Category Archives: News and Views

Weekly Economic Update | LAEDC

LAEDC-LOGOv.20 n.16 – Released April 25, 2016

This Week’s Headlines:

Mitsubishi Motors admits falsifying fuel economy tests | BBC News

Mitsubishi Motors has admitted falsifying fuel economy data for more than 600,000 vehicles sold in Japan.

Tyre pressure figures were falsified by employees to flatter mileage rates, the company said.

Almost 470,000 vehicles that Mitsubishi made for Nissan were affected and the issue was uncovered after Nissan found inconsistencies.

The announcement sent shares in Mitsubishi down more than 15% in Tokyo.

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Supreme Court affirms Google Books scans of copyrighted works are fair use | TechCrunch

A Supreme Court order issued today closes the book on (or perhaps merely ends this chapter of) more than a decade of legal warfare between Google and the Authors Guild over the legality of the former’s scanning without permission of millions of copyrighted books. And the final word is: it’s fair use. Related Articles As “Paying The Writer” Gets Easier, Whither Bookstores? Pronoun, A Self-Publishing Platform For Authors, Is Ready To Serve Humanity With Publishing Tools Like These, Who Needs Enemies?

The order is just an item in a long list of other orders that appeared today, and adds nothing to the argument except the tacit approval of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals 2015 decision — itself approving an even earlier decision, that of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York in 2013. So in a way, it’s old news.

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What San Francisco’s Tech Boom Means For Bay Area Real Estate | Forbes

The current state of Bay Area housing bears resemblance to the years leading up to the dotcom bubble in 2000 and the 2008 housing market collapse. At the peak of the housing bubble in 2007, the median sale price for a home in San Francisco was $895,000 while renters were paying just over $2,400 a month on average.

There’s no doubt that the Bay Area real estate market is white-hot once again and it’s largely due to the surging tech industry. Over the last few years, San Francisco has begun looking more and more like Silicon Valley, with companies like Google, Twitter, Airbnb and LinkedIn scooping up office space.

Nine years since the 2007 peak, housing prices, home values and rental rates are once again climbing to unsustainable levels. In 2015, home values jumped by more than 14% and the median sale price, meanwhile, is hovering around $1.1 million.

According to the California Realtors Association’s Housing Affordability Index, just 20% of residents living in the nine Bay Area counties can afford to pay that much for a home. Renters aren’t faring any better, with the median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in San Francisco hitting a whopping $3,490 as of January 2016.

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Why You Should Remove QuickTime From Your Windows Computer Right Now | Inc.com

This past Thursday, The United States Department of Homeland Security issued an alert advising people running Apple’s QuickTime program on Windows computers to immediately uninstall the software. QuickTime was once a popular package for playing video and audio clips on computers, but it has since been eclipsed by other technologies.

Unfortunately, security vulnerabilities continue to be discovered in the QuickTime software — including two critical ones announced just this past week that could allow criminals to hack into computers with QuickTime installed if the devices’ users either run malware or visit a malicious webpage (which a criminal can induce via phishing, offering some “great deal” and spreading word of it on social media, etc.). Without security patches being issued by Apple, QuickTime software poses a serious danger to those running it.

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BP shareholders reject CEO’s $20 million pay package | CNN Money

Shareholders delivered a stinging rebuke to BP on Thursday by rejecting the oil company’s decision to give CEO Bob Dudley a 20% pay hike last year. About 59% of them voted against Dudley’s pay and benefits package — worth $19.6 million — at an annual meeting in London. But he will still get the money.

The bumper payout came despite an annual loss of $5.2 billion, a collapse in the group’s share price, and plans to shed 7,000 jobs by the end of 2017.

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How States Are Working to Prevent a Zika Outbreak | ABC News

State health officials across the southern U.S. are working to prevent a widespread outbreak of the disease, after health officials have raised concern about higher risk in warming weather.

Currently there are 367 confirmed cases of the Zika virus in the U.S. The vast majority were contracted through travel to areas where the virus is actively spreading, outside the U.S. A small number of the cases were spread through sexual transmission.

The effects of the Zika virus are worse than health officials previously thought, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Intitutes of Health (NIH) said in a joint announcement at the White House yesterday.

“We continue to be learning pretty much every day and most of what we’re learning is not reassuring,” Dr. Anne Schuchat, Principal Deputy Director of the CDC, said. The virus is, “linked to a broader set of complications in pregnancy.”

In Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, the CDC confirms the virus is spreading directly from infected mosquitoes to people. Schuchat said they estimate hundreds of thousands of people in Puerto Rico could become infected with the Zika virus. In turn, that could mean hundreds of babies may be born with birth defects.

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