By now, you've probably heard of Internet-based ridesharing apps like Uber and Sidecar that let you hail a ride with the touch of a screen. They're often cheaper than taxis and because of that, they're in most major cities and their popularity is booming.
For years, cities and states — bodies that regulate transportation — have struggled to figure out what to do about them. Recently, California took the first steps towards legitimizing them.
In Los Angeles, Lyft is one of the biggest ride-sharing companies.
Originally published on Wed August 7, 2013 6:43 pm
Patty Stonesifer once watched Martha's Table serve food to the homeless outside the Washington, D.C., offices of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. When the top post at the charity came open, she knew it was the job for her.
On a recent morning, Patty Stonesifer sat cross-legged on the floor of a day care classroom, laughing as pre-schoolers clambered into a fire truck made out of a cardboard carton.
This is a far cry from Stonesifer's old life. She made her fortune in the tech world, where she rose through the ranks at Microsoft to become its highest-ranking female executive.
Later, she became the founding CEO of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation — the largest philanthropic organization in the world, with huge, global goals and an endowment of $34 billion when she left in 2008.
Originally published on Fri August 9, 2013 12:44 pm
Time for a meat locker? One Flickr user's freezer after purchasing a large share of a pig.
Credit Cowgirl Jules / via Flickr
Why buy 1 pound of hamburger meat from a local farmer when you can buy 5 pounds — plus another 20 pounds of stew meat, steaks and roast — for as little as half the price of what it all goes for at the market?
The ongoing immigration debate in Congress often spotlights the job market for people living in the U.S. illegally. Not long ago, that market included one of the country's top organic herb farms — until an immigration bust forced the business, based in Washington state, to clean up its payroll.
Ted Andrews, owner of HerbCo International, says he's learned some tough lessons during the transition to a legal workforce. Lesson No. 1: "There are events that can destroy a business in the snap of a finger," he says. "This was one of them."
Freddie Mac racked up a $5 billion profit in the second quarter, the mortgage backer said in its quarterly report Wednesday. The earnings are the second-highest in the history of Freddie Mac, which has now extended its streak of profitable quarters to seven in a row.
Local record and book shops have been disappearing as the market for music and literature moves online. In the past few years, there's been a growth in sites that sell fine art on the Internet. On Tuesday, Amazon joined that market. But in this case, many brick and mortar galleries aren't seeing the Internet as a threat.
The idea of raising backyard chickens has become very popular. But people who follow through on the idea don't always know what they are getting into. So a few companies are letting would-be chicken farmers try out the experience — for a fee.
Once again, Spain and Britain are at odds over a tiny limestone peninsula at Europe's southern tip — Gibraltar. It's physically attached to Spain but has been a British territory for 300 years. Now some Spaniards want it back.
President Obama is in California, where he'll visit Marines at Camp Pendleton. On Tuesday, he spoke about housing in Phoenix. Among other items, he talked about winding down Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the companies that guarantee most long-term fixed-rate mortgages in the U.S.