Blood-testing startup Theranos started from a useful idea: why are we all carrying around tiny phonecomputers in our pockets, while the basic technology behind lab tests hasn’t changed much? The company developed new equipment that uses only a few drops of blood to run standard lab tests. The startup was worth billions, and partnered wtih Walgreens for in-store blood testing centers. Then it ran into a tiny problem with health regulators: the new tests didn’t work as well as advertised. [More]
During a water crisis in California, the state and local governments ran a program for residents, offering rebates to people who replaced their lawns and landscaping with plants that can survive drought conditions and don’t require constant watering. Now people who received rebates are getting a surprise in the mail: they’ve received letters saying that they have to pay federal taxes on that money. [More]
Here’s a bit of cheery news about a venerable American retailer: JCPenney’s comparable store sales as calculated so far for the first quarter were up 6% over last year. Unfortunately, the reason why we know this is somewhat less cheery. Someone described as a “senior official” at the company accidentally e-mailed early figures that weren’t yet public for the first quarter of 2015 to a securities analyst. [More]
Remember 2004-2005? Let’s go back there now… Remember… back when people still thought Revenge of the Sith was going to redeem the prequels… Ok, let’s not remember, it’s too painful. Anyway, in late 2004, Sprint and Nextel announced a “merger of equals.” And now, after billions of dollars in mistakes, they’ve finally announced that Nextel will officially die on June 30, 2013. What does this mean for Nextel customers? Yes, apparently they still exist!
The FAA says its records are in such disarray that its afraid that criminals could buy planes “without the government’s knowledge” or use the registration numbers of other planes. The agency has ordered all aircraft owners to re-register.
In a bizarre fluke that sounds like an urban legend come true, five downloadable Xbox Live Arcade games are available for free for those willing to bend their ethics.
Reader Wayne is an honest person. His Best Buy Insignia TV died and so, of course, he brought it back to the store. They kept it for a little while, decided they couldn’t fix it, and replaced it with a similar model. Then they forgot they did this.
Brake fluid leaks and wiring problems are responsible for the recall of almost 600,000 Jeep, Dodge and Chrysler vehicles NHTSA announced today. What’s wrong? Your brakes could not work effectively or a fire could start inside the sliding doors of your mini-van.
The AP says that thousands of pieces of undelivered mail from the early ’90s were recently found in a shed in Michigan, and a ex-mail carrier is now charged with stealing mail — the punishment for which is up to 5 years in prison.
An Olsen twin was flying from JFK to to Los Angeles when the United Airlines plane she was traveling in caught on fire and had to land in DC.
Apparently the Air Force Research Laboratory in Rome, New York took a look at available cheap computing power and decided that the PS3 with Linux was the way to go — until Sony removed the ability to install the OS with their latest firmware update. Now the Air Force is stuck with a lot of PS3s that can’t be repaired if they break — because Sony will update the firmware to remove the option to install Linux.
The AP says that a computerized selloff that may have been caused by a typo (the theory is that someone typed $16 billion when they meant $16 million) caused the biggest ever drop during a trading day. How could one typo result in such massive turmoil? The idea is that the erroneous trade triggered other computers to sell.
Today’s Toyota hearings featured a lot of amusing defensive yelling by Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and, of course, the long awaited testimony by Toyota President Akio Toyoda. In addition, Yoshimi Inaba, CEO of Toyota North America, revealed that the company knew of the sticking pedal issue in Europe a year before accidents in the US.
Good news for the clumsy, if you stagger into a rare Picasso painting and rip a 6″ hole in it — you will not be charged for the painting. On Friday a woman fell into just such a painting while taking a class at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.