Despite a January lawsuit settlement, many merchants are still dinging users. Insisting on minimum purchase amounts is also a no-no.
AAA says the new electronic devices are creating unexpected problems, and with all their advanced capabilities, they're costly to replace.
Modern cars are getting smarter every year. But drivers? Maybe not so much, at least when it comes to handling their time-saving, state-of-the-art "smart keys."
AAA says it assisted more than 4 million members last year who had locked themselves out of their vehicles. And the association notes the overall number of locked-out drivers needing rescue hasn't changed much over the past five years despite the growing popularity of the new keys, which let motorists remotely unlock and start their vehicles.
Smart keys are electronic and use radio frequencies. They can add hundreds of dollars to a car's cost and can be very expensive to replace -- often with a wait time of several days. "The cost to replace a transponder key runs around $100, and replacement smart keys can cost several hundred dollars depending on the make and model," John Nielsen, AAA's director of automotive engineering and repair, said in a press statement.
New figures show H2O has replaced carbonated drinks as the favored national thirst quencher.
The decades-long and seemingly unquenchable passion Americans once had for sugary, carbonated drinks is losing its fizz. More consumers are returning to a bland but readily available and transparent standby: water.
The Associated Press, quoting data from Beverage Digest, reports water has surpassed soda as the national drink of choice.
Americans now consume an average of 44 gallons of soda a year -- down 17% from the 1998 peak -- while the average amount of water consumed annually jumped 38% to about 58 gallons.
Two factors are apparently at play with these new figures.
The owner of 8 North Carolina outlets says health care will cost him a store's worth of profits. The growing burger chain -- which counts the president as a fan -- has distanced itself from that complaint.
On Monday, a Five Guys franchisee in North Carolina returned the favor by saying that, according to The Washington Examiner, the president's new health care law is forcing him to put plans for new stores on hold and may result in higher prices for burgers. Mike Ruffer, a former Marriott (MAR) executive who owns eight Five Guys restaurants in the Raleigh-Durham area, told attendees of a seminar dedicated to the new health care law and hosted by the Heritage Foundation that all the profits from one of his eight outlets would have to be dedicated to health care and that “any added costs are going to have to be passed on."
Analysts doubted the Canadian government would ever allow the beleaguered company to be snapped up.
Wall Street analysts were skeptical that the Canadian government, which blocked Australia's BHP Billiton's (BHP) $39 billion bid for Potash of Saskatchewan (POT), would allow a Chinese company to take over BlackBerry. Indeed, Lenovo executives appeared to be backing away from suggestions from Lenovo's CEO, Yang Yuanqing, that it might consider such a move.
As Morningstar analyst Brian Colello told Reuters: "My understanding is that Canada treats the company and its patents as a bit of a crown jewel and would not rule lightly on a takeover."
The appeal of BlackBerry to Lenovo is understandable.
The site allowed users to bet on just about anything, but saw its traffic take a steep plunge after US regulators stepped in.
The site, based in Ireland, suddenly stopped all trading activity this week, and posted a notice for customers that suggested "financial irregularities" were to blame. The site closed all open contracts their fair market value on Sunday.
Some of the problems may relate to $2.6 million in insufficiently documented payments to its founder, The Financial Times reports. The founder, John Delaney, died while attempting to climb Mount Everest in 2011.
Intrade was already running into legal trouble.
Swine carcasses in a Shanghai river emphasize the crisis that's brewing, thanks to unbridled growth and paranoid leadership.
China has another environmental mess, with more possible long-term financial impact on that nation and the global economy.
Authorities in Shanghai are trying to determine who dumped over 3,000 dead pigs in the city's Huangpu River. A swine virus was reportedly discovered in one of the carcasses, but local officials say it's of no danger to humans and that the local water supply -- part of which comes from the river -- is safe for drinking.
Many Chinese are taking a cynical and wry look at the situation. Some online wag posted on a Chinese micro-blogging site that the pigs sacrificed themselves while taking a stand on the country's notorious air pollution or to protest the rampant use of antibiotics on livestock.
The top doughnut tester at the company says that making the product is not easy.
Rick Golden's team in Canton, Mass., creates as many as 1,200 doughnuts a day in the testing phase, trying to come up with the perfect concoction. A few recipes make it to Dunkin' shelves, but many more never make it out of the test kitchen.
Dunkin' Brands franchises nearly 100% of its 10,400 Dunkin' Donuts restaurants. It also owns some 7,000 Baskin-Robbins locations. Its share price has jumped 16% in the last year.
From the Saveur report, here are four things you didn't know about making doughnuts:
Firearms retailers report that they often turn away shady customers, even as they're losing ground to less scrupulous online competitors.
A recent survey of gun-shop owners keeps that line intact but doesn't touch the online competitors routinely hurdling it. According to the University of California at Davis' Violence Prevention Research Program, as reported by The Huffington Post, about 55% of gun retailers had someone try to illegally buy a gun from them in 2011. In those cases, law enforcement was contacted about the attempted illegal purchases 75% of the time.
Those surveyed said they were largely against illegal gun sales and would support laws that clamped down on such transactions.
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[BRIEFING.COM] Borrowing on the theme of the outperformance of the cyclical sectors in the last update, there has been a notable move in the commodities space that has been highlighted by a sharp rebound in silver prices and oil prices, and healthy gains among the industrial metals.
Silver prices, down close to 4.0% earlier in the session, are now up 2.0% at $22.80/oz. The move in the commodity space has helped vault the materials sector (+0.4%) into a leadership position ... More
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Investors still clinging to the stock are looking to the company's founder and private equity shop Silver Lake Partners to complete their proposed buyout.