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2014 Archive Stories Business

Oakley partners with Garmin

Mon Nov 03, 2014

Outdoor sports apparel manufacturer Oakley Inc., based in Foothill Ranch, has partnered with GPS navigation maker Garmin International Inc. to upgrade the video capability on its Airwave 1.5 alpine ski and snowboard goggles. The software update became available Monday and will allow goggle users to download a Garmin app. This app allows

Lansner: Construction suffers shortage of workers (maybe)

Mon Nov 03, 2014

What exactly is a “shortage” of construction workers? Is it as developers and contractors see it: the lack of qualified managers and craftsman to handle increasing demand for construction work? Or is it how labor envisions it: shrinking numbers of workers willing to work for low wages with limited benefits? Wh

2015 Honda CR-V review: A mommy magnet, sure, but impressive

Mon Nov 03, 2014

Entire wars have come and gone during the time the CR-V has been the bestselling SUV in the U.S. Honda’s compact crossover has topped its segment for most of the past decade despite ever-increasing competition, so its most pressing mandate for the 2015 model year was simply, “Don’t mess it up,” according to its product pl

Lansner: 13 spooky economic scenarios

Sat Nov 01, 2014

It’s the spookiest of days, a perfect hour to ponder some scary business patterns. This Halloween, the economy is in modest growth mode. Unemployment is down to 5.1 percent in Orange County; gasoline has fallen to near $3 a gallon; mortgage rates are below 4 percent; and the stock market is back to challenging all-time highs.

Honk: What does 'END: NONE' mean on driver's licenses?

Sat Nov 01, 2014

Q. Hi, Mr. Honk: My wife recently renewed her California driver’s license. She did it online, paid the fee and received her new license in the mail. We noticed on her license that it shows “END: NONE.” That is on other licenses, too. What does that mean? – Mike Heaslet, Newport Beach

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

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