious Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, they ...Read more

Real estate Q&A: No flood insurance for the condo? It's potentially negligent to go uncovered

Business / Business News /

Q: We own a unit in a small condominium. Until recently, we have had flood insurance although we are not in a flood zone. Now a new owner is pushing for it, and the board is caving in. Are they legally required to have flood insurance if most owners do not want to pay the extra expense through our dues? – Shelley

A: Flood insurance is one of ...Read more

The Mortgage Professor: Revising the standard mortgage to meet today's challenge

Business / Business News /

People are living longer, which means they need more wealth when they stop working. If they are homeowners, one approach to this objective is to find ways to encourage them to pay off their mortgages in full before they retire. In this way, their full home equity becomes available for conversion into spendable funds if needed.

The existing ...Read more

Best-laid plans to give chickens room to run are shelved with USDA organics rule

Business / Business News /

NEUVO, Calif. -- Strolling through a flock of free-roaming rust-colored hens, Christopher Nichols admits that no one truly knows whether his chickens are happier because they can strut around and wander outside.

But consumers are happier, and that matters a lot to the third-generation egg farmer and a slew of other egg producers who charge a ...Read more

Tech Q&A: What to do when an old word processing or spreadsheet format fades away

Business / Business News /

Q: My 2010 desktop PC crashed in October, taking with it my copy of Microsoft Office Home and Student 2007. Fortunately, I saved all my Office 2007 Word and Excel files, which are in the ".wps" and ".xlr" file formats, on flash drives. I bought a new Windows 10 PC, but have not yet replaced the Office software. If I buy Office Home and Student ...Read more