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As your Roomba cleans your floors, it's gathering maps of your house

The company behind the Roomba vacuum, IRobot Corp., has grand plans for its robot cleaners. Two Roomba models are now mapping the interiors of homes to more efficiently hoover up dust and dirt. Those intimate maps, the company hopes, could soon be sold as personalized, data-rich products to giant...

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  • Microsoft Paint is marked for death

    Microsoft Paint is marked for death

    Microsoft Paint, the beloved Windows graphic editing program, has been marked for death. Thirty-two years after including a Paint program in its inaugural Windows 1.0, Microsoft Corp. put Paint on its list of “features that are removed or deprecated” in the new Windows 10 Fall Creators Update,...

  • 'Captain Marvel' will receive a $20-million tax credit to shoot in California

    'Captain Marvel' will receive a $20-million tax credit to shoot in California

    “Captain Marvel,” the upcoming superhero movie starring Brie Larson as the title character, will receive more than $20 million in tax credits to film in California, making it the first Marvel Comics movie to shoot primarily in-state since 2014’s “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.” Eight studio...

  • U.S. home sales fell in June; shoppers couldn't find houses to buy

    U.S. home sales fell in June; shoppers couldn't find houses to buy

    Homebuyers faced surging prices and a shrinking number of properties for sale in June — causing the pace of sales to fall. Sales of existing homes slipped 1.8% last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.52 million, the National Assn. of Realtors said Monday. The decline speaks to a troubling...

  • California Inc.: Fed expected to signal likelihood of September rate hike

    California Inc.: Fed expected to signal likelihood of September rate hike

    Welcome to California Inc., the weekly newsletter of the L.A. Times Business Section. I'm Business columnist David Lazarus, and here's a rundown of upcoming stories this week and the highlights of last week. We learned Friday that California’s economic engine quieted in June as employers reduced...

  • Warren Buffett is building up a 'recession resistant' energy powerhouse

    Warren Buffett is building up a 'recession resistant' energy powerhouse

    From California to the Midwest, billionaire investor Warren Buffett is steadily building an energy powerhouse. Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Energy subsidiary has gobbled up utilities and natural gas pipelines and tapped into clean energy production, including from Southern California’s abundant...

  • Wi-Fi at LAX has improved but is still slower than many other airports

    Wi-Fi at LAX has improved but is still slower than many other airports

    If you have been stuck waiting for a flight at Los Angeles International Airport lately, you may have noticed that the speed of the free Wi-Fi in the facility has improved in the last year. Still, LAX’s free Wi-Fi speed ranks 11th among North America’s busiest airports, Seattle-based technology...

  • Freedom of speech doesn't end once you enter a homeowner association

    Freedom of speech doesn't end once you enter a homeowner association

    Question: I live in a common interest development with a homeowner association board that aggressively stifles residents’ freedom of speech. During association elections, the board makes ample use of newsletters, meetings and minutes, association media, the recreation room and other channels to...

  • Qatar Airways CEO apologizes for 'grandmothers' comment, but rivals aren't forgiving

    Qatar Airways CEO apologizes for 'grandmothers' comment, but rivals aren't forgiving

    The chief executive of Qatar Airways has never minced words when talking about his U.S.-based rivals. But Akbar Al Baker admits he went too far earlier this month when he compared the crews on his airline with those of U.S.-based carriers. “By the way, the average age of my cabin crew is only 26...

  • SpaceX may have canceled Red Dragon Mars mission

    SpaceX may have canceled Red Dragon Mars mission

    SpaceX may have canceled its mission to Mars with a Red Dragon capsule that was set for 2020. Company Chief Executive Elon Musk retweeted a story late Friday afternoon titled “SpaceX skipping Red Dragon for ‘vastly bigger ships’ on Mars” that was published on Tesla enthusiasts blog Teslarati. The...

  • Vice Media lays off about 60 staffers as it refocuses on video

    Vice Media lays off about 60 staffers as it refocuses on video

    Vice Media laid off about 60 employees Friday in what the edgy news outlet described as a way to place a greater emphasis on video. The layoffs — which affect multiple departments and represent a 2% cut of Vice’s roughly 3,000 employees — come a month after Vice announced it had secured $450 million...

  • Lyft forms an autonomous vehicle unit

    Lyft forms an autonomous vehicle unit

    Lyft said Friday that it is setting up its own unit to develop autonomous vehicle technology, but its approach will be different from other companies and partnerships working on self-driving cars. The San Francisco-based ride-hailing service says it will open its network, inviting automakers and...

  • Big bang for the buck: 2017 Kia Soul Turbo

    Big bang for the buck: 2017 Kia Soul Turbo

    I like boxy, practical cars — as far back as my first vehicle, a beat-up ’51 Chevy panel truck. I applauded the arrival of the Toyota Scion XB and the Honda Element when they were both introduced in 2003, and the Nissan Cube when it appeared in 2009. But I didn’t always like the way those cars...

  • California bill would boost electric car rebates by $3 billion, but where will the money come from?

    California bill would boost electric car rebates by $3 billion, but where will the money come from?

    Over seven years, California has spent $430 million on low-emission vehicle subsidies to help lower the cost for car buyers. Now the state Legislature is looking to extend that by another seven years, but with a price tag of $3 billion. Assembly Bill 1184 is being slammed for leaving basic questions...

  • AlphaBay sold drugs, guns and hacking tools online — until a sting operation shut it down

    AlphaBay sold drugs, guns and hacking tools online — until a sting operation shut it down

    Two so-called “dark Web” sites dedicated to illegal drug and arms sales have been seized in an audacious sting operation, and the suspected ringleader has committed suicide, U.S. Justice Department officials said Thursday. Alexandre Cazes,a 25-year-old man from Quebec who was suspected of creating...

  • Mortgage broker rolls out another online way to assess what your house is worth

    Mortgage broker rolls out another online way to assess what your house is worth

    Do we really need another Zillow Zestimate-style online gizmo to tell us what a computer model says our homes are worth? Probably not. There already are scads of real estate and mortgage websites that offer some type of automated home valuation feature, such as Redfin, Realtor.com, Chase Mortgage,...

  • Sears to sell its Kenmore appliances on Amazon

    Sears to sell its Kenmore appliances on Amazon

    In the century before there was Amazon.com, it was Sears that was the everything store. With its vast inventory of tools, toys and even firearms, it upended local retailers. With its catalog model and nationwide delivery system, it promised to bring anything anyone wanted to their doorstep. But...

  • Bakersfield votes to end controversial program that funds home solar panels

    Bakersfield votes to end controversial program that funds home solar panels

    As home improvement projects to increase energy efficiency have exploded in California, so has the controversy over a property tax-based financing program that’s helped spur the growth. So-called PACE loans — which pay for solar panels, efficient appliances and other improvements — have been blamed...

  • Tech and healthcare lift stocks to new records

    Tech and healthcare lift stocks to new records

    U.S. stocks continued to climb Wednesday, led by technology, healthcare and energy companies. Media companies also rose as stock indexes set record highs. The technology part of the Standard & Poor's 500 index broke the record it set in March 2000, before the dot-com bubble burst. Energy companies...

  • Bringing a laptop or tablet on a Mexico-to-U.S. flight? Beware of new security measures

    Bringing a laptop or tablet on a Mexico-to-U.S. flight? Beware of new security measures

    Mexican authorities say the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has instituted heightened security measures for laptops and tablets on U.S.-bound flights from the country. Mexico's Transportation Department said in a statement that the measures took effect starting Wednesday for “electronics larger...

  • Elon Musk downplays expectations for giant rocket's first flight

    Elon Musk downplays expectations for giant rocket's first flight

    SpaceX Chief Executive Elon Musk on Wednesday downplayed expectations for the upcoming demonstration flight of the company’s giant Falcon Heavy rocket, saying there was a “good chance” the vehicle would not make it to orbit in its first launch. Musk gave insight into the Falcon Heavy development...

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  • 5 big changes for today's small businesses

    5 big changes for today's small businesses

    A generation ago, the notion of a small business owner meant something very different. You pictured a person who owned their own storefront, often named after themselves, and every day they were the first to arrive and the last to leave. They worked tirelessly for their customers, and their reward...

  • 5 steps to creating happiness in your workplace

    5 steps to creating happiness in your workplace

    Each workday, the average American spends 8.8 hours at work or on work-related activities, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s even more time than people spend sleeping. And because we spend so much time at work, it's in your and your employer’s best interest to make workplaces...

  • 6 pet-related businesses you can start today

    6 pet-related businesses you can start today

    Starting your own business can nurture your entrepreneurial spirit, earn you some money and give you the opportunity to spend more time with your family — including your pets. So what job can you do that doesn't necessarily require a degree, affords you time flexibility, is in a growing industry...

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