Despite a January lawsuit settlement, many merchants are still dinging users. Insisting on minimum purchase amounts is also a no-no.
A survey finds that low-wage employees feel worse off now than they were during the economic downturn.
Those making $35,000 a year or less are not only still feeling the effects of the devastating downturn, but they're unsure if they'll ever pull out of it. A two-part Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research survey finds that low-wage workers are feeling worse off now than they were during the recession, while The Wall Street Journal finds unemployed Americans feeling similarly low.
The AP-NORC survey found that half of low-end workers were "not too" or "not at all" confident that their jobs would help them meet their long-term career goals. As its stands, only 41% of workers who have been in dead-end jobs for more than a decade reported ever receiving a promotion.
The housing rebound is putting more of these residences on the market, which is making test kits a growth industry.
Health experts say it's a good idea to have your home checked for asbestos, lead, mold or radon gas. But now a growing number of consumers are having their residences or business spaces inspected for another very toxic hazard -- methamphetamine contamination.
According to the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors, police seized more than 17,000 meth labs in the U.S. in 2003. The number of seizures has gone down more recently, but methamphetamine use continues to rise. Officials estimate tens of thousands of homes and other properties have been contaminated by the chemicals used to make the highly addictive drug.
The spilled or vaporized ingredients can be easily absorbed into a variety of home interior carpets, ducts, wall boards, tiles and fabrics -- and even trace amounts can linger there for years.
Prices are up by as much as 10%, while sales may top 2012's total of $2.5 billion. And more non-Jewish consumers are buying.
According to Menachem Lubinsky, a Kosher food marketing consultant who edits Kosher Today, prices for Passover foods are up 5% to 10% this year.
Sales of Kosher for Passover goods, which also includes non-religious goods that are permitted on the holiday such as Coca-Cola (KO) along with traditional fare including macaroons, were about $2.5 billion in 2012. He expects spending to be "at least that if not more" for this year. Passover starts Monday night and ends April 2.
Jews, of course, are the largest buyers of these products.
Kevin Lynch once blew up an iPhone on camera. That's going to make for an interesting first day at the office.
So when news broke that Lynch is leaving Adobe Systems (ADBE) to join the very company he once trashed, some Apple watchers had a fit. John Gruber called him a "bozo" and a "bad hire."
The move is extremely surprising. Apple co-founder Steve Jobs hated Adobe's Flash platform and banned it from his products, saying that Flash was too unstable and insecure. Jobs even penned a letter in 2010 listing Flash's many flaws.
That put Adobe and Lynch on the defensive, and they clashed with Apple many times over the years, with Lynch accusing Apple of "negative campaigning" and hurtful behavior.
The company is happy with tests that allow customers to scan items with their phones and check out on their own.
The company is expanding the Scan & Go program to more than 200 stores from the 70 test locations, Reuters reports. In the program, shoppers go around the store and use their iPhones to scan the items they want to buy. Then they pay for their items at self-checkout counters.
The program works only with iPhones, but Wal-Mart plans to expand it to Android devices.
It's another way for Wal-Mart to get customers in and out of stores without talking to a single employee. If the program goes well, it would likely lead to reduced worker hours and less money spent on salaries.
Watch out, Tesla Motors. A new company says it can start making a 2-seat electric roadster by this fall.
Detroit Electric collapsed after the Great Depression, but a former Lotus Cars executive borrowed the name for a new company founded in 2008. Now, the company wants to produce a battery-powered sports car by August.
"We think we have the best electric car out there," Don Graunstadt, CEO of the company's North America operations, told the MLive website. That was a clear knock against Tesla Motors (TSLA), which has been ramping up a line of sleek electric sports cars.
So far, Detroit Electric isn't saying much about the cars it plans to produce.
The FDA is backing away from a legal battle over requiring graphic images on packages showing smoking's health effects.
A plan to place gruesome images on cigarette packs has apparently ended, with the U.S. government saying it'll drop a legal battle to include photos depicting the habit's impact, such as diseased lungs and a smoker's corpse, on the packaging.
Attorney General Eric Holder said the Food and Drug Administration will instead rethink the packaging and create labeling that would replace the graphic photos, reports the Associated Press.
The government had faced a Monday deadline to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review an earlier ruling that found the packaging violated First Amendment free speech protections. The decision is a victory for tobacco companies such as R.J. Reynolds (RAI), which increasingly rely on packaging to appeal to smokers, given limits on the companies' ability to advertise.
The company will penalize employees $600 a year if they don't take part in its 'voluntary' wellness program.
Having to disclose your weight and body fat levels just to get that gig is another story.
The Boston Herald disclosed CVS' new health screening policy Tuesday and revealed that workers who fail to comply would face $50-a-month surcharge. That $600-a-year penalty somewhat undermines CVS' suggestion that the new policy is "voluntary," but it's an increasingly common move by companies looking to save money by avoiding employees with costly health conditions.
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The convicted fraudster says he's making $40 a month in jail -- about the same as Bangladesh garment workers.
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