Category Archives: Business News

Chrysler Hacking Recall

Chrysler Hacking Recall, Fiat Chrysler announced Friday that it is issuing a recall for 7,810 SUVs to patch a security hole in the vehicles radio systems that allowed them to be hacked via the web.

Cybersecurity researchers revealed that they could use the Internet to tamper with the SUVs engine as it drove, sparking concerns about the potential dangers of Internet-connected vehicles, according to Reuters.

The SUVs impacted by the recall are 2015 Jeep Renegades equipped with 6.5-inch touchscreen radios.

This announcement comes a little over a month after FCA recalled about 1.4 million vehicles in the United States for a software update.

Over half of the pertinent vehicles are still at dealerships and will be patched before they are sold, according to Mashable. The remainder of the vehicles can be patched by downloading a software update to a Flash Drive and installing it or bringing it to a dealership. FCA will also allegedly be sending out Flash Drive with the patch.

FCA found the error itself, and as such is unaware of any injuries, relevant to the public, related to the potential hacking.

Labor Day Gas Prices: Labor Day Gas Prices Lowest Since 2004

Labor Day Gas Prices: Labor Day Gas Prices Lowest Since 2004, This Labor Day customers are likely to pay the lowest gas prices since 2004, according to the American Automobile Association.

On Friday, the national average price of gas was $2.42 per gallon – a dollar less per gallon than a year ago. US consumers should save more than $1bn on gas this weekend compared to 2014, according to AAA, which estimates drivers could save between $15 to $25 on every trip to the gas station.

“It is unbelievable that drivers are ending their summer vacations with the lowest gas prices for this time of year in more than a decade,” said AAA spokesman Avery Ash.

In August, the average gas price was about $2.60 a gallon, the lowest average for the month since 2005 and 15 cents less per gallon than the July average.

If gas prices drop after Labor day, which is usually the trend, AAA expects they could fall below $2 per gallon by Christmas.

– AAA (@AAAnews) September 4, 2015
Average gas prices in South Carolina have dropped below $2 per gallon! It’s the first state under $2 since February.

“Gas prices in many parts of the country could fall below $2 per gallon by Christmas if the cost of crude oil remains low,” said Ash. “There is a good reason to believe that cheaper oil costs, a seasonal decline in driving and the switchover to less costly winter-blend gasoline will continue to push down prices through the end of the year.”

AAA found that currently more than 5% of US stations are selling gas for less than $2 a gallon. On Friday, average gas prices in South Carolina dropped below $2 a gallon and average prices in Alabama and Mississippi are expected to follow in the next week. The last time prices dropped below $2 a gallon was in February in Idaho and Utah.

Cheap gas does not come without a cost. At the end of July, Shell announced that it was going to cut 6,500 jobs by the end of 2015 to deal with the slump in prices. And Continental Resources, an Oklahoma oil company that tracks layoffs, found the US had cut at least 91,000 jobs in the energy industry since last summer.

The US Department, however, said the upside is that the low gas prices are basically a tax cut for Americans who drive.

“We are always concerned when people lose jobs in this country, but I think the flip side of that is that the US is producing more oil and gas than it ever has. It’s exporting more than it ever has,” Chris Lu, US deputy labor secretary, told the Guardian. “Because of that another global trend – the price of gas has dropped and it essentially translates into a tax cut for Americans who are driving cars.”

According to the United Steelworkers union, not all oil workers have been affected. For example, a limited number of oil refinery workers have felt the effects of job cuts in their field.

“The US oil refineries are doing a booming business because of the low cost of crude oil feedstock,” said Lynne Hancock, spokeswoman for the United Steelworkers union, which represents oil refinery workers and a few oil exploration and production workers.

“They are operating at a high utilization rate and are earning profits selling refined oil products. The refining sector is boosting the oil companies’ profits. The US chemical sector also has benefited from low natural gas prices from fracking.”

Hancock added that while many oil exploration and production workers have been laid off, engineers are in high demand at refineries and chemical plants.

“Those with lesser skills might have job opportunities in the retooling of refineries to handle the light, sweet crude from fracking and the expansion of capacity at these refineries,” she said.

Wall Street nervous after China crash: China Stock Market

Wall Street nervous after China crash: China Stock Market, Friday was a rout in the stock markets; Monday is already looking worse. The Shanghai Composite index tumbled 8.5 percent—erasing the last of its gains for the year in its biggest single-day loss since 2007. European stocks have plunged nearly 5 percent. U.S. stocks nosedived at the opening bell: The S&P 500 fell 99.1 points or 5.03 percent, the Dow sank 991 points or 6.02 percent, and the Nasdaq pitched 335 points or 7.12 percent. There is only one word for all of this, and it is yikes. Brent crude, the benchmark for oil prices worldwide, is trading below $45 a barrel for the first time in six years. Even gold, so often a “safe haven” commodity that investors pour money into during periods of economic uncertainty, is being weighed down.

Despite climbing all spring, the Shanghai Composite has now erased its gains for the year.

What’s behind the apparent panic in the global economy? Mostly China. Over the past two weeks, China’s currency fell in value more than it did in the previous two decades. On top of that, all the recent economic data coming out of China seems to fundamentally contradict official reports of the country being on track for 7 percent growth. Investors and analysts have long questioned the accuracy of economic statistics produced by the Chinese government, so seeing those figures can’t have been entirely surprising. But it’s only recently become clear how big the gap between official reports and China’s economic reality might be. And the bigger that gap, the greater the ramifications could be worldwide. In recent years, China has accounted for up to half of global growth, though it makes up just 15 percent of global output.

Per the Wall Street Journal, China is looking into stimulus measures:

The expected move to free up more funds for lending—by reducing the deposits banks must hold in reserve—is directly aimed at countering the effects of a weaker currency, which could send more funds away from Beijing’s shores. The moves reflect an economy increasingly failing to cooperate with Chinese leaders’ playbook to control the world’s No. 2 economy.

The Journal says this could happen by the end of August or in early September, most likely via a half-percentage-point reduction in reserve-requirement ratios for banks. Another possibility is to just loosen the reserve requirements for banks that lend primarily to small and private businesses. China’s entrepreneurs have been stifled by the risk-averse tactics of many banks, which prefer to lend to state-owned companies than private, potentially higher-growth enterprises. Theoretically, stimulating that kind of private-sector growth would be better for China in the long run than falling back on exports, its traditional economic mainstay. (The leading theory for why China’s central bank devalued the yuan is that it was trying to prop up exports.) At the same time, as the Journal notes, these new “would-be drivers of the economy—high technology and entrepreneurship—aren’t filling the gap quickly enough.” In the meantime, expect a lot of turbulence in the global markets.

IKEA Recall: IKEA Issues Recall After 2 Deaths

IKEA Recall: IKEA Issues Recall After 2 Deaths, On Wednesday, IKEA announced that they were recalling around 27 million chests and dressers because they pose a fatal risk to children!

Along with the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the Swedish retail giant reported that two children died in 2014 after IKEA’s MALM chests fell on them.

Why? Because they were not anchored to a wall.

Even though the dressers are being recalled, customers are encouraged to order a free wall anchoring kit for the affected chests and dressers instead of returning them.

The international furniture company said in a statement that it is “deeply saddened” by the deaths and hopes “our efforts prevent further tragedies.”

CPSC Chairman Elliot Kaye praised IKEA for taking lead in the furniture industry to start producing more stable furniture, because many parents don’t know about the issue. He said:

“Today is a positive step and I commend IKEA for taking that step. But they need to do more and to make more stable furniture and they need to help lead industry.”

Company spokeswoman Mona Liss explained that they are taking the issue very seriously, saying:

“[IKEA will] continue to collaborate with the CPSC to find solutions for more stable furniture. We don’t know yet what those solutions will be but we are committed to working in collaboration to try to find better solutions.”

For safety precautions, CPSC is recommending that — unless the furniture is securely anchored to the wall — customers should immediately stop using any IKEA children’s chests taller than 23.5 inches and adult dressers taller than 29.5 inches.

Wal-Mart Heist: Disguised Man Steals $75K From Wal-Mart

Wal-Mart Heist: Disguised Man Steals $75K From Wal-Mart, Investigators were working Monday to identify a man who took more than $75,000 from an Oklahoma Walmart after disguising himself as an armored truck driver.

Bristow Police Chief Wayne Williams said authorities in northeast Oklahoma have received some anonymous tips about the identity of the man whose image was captured by a video surveillance camera.

“We’ve got some calls out on it, but nothing yet,” Williams said. He said officials do not believe the suspect lives in the area.

Authorities say the suspect entered the Walmart store in Bristow about 10:30 a.m. Saturday, walked to the cash office, signed for the deposit and walked out of the store. He drove away in a dark four-door Chevrolet.

“He came to the Walmart kind of dressed like a Loomis armored car driver,” Williams said. Walmart employees called police after the real Loomis employee arrived about 45 minutes later. Bristow is about 35 miles southwest of Tulsa.

Williams said Walmart has alerted its other stores about the theft and his department has notified other law enforcement agencies.

Walmart Stores Inc. spokeswoman Betsy Harden said she wasn’t aware of any similar incidents involving other Walmart stores.

“Obviously, it’s an ongoing investigation,” Harden said. She declined to comment on whether the Bentonville, Arkansas-based company plans to alter its policy on verifying the identity of workers who transport its cash deposits.

Williams said investigators have no evidence the suspect may have once worked for an armored transportation service and was familiar with its procedures.

“It’s not something we suspect. It’s a possibility,” Williams said.

Loomis spokesman Danny Pack declined to comment on the case.

Why Wal-Mart is bringing back greeters: Wal-Mart Greeters

Why Wal-Mart is bringing back greeters: Wal-Mart Greeters, You might once again be seeing the bright faces Walmart greeters earlier, just like founder Sam Walton intended.

Walmart is testing a pilot program in a few hundred of its approximately 4,500 stores to increase the store greeters’ door presence, in part, to decrease theft, as first reported by The Wall Street Journal. Three years ago, the biggest private employer moved its greeters further back into the store in what it called “action alley” — near self-checkout stations — in order to direct shoppers to open registers and perform other tasks.

“Some stores will literally move greeters to the door,” Walmart spokesman Brian Nick told ABC News.

Some of those greeters might check customer receipts as they leave, similar to what Costco does at its warehouses, Nick added.

Over time, Nick pointed out, some U.S. Walmart stores have phased out greeters, and some have done so during certain overnight hours in locations that are open 24 hours.

As part of the pilot program, the company is testing “asset protection customer specialists” who will wear yellow instead of the standard blue uniform at some stores. These staff members would help process returns at the door, perhaps scanning an item and putting a sticker on it to expedite the return process.

Walton introduced greeters in the 1980s to provide a warm welcome to customers and also deter thieves, as he mentioned in his 1992 autobiography, “Sam Walton: Made in America.” It’s a standard practice at many stores in the retail industry. Last month, Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said in a conference call that “shrink,” which describes loss from theft or disorder, was a “key urgent agenda item this year.” It cost the company 0.13 percent from its gross profit margin.

Why Wal-Mart is bringing back greeters: Wal-Mart Greeters

4 Gas Mileage Myths You Probably Believe

4 Gas Mileage Myths You Probably Believe, The summer road-trip season is here, and according to AAA, consumers can expect to see prices to hover around last summer’s high of $3.55 and $3.70 per gallon. Can you have your fun in the sun while avoiding pain at the pump?

Increasingly, newer cars are smashing old gas-saving truisms. For instance, buying a smaller car seems like a reasonable way to achieve higher gas mileage. However, compare a subcompact like the smart fortwo, which gets 38 mpg to a Chevrolet Cruze”s 36 mpg, and it becomes clear that smaller isn’t always better. Plus, the Cruze can fit five passengers and contains 15 cubic feet of space, while the ForTwo can only squeeze two passengers in 12 cubic feet of space.

Larger, longer sedans give more room for air to flow smoothly around the car than smaller shorter models, which reduces drag while highway driving.

It was once common knowledge that manual transmissions were more efficient, but improvements to automatic transmission mean the fuel use is now often about the same. The same goes for premium gasoline. Unless a car is specifically designed for high-grade gas, the extra cash per gallon is going to go up in smoke.

If everything you thought you knew about saving money on gas is wrong, then what can you do to cut down on fuel costs this summer? Here are a few tips:

Regular Maintenance

New air filters and regular oil changes are good for your car and wallet. Also, take a look at your tires before any road trip. The Environmental Protection Agency says even a slightly under-inflated tires can cost a car in fuel efficiency. By keeping you tires properly inflated, you can improve your vehicle’s gas mileage by up to 3.3 percent, which works out to an equivalent gasoline savings of approximately $0.11 per gallon.

Use Cruise Control

There are times when cruise control isn’t appropriate, such as heavy traffic or when climbing hilly roads,
but if you’re driving over relatively even terrain, cruise control can prevent unnecessary speed changes which waste gas. Cruise control can also keep drivers from creeping up in speed on long trips, saving you money on gas.

Slow Down

Highway driving is the most efficient way to get around, but speed too much and those savings go out the tailpipe. estimates each 5 mph over 50 mph is like paying an additional $0.24 per gallon for gas. You don’t want to drive too slowly on the highway of course, but keeping your speed around or under 70 mph can save a lot of cash on fuel, not to mention speeding tickets.

Travel light, store right

Excessive weight can ruin fuel efficiency in any car, so it is important to prioritize when packing for a long road trip. How you stow your stuff can also have a major effect on gas bills. Hauling cargo on your roof, for example, increases aerodynamic drag and lowers fuel economy by around 2 percent to 8 percent in city driving and 10 percent to 25 percent at Interstate speeds according to

What An Employer Can – And Can’t – Ask In An Interview

What An Employer Can – And Can’t – Ask In An Interview, If you’re on the job hunt, you might want to familiarize yourself with these topics that are out of bounds for employers., Job hunting? What you can and can’t be asked in an interview, You don’t need Miss Manners to tell you it’s rude to ask someone his or her age. “How old are you?” is also the kind of question that has no place in a job interview.

It’s one of several queries that are strictly off-limits when it comes to employers screening potential candidates.

“Anything that is listed as a prohibited ground of discrimination in the Human Rights Code would be unacceptable,” says Alka Kundi, a labour and employment lawyer with Borden Ladner Gervais in Vancouver.

Every province has its own human rights legislation, but in B.C., those prohibited grounds include:

Most employers are well-versed in what’s appropriate to ask and what isn’t, but there are still grey areas.

“Some of the more subtle ones are child care and family responsibilities; that’s an emerging area of human rights that is getting protection,” Kundi says. “Asking about child-care arrangements or obligations can be problematic if they’re not directly tied to employment-related requirements.”

The reason that employers can’t ask certain questions, of course, is that the answers could lead to bias in hiring. And asking inappropriate questions leaves an employer open to complaints of discrimination or potential legal action from unsuccessful candidates who believe they weren’t hired because of their disability, race, sex, or other ground protected under the code, even if the decision not to hire was legitimate.

“Our human rights laws prevent employers from refusing to employ someone for a reason related to prohibited grounds of discrimination,” explains lawyer Kelly Slade-Kerr, with Vancouver employment-law firm Hamilton Howell Bain & Gould. “Our laws say you can’t discriminate against somebody for reasons related to those factors. Employers making a decision on who to hire can’t consider any of those factors because it’s a violation of our human rights laws.”

Job seekers may want to consider familiarizing themselves with what’s fair game. Instead of asking if you have Canadian citizenship, for example, an employer should ask whether you’re legally entitled to work in Canada, Kundi explains.

Questions related to family life aren’t permissible, except as they relate to job performance, says Sheryl Boswell, marketing director at career site “While you cannot ask a candidate if he or she has children or has adequate child care, you can ask about ability to perform the job,” Boswell says.