Stocks rise - and fall: Every headline from Europe seems to be influencing trades. Dow has erased most of its 100+ point gain early in the session.
Amazon introduces $199 tablet: That's considerably cheaper than an iPad and is likely to give Apple a run for its money - providing the thing works. It's a souped-up version of the Kindle and will run on Android software. From Bloomberg:
The Kindle Fire doesn't have an embedded camera or a microphone. The device offers Wi-Fi connectivity, though not 3G access, and comes with a 30-day free trial of Amazon Prime, the company's $79-a-year membership service that includes streaming video and free two-day shipping. Amazon has painted over the rough surfaces of Google's Android operating system with a fresh and easy-to-use interface and tied the device closely to its own large and growing content library of movies, magazines and music.
Best Buy hiring fewer holiday temps: The electronics retailer is adding only half the number of seasonal workers it did last year. Permanent workers will work overtime to close the gap. (Reuters)
Paramount restructures: The Viacom-owned studio is merging its home entertainment, licensing and digital operations because separate divisions are becoming redundant. From The Wrap:
"Everybody is trying to get by on less head count because revenues are shrinking, so it makes sense to shrink layers and get everything flatter, so there's not as much replication of functions in dramatically separate divisions," Tom Adams, principal analyst and director of U.S. media for IHS Screen Digest, told TheWrap. Paramount is shifting its DVD, digital and television licensing operations under a new umbrella division, christened Home Media Distribution, to be overseen by division president Dennis Maguire (left), a longtime home entertainment executive. The studio also centralized its global theatrical management oversight in Los Angeles.
Fox Sports sues Dodgers: The network claims that its deal with the team was breached because owner Frank McCourt wants to auction off television rights. Under the contract, Fox retains exclusive negotiating rights through November 2012, as well as the right to match any other offer. (LAT)
SUVs posing less danger to cars: That's the result of automakers agreeing to build the front ends of SUVs and pickups so that bumpers line up better with regular passenger cars. From the Detroit News:
The 2003 agreement also included enhancing head protection in all vehicles to better protect occupants in side crashes. Many new cars now have 10 airbags as standard protection -- far higher than in 2003. New rules also now require side airbags in all vehicles. All vehicles were required to meet the new compatibility rules by September 2009 -- by 2007, 80 percent of SUVs and pickups already met the rules.
Groups challenge California budget: School officials say they were shortchanged by $2 billion because the governor and state lawmakers illegally manipulated an education funding formula. Also, a group of disability-rights activists are suing to block cuts to services for the developmentally disabled. (LAT)
Brown sounding like a grumpy old man: Sacramento Bee columnist Dan Walters says that the governor has been complaining too much and doing too little.
We have a systemically dysfunctional state government. Until it is changed - radically - to align it with our 21st century reality, it will not and cannot deal effectively with the state's major issues. Instead of whining, Brown should lead on empowering those we elect to make decisions and then, importantly, holding them accountable. Schwarzenegger at least tried to make reforms. If Brown really wants a legacy for the history books, he would revive that crusade.