Chriss W. Street

Chriss W. Street

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AP Photo/Charles Dharapak

Report: Russian Hackers Read Obama’s Emails

After a week of vigorous denials, the New York Times just reported President Barack Obama’s email correspondence was captured by Russian cyber-hackers last year in a breach of what the White House is calling its “unclassified computer system.” The breaches
Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP

Apple Watch: Mixed Response from First Customer Deliveries

Friday marked the beginning of the Apple Watch era, as worldwide pre-order customers received their first official deliveries. Many who ordered on the April 10th launch date expected the Watch would expand those cool little human interface experiences Apple mastered for laptops and phones. But some are complaining that this evolutionary device is just a complicated and annoying wrist-mounted iPhone notification display.
TurboTax (Mike Mozart / Flickr / CC)

Potential TurboTax Class Action Lawsuits Allege Mass Online Tax Fraud

Millions of TurboTax users will be troubled by a lawsuit that was filed Monday in San Francisco against Intuit, Inc. claiming that when the firm knew TurboTax’s lax software security protections were allowing a huge spike in tax refund theft, TurboTax failed to correct weaknesses or notify customers about ongoing risks.

NASDAQ Hits New High, After 15-Year Recovery

15 years after the Dot-Com Bubble burst, the Nasdaq Composite Index leapt by 20.89 points, or 0.4%, to close at 5056.06 on Thursday, a record high. The strength of the index is being driven by the Silicon Valley 150 tech companies that have provided the juice to lift the NASDAQ by 6.8%, despite U.S. stock performance trailing major world markets.
AP Photo

SCOTUSblog: Cal Raisin Farmers Had a Good Day at the U.S. Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court held oral arguments on April 22 regarding the constitutionality of a federal law that requires raisin farmers to transfer a portion of any raisin crop surplus to the federal government at a severe discount, or pay a fine. The law was passed during the Great Depression as a "New Deal" for agriculture to keep prices up. But the farmers call the law an “illegal taking” under the Fifth Amendment--and they appeared to have a very good day in Court, according to the SCOTUSblog.
Airbnb Pride (Quinn Dombrowski / Flickr / CC)

California Plans to Tax Airbnb; Company Fights Back

For California cities and counties, Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) for short-term hotel rentals rose from $1.38 billion in 2010 to $1.67 billion in 2012. Collection of the 13 percent average tax on short-term occupancies would have been much higher, except that Airbnb online rentals has never collected a dime. Now, State Senator Mike McGuire (D-Healdsburg) os pushing Senate Bill 593 legislation to require “online vacation rental sites” to collect TOT and report big data--such as number of guests or length of stay-- to cities and counties. And Airbnb and hosts are warning about consumer privacy.
Clear app (Screenshot /

‘Clear’ App Purges Tweets Before they Purge your Career

Going “clear” is in this year. First as a perfect score for horse jumping; then in Alex Gibney’s Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival; and now as the new project of Ethan Czahor, who had to resign as Chief Technical Officer (CTO) of the Jeb Bush Presidential campaign over some nasty old offensive tweets. Czahor has just launched a new iOS app called "Clear" to purge offensive “stuff” you may have posted on social media.

‘Grexit’ Brinkmanship is Classic Greek Tragedy

The populists are screening a modern Greek Tragedy wherein the noble Greek people are forced to suffer deprivations in return for the villainous German-controlled creditors pretend to loan Greece money that mostly repay existing EU loans used to buy German imports. But with Greece on the brink of running out of cash, and Greece’s creditors running out of patience, a compromise may be coming together to avoid an overt ‘Grexit’ by allowing for a devalued “Greek euro.”

Exploding Public Pension Costs Hit Public Employee Wages

In the past, the Manhattan Institute has effectively highlighted how rising California public pension costs are cutting into “basic infrastructure maintenance, public safety, education, and quality-of-life services such as parks and libraries.” But in the newest report, "Pension Costs are Crowding Out Salaries," by Senior Fellow Stephen D. Eide, the Manhattan Institute reveals how California public employees themselves are suffering. In a decade where pension costs rose by 135 percent and healthcare premiums by 85 percent, public sector wages grew 4.6 percent slower than private sector workers’ salaries.
George Washington statue, New York Stock Exchange

Pride Before a Fall? Experts Claim Silicon Valley Boom is Sustainable

Silicon Valley is again “champagne style and caviar wishes” as people around the world paid $18,000 for Apple watches last week. But with Moore’s Law predicting computer power will double annually as prices fall now turning 50 years old, it is helpful to put in perspective that the NASDAQ Index dominated by “Valley” tech stocks that has almost tripled since 2010 to 4931, is a couple of percent short of its Dot-Com Bubble peak of 5132 in March 2000. But adjusted for inflation, the NASDAQ still is still down 34 percent.

Barclays Bank Says China Capital Flight Twice as Big as Russia’s

Barclay’s Bank estimates that despite a hot stock market, the China suffered $300 billion in capital flight and is facing its first foreign exchange liquidity crisis since 2000. The news follows a report that China’s GDP is experiencing negative growth in real terms, thanks to collapsing domestic demand.
AP Photo

Moore’s Law Turns 50 as Computing Power Doubles Every Year

Just as the Dot-com bubble was popping in May 2000, the highly respected MIT Technology Review published an article, "The End of Moore's Law?", that claimed computing power could not continue to double each year, because engineers were no longer able to “cram an ever-increasing number of electronic devices onto microchips.” But after 50 years of unabated annual doublings of computer power on chips, there is still no sign that Silicon Valley innovations are slowing or that Moore’s Law will expire.
AP/Charlie Neibergall

Democrats Hope Hillary Clinton Raises $100s of Millions from Wall Street

The first fundraising numbers for Hillary Clinton’s White House bid will not be posted until July, but Wall Street took leadership roles in fundraising for both of her New York Senate campaigns, and nine of Mrs. Clinton’s top 20 donor organizations in her 2008 presidential bid were financial services firms. But after six years of a Wall Street donation boycott in retaliation for passing Dodd-Frank, Clinton is the Democrats’ best hope for reviving access to $100s of millions from Wall Street’s firehose of political donations.
AP Photo

Report: Drought Will Have Little Impact on California Economy

There has been lots of hubbub in the last two weeks about California’s economy drying up and blowing away like sagebrush after four years of drought. But the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO), which provides budget advice to state lawmakers, announced that “We currently do not expect the drought to have a significant effect” on the state’s budget or overall economy. The reason: agriculture is only a small piece of the economy.
Xinhua/Guo Chen/AFP

Report: ‘Real’ China GDP Shrinks as Demand Collapses

Lombard Street Research (LSR) has reported that China’s “real” (after-inflation) GDP actually fell -0.2% for the quarter ending March 2015. Despite the official government claim of +1.3 percent growth for the quarter and +7 percent annualized growth. China’s quarterly performance
AP Photo/Charles Dharapak

The Real Elizabeth Warren Stands up to Trash Wall Street

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass) has not commanded much public attention since Hillary Clinton started channeling Warren’s book, Fighting Chance, which claims the “system is rigged” against the middle class because it is controlled by and for the elites who tilt the game in their favor. But in a bold effort to take all the oxygen out of the Clinton campaign, Senator Warren (D-Mass.) laid out a bare-knuckles legislative road map on Wednesday to kick Wall Street in the teeth.
AP Photo

Netflix Stock Streams Higher, Adding Almost 5M Subscribers

Netflix, Inc. beat its aggressive prediction that it would add 4 million new streaming subscribers in the quarter ending March by adding 4.88 million subscribers. After shares leaped 47% over the past three months, the fabulous numbers sent the stock up about 11 percent to $531 in after-hours trading on Wednesday.

EU Pursues Google for Antitrust After Leaked FTC Report

Google thought it had agreed last year with European competition regulators that the company's 90% dominance of Internet searches was “not an illegal business.” But new European Union antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager sought to put Google in chains on Wednesday by accusing the company of abusing its dominance in web searches to the detriment of competitors.

Study: Over 27% of Student Loans Are in Default

A university degree was once perceived as the social elevator to a higher net worth. But the Federal Reserve Bank of New York estimates that 40 million Americans have racked up an average of four loans with an outstanding net balance of $29,000 to obtain a college education.
Owen Humphreys/PA Wire URN:15449317 (Press Association via AP Images)

Boeing Union Organizing Effort Collapsing in South Carolina

The International Association of Machinist (IAM) were cocky on March 17 when they filed petitions with the National Labor Relations Board for a vote to organize 3,175 jet assembly workers at the Boeing Company’s nonunion factories in South Carolina. But with a week before the April 22 vote and panicking that they are about to lose, the union is on the verge withdrawing the vote.

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