Originally published on Tue January 6, 2015 11:44 am
Apple's innovative iTunes music service is still the market leader in music downloads, but after more than a decade of growth, sales of music tracks on iTunes have been declining. Last year saw the largest drop in sales — 14 percent. The drop is attributed to the increasing popularity of streaming music services such as Spotify, Pandora and YouTube. These services give fans access to millions of tracks from any Internet-connected device for a monthly fee or in return for listening to commercials.
Originally published on Tue January 6, 2015 10:00 am
This year, there will be an important change in the way Americans use their credit cards. More banks will be issuing cards with small computer chips, a move they say will protect against credit card fraud.
But banks are stopping short of another step that will make credit card usage even safer. And a lot of retailers aren't too happy about it.
Originally published on Tue January 6, 2015 7:07 am
Sales of cars surged in December, and analysts believe that the year's total will exceed 17 million, making it the fifth straight year of growth for the industry.
Cheap gas prices helped make that happen, as sales of trucks, SUVs and luxury vehicles rose rapidly. Jeep's sales, for instance, were up 40 percent on increased consumer demand for crossover SUVs. Meanwhile, demand for hybrid and alternative-fuel vehicles shrank.
Scott Painter, founder and CEO of auto sales website TrueCar, says those trends aren't necessarily good for the industry as a whole.
Originally published on Mon January 5, 2015 5:45 pm
The price for a barrel of U.S. oil benchmark West Texas Intermediate fell below $50 Monday, matching levels seen in the spring of 2009. The drop is linked to both OPEC's boosted production and a stronger dollar.
Oil's latest fall came along with a dip on Wall Street, as the Dow Jones industrial average fell more than 330 points to finish at 17,501 — a drop of 1.86 percent that's also seen as a reaction to new instability in Europe.
Originally published on Mon January 5, 2015 2:10 pm
The owner of the St. Louis Rams plans to build an NFL stadium in Los Angeles, in a move that could see the team return to the city where it spent almost five decades.
The Los Angeles Times reported today that Stan Kroenke and the Stockbridge Capital Group, which owns the 238-acre site in Inglewood, plan to build an 80,000-seat NFL stadium. The site also includes space for retail, offices and residences.
Originally published on Mon January 5, 2015 11:22 am
The euro fell today to a nine-year low against the dollar amid continuing doubts over Greece's future in the currency union and renewed prospects of monetary easing in the eurozone, the club of 19 EU countries that share the common currency.
The euro fell 1.2 percent against the dollar to $1.1864 — the lowest level since March 2006; it later recovered to $1.19370.
Originally published on Mon January 5, 2015 8:37 am
Cuba has promised its citizens better Internet access in this New Year. The few Cubans who now manage to get online find it expensive and slow.
Warming ties with the U.S. have stirred hope for improved telecommunications. But until then, many residents have devised an ingenious work-around, or should we say walk-around.
On Havana's Malecon, roaming guitarists play for the crowds resting against the iconic sea wall. In this nightly gathering spot, it's old fashioned interacting. No one is on a cell, no eyes glued to smart phones.