Category Archives: Consumers

Tesla Raises Price Of $35,000 Model 3

(AP) — The lowest priced Tesla is now more expensive. The luxury electric high-performance car-maker confirmed Tuesday that it has raised the price of its Model 3. The previously 35-thousand dollar Model 3 now costs 35-thousand-400 dollars.

Tesla had billed the Model 3 as the company’s car for the masses, but during the first two years of its production only more expensive, optioned-up Model 3s were available. That was done to pump up Tesla’s cash flow and the 400 dollar price hike could help.

If Tesla keeps up its first-quarter sales rate, the higher price would generate an extra 20-million dollars in revenue per quarter.

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Massachusetts Senator Markey Says Republicans Are To Blame For High Gas Prices

(Washington, DC) – Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey says Republicans are to blame for high gas prices heading into the Memorial Day weekend.

In the weekly Democratic address, Markey said Americans are paying 350-dollars more per year to fill up their gas tanks since President Trump took office. The Massachusetts Democrat said Trump’s “incoherent” foreign policy is contributing to rising oil prices by heightening tensions in the Middle East.

He also said Trump’s decision to pull the U.S. out of the Iran Deal is now further impacting oil markets. Markey said as the average consumer gets milked of their change at the pump, Big Oil will get 25-billion-dollars in tax cuts alone this year from the GOP tax bill. The senator mentioned that instead of keeping oil at home in the U.S. to benefit Americans, it’s being shipped off to benefit foreign nations, like China.

Johnson & Johnson Ordered To Pay Millions In Baby Powder Case

(Los Angeles, CA) – A California jury is ordering Johnson & Johnson to pay nearly 26-million dollars to a woman who claimed she developed cancer from using the company’s baby powder. The total award includes both punitive and compensatory damages for Joanne Anderson and her husband. Lawyers for the 68-year-old woman argued that her mesothelioma  was caused by asbestos in the company’s baby powder.

Johnson & Johnson denied that its talc products contain asbestos. Today’s decision in Los Angeles Superior Court is the second trial loss for the company over similar allegations.

FCC Fines Miami Man For Making Millions Of Robocalls

(Miami, FL) – The Federal Communications Commission is fining a Florida man for making millions of robocalls. The FCC announced Thursday it’s leveraging a 120-million-dollar fine against Adrian Abramovich.

Commissioners say he made almost 100-million robocalls to people over a three-month period in 2016. Investigators say Abramovich used spoofed phone numbers to make the calls. Spoofing is a practice that uses people’s phone numbers without their knowledge to make calls in an effort to trick consumers into answering the phone and hearing a recorded advertising message.

Facebook CEO Offers Full Page Newspaper Ad Apology

(SL) – Mark Zuckerberg is taking to the print media to offer an apology. The Facebook founder and CEO took out full-page ads in papers across the United States and U.K. today to apologize for the Cambridge Analytica privacy scandal.

Earlier this month, Facebook said it suspended Cambridge Analytica and its parent group after receiving reports it didn’t delete information about tens of millions of Facebook users that was shared inappropriately. In the ad, Zuckerberg said “this was a breach of trust” and offered his apologies that the company didn’t do more at the time.

Zuckerberg explained they are now limiting the data that apps get as they’ll be investigating every single app that had access to large amounts of data before the problem got fixed.

Did Snapchat Really Lose One Billion In Stock Value After Kylie Jenner Tweet?

(Los Angeles, CA) –  Kylie Jenner may be the reason Snapchat lost over one billion dollars in stock value. The fall in Snap Inc. shares occurred after the reality TV star tweeted out this week that she doesn’t use the app as much as she did in the past.

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The confession comes on the heels of backlash Snapchat has received over its latest update, with some people arguing that it has made the app harder to use. Jenner is reportedly the most-watched person on the platform. But Vox got to the core of the decline and apparently Snapchat has been struggling for awhile now.

Snapchat was floundering before the update

Snapchat has had an uneven fiscal year — mainly because of Instagram. Instagram has directly targeted Snapchat’s predominantly teen user base by mirroring several of its features, most notably by creating Instagram Stories, a feature of Instagram that is extremely similar to Snapchat Stories and now boasts more users than Snapchat’s entire user base.

Snapchat went public in March 2017 despite warning investors that it might never turn a profit. Then it saw a decline in new users — a trend broadly attributable to the belief held by many that people were using Instagram Stories instead.

By August 2017, predictions loomed that Facebook, which owns Instagram, would ultimately put Snapchat out of business. Then Snapchat suffered three quarters in a row where profits were lower than expected, followed by year-end predictions of ongoing financial gloom.

Snapchat’s final quarter earnings last year were actually better than expected for the first time ever, and the company’s stock was up 25 percent. But that’s partly because investors were reacting with optimism to the redesign — which users turned out to despise.

So all these factors, exacerbated by the groundswell of user outrage throughout the start of 2018, were probably what investors were thinking about when they read Jenner’s tweet. Those who sold their shares probably weren’t reacting specifically to Jenner talking about her Snapchat habits, or worried that she might singlehandedly devalue the app. Instead, they probably saw the tweet as the cap-off to a trend of overall decline.

 

Baby Sling Carrier Safety Standards

(SL) — New safety standards are in place for baby sling carriers. The new standards apply to any infant sling carrier manufactured or imported after January 30th of this year. The standards are aimed at preventing deaths and injuries to young children.

The new rules state that all infant slings must have permanently attached warning labels and come with instructions to show proper positioning. Those warning labels must also include statements about suffocation hazards and children falling out of slings.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, 159 incidents were reported between January 2003 and September 2016 involving sling carriers, including 17 deaths and 67 injuries.