Originally published on Mon September 9, 2013 3:27 pm
The beauty of the Internet — and the reason for its ubiquitous place in our lives — is that just about anyone can use it to offer services, products or information. But the link between what's out there on the Internet, how fast it gets to us and how much data can get to us is dependent on Internet service providers and the rules that govern them. That's where things get thorny for the principle of net neutrality.
If your eyes are already glazing over, consider this: This debate could affect the speed, quality and cost of your Hulu or Netflix binge-viewing.
EcoATMs take old cellphones, MP3 players and tablets in exchange for cash. But the automated kiosks, operating 650 machines in 40 states, are getting bad reviews from police, who are concerned the machines are a magnet for thieves.
The transaction is fairly simple. The machine walks you through the process, scanning your ID to certify you're over 18 and verify your identity. An ecoATM employee inspects the transaction remotely in real time. Once the seller's identity is verified, the kiosk takes the device and assesses its value. You get the cash, and the device is recycled.
Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 1:07 pm
Seattle-based coffee giant Starbucks has announced it's going to expand to Colombia.
The country is known for its Arabica beans and for the mythical coffee farmer Juan Valdez. He's helped sell Colombia's coffee for 50 years. Starbucks has cafes in 50 countries. And now, it's coming to perhaps the country most associated with coffee.
Howard Schultz, the company's chief executive, announced that the first shop will open in Bogota in 2014, followed by 50 more cafes and in other cities over five years.
Originally published on Sun September 1, 2013 8:34 am
When you go to the Dead Sea for a float in its extraordinarily buoyant waters, signs warn you not to drink a drop. "Did you swallow water?" one Dead Sea do's and don'ts list asks. "Go immediately to the lifeguard."
Originally published on Tue August 27, 2013 7:22 pm
In its first "Global Government Requests Report," Facebook has released details on the number of requests it has gotten from government agents for user data.
Facebook reveals that governments around the globe have made 38,000 total requests for user data in the first half of 2013, and the U.S. dwarfs the rest of the world in requests. Up to June 30, the U.S. government asked Facebook for access to accounts of between 20,000 and 21,000 users, the company said.
Facebook has more than 1.1 billion users globally.
Originally published on Tue August 27, 2013 12:33 pm
It's been a good year for Tesla Motors, the luxury electric car maker, particularly in California, where it's selling more cars than Porsche, Jaguar, Lincoln, or Buick. In 2013, the company has sold 4,714 cars in the state, according to the California New Car Dealers Association.
Originally published on Tue August 20, 2013 9:15 am
We told you recently about new allegations of violations at three Chinese factories that make Apple's popular iPhones and iPads. Now, we have more allegations of labor violations – this time against Apple's main rival, Samsung, and its operations in Brazil.
Originally published on Mon August 12, 2013 11:25 am
At a time when much of the world is mired in economic torpor, China still enjoys enviable growth rates. Yet there's no question that its economy is growing more slowly these days.
Just ask Yan Liwei, a salesman for a construction materials company, who was visiting a park in Shanghai this weekend.
"The number of new construction projects is declining somewhat. It's taking longer for many of our clients to pay us what they owe," Liwei says. "Many small and midsized developers are feeling a cash crunch."
Originally published on Tue August 6, 2013 10:50 am
With sizzling temperatures in much of the country, tourists are turning to mountain ski resorts to find relief. Resorts from Colorado to California and Oregon are on track to set a record this year for summer business.
Brandon Wilke is spending a long weekend at a resort just down the road from Aspen, Colo. He came for a wedding, but Wilke and his brother-in-law decided to bring their mountain bikes and try out some bike trails at the Snowmass ski resort. At first, Wilke says he didn't know mountain biking was an option.
Originally published on Sat August 3, 2013 3:11 pm
The New York Times Co. has announced the sale of The Boston Globe to the principle owner of the Boston Red Sox for $70 million, a sum that represents a fraction of the $1.1 billion paid for the flagship newspaper two decades ago.