Archives

2014 Archive Stories Business

Has TV utopia arrived? Not so fast

Thu Oct 30, 2014

Good news keeps coming for consumers staggering under cable TV bills that are rising much faster than inflation – or so it seems at first glance. Those hoping to “cut the cord” and trade their cable subscriptions for cheaper Internet-based service got a boost this week when Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom

Oculus stands out for its mature talent

Thu Oct 30, 2014

Silicon Valley’s tech scene is known for celebrating its young. One of its superstars, Mark Zuckerberg, once famously stressed the importance of hiring youthful workers with technical expertise. “Young people are just smarter,” a 22-year-old Zuckerberg said in 2007, explaining that they have simpler lives.

Gas for $3 a gallon? It's not a mirage

Thu Oct 30, 2014

Gasoline prices continued to fall Wednesday around the nation, the state and Orange County, and investment banker Goldman Sachs said the prospect for even lower costs will continue into 2015. Increased shale production in the U.S. is driving down prices, and global output is ahead of demand, cutting into the Organization of Petroleum

New e-bike franchise priced for the commuter

Sat Oct 25, 2014

The concept is simple: Get people out of their cars and onto electric bicycles. The challenge? E-bikes can be expensive. Models from well-known brands often cost thousands of dollars, preventing would-be cyclists from buying in. But Curbside Commuters hopes to change that. The new electric bicycle franchise is the sole distributor of a l

Review: 2015 Kia Soul electric vehicle exceeds expectations in multiple areas

Sat Oct 25, 2014

As Tesla grabs all the headlines for its sci-fi semi autonomy and regulatory battles and fluctuating stock prices, electric vehicles from other automakers have quietly proliferated. Plug-ins from BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen and now Kia have all whirred their way on to the market this year, bringing the number of mass-market EV options to an u

Q&A: How U.S. businesses are capitalizing on China's 'super consumer'

Sat Oct 25, 2014

U.S. businesses, from retailers to hotel operators, are increasingly bending over backward to cater to the Chinese buyer. We’re seeing this play out in Orange County, where more luxury-shopping brands are hiring Mandarin-speaking associates and hotels are ensuring guests have access to familiar food items. A new book, &ldqu

Was summer's homebuying pace really all that slow?

Sat Oct 25, 2014

It’s easy in today's scare-first world to take this year’s slower homebuying pace as another reason for economic alarm. Take the latest bit of cool-down evidence: In the third quarter, CoreLogic DataQuick stats show 9,249 Orange County homes sold, down 8 percent from the previous, hot-selling year. Were buyers scared off by a

A website that sells your car for you?

Sat Oct 25, 2014

Drivers with used cars to sell have long faced a conundrum: Take it to a dealer and get far less than the vehicle’s value, or go through the hassles and risks of selling it yourself. Enter Carlypso – a website designed to help used-car sellers increase their profits and decrease inconvenience by allowing potential buyers

Mortgage rates remain below 4%

Fri Oct 24, 2014

What’s up with mortgage rates? Jeff Lazerson of Mortgage Grader in Laguna Niguel gives us his take. RATE NEWS From Freddie Ma

Report: Closures, job cuts for Sears, Kmart

Fri Oct 24, 2014

Struggling retailer Sears Holdings is expected to lay off more than 6,000 employees and shutter 110-plus Sears, Sears Auto Center and Kmart sites throughout the country, according to news reports Thursday. The closures will mainly affect stores in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Indiana, according to Seeking Alpha, a financial news site that

Food report: Steak 'n Shake coming, McRib returns, Melting Pot closes

Fri Oct 24, 2014

Three years after revealing plans to bring Steak ’n Shake to the West Coast, the iconic steak burger chain is finally landing closer to Orange County. Owned by Texas-based Biglari Holdings, Steak ’n Shake will open Tuesday in Santa Monica. This is the second Steak ’n Shake to open in California after a loc

Harmonson: What does the NFL survey sent to SoCal residents mean for an L.A. team?

Wed Oct 22, 2014

Dozens of answers into the ordeal, it no longer was clear if the screen featured a dating profile or a survey about interest in the NFL’s return to the nation’s second-largest market. Queries about commitment levels gave way to questions about income and preferred locations for the relationship to blossom. But

With cheaper technology now, the pros and cons of installing solar

Tue Oct 21, 2014

When Ray Tse and her family moved into their Irvine home in April, their electricity bills averaged $250 a month. Then the long hot summer hit, increasing air conditioning use and pinching their pocketbook.But this fall, their bills are projected to fall $20 to $30 a month now that a crew is finished bolting solar panels on their Sto

Lansner: Here are five ways the Ebola crisis may cost you

Tue Oct 21, 2014

It can be extremely awkward to talk about money when people are dying and suffering. But there are economic costs to the Ebola crisis. The hardest hit areas in West Africa – Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone – are by no means economic powerhouses or major producers of key commodities. That doesn’t mean that in today&rsqu

Yokohama depends on Southern California workers, opts to relocate in region

Sun Oct 19, 2014

We hear a lot about the companies that choose to leave our area. Let’s hear about one that stayed. Japanese tire maker Yokohama has run its U.S. operations out of Fullerton since 1986. In the past year or so, the company realized it had grown out of its old base and needed new warehouse and office space. A move was in order

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