california

Disney's 2013 Theme Park Plan: Keep the Magic Alive Every Week

Disney set up a three-story castle made of ice in Times Square this week to introduce its new Limited Time Magic theme park campaign for 2013: The family entertainment giant plans to kick things up a notch at its Florida and California attractions by offering 52 weekly themed events.

How Close Are We to the Age of the Self-Driving Car?

Imagine a world without traffic jams, driver's licenses or car insurance. Sounds like science fiction, but maybe it's not. Last week, California became the second state in the country to pass legislation paving the way for self-driving vehicles.

The Secret the Food Industry Is Spending Millions to Keep

Big Agriculture and food companies are shelling out gobs of cash ahead of November's election to convince Californians to vote against a proposed law that would require businesses to label products that contain genetically modified organisms. Here's why:

California's Tax Man Eyes a New Tool: A GPS Tracker on Your Car

Here's a news item that will inflame both the privacy activists and taxophobes alike: In California, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission is considering a plan to use GPS technology to track how far people drive, and tax them based on the distances.

Thousands Fall Victim to Utility Payment Scam

As much as President Barack Obama wants your vote, he won't pay your electric bill. But thousands of Americans have been persuaded otherwise, falling victim to a scam that claims to be part of an federal program to help pay utility bills in the midst of this scorching summer.

New Twist on an Old Law Offers Underwater Homeowners Hope

Governments have long used eminent domain to seize private property for projects in the "common good" -- often to the dismay of the owners. But now, two California cities want to use it to help get besieged homeowners out of their underwater mortgages.

Look Who's Buying America Now!

While Americans are still reeling from the housing bust, people from around the globe are scooping up cheap American homes. Over the 12 months that ended in March, nearly 9% of all real estate spending in the U.S. was done by buyers from abroad. Is it "Rising Sun" all over again?

Junk Food: The Pariah That's Replacing Tobacco

Forget cigarettes: The big public health boogyman now is obesity. The idea that our growing waistlines pose a hefty threat to our financial well-being is gaining momentum, and all signs point to this trend having a big impact on public opinion and public policy.

What Would You Grab If Your House Were on Fire?

Occasionally, I play a grim game I call "Grab and Run" -- a mental exercise in which I plan which items I would take with me were I to flee an impending disaster. If a fire, flood, killer bee swarm or alien invasion happened right now, how prepared would you be?

The 10 States That Pay Out the Biggest Lottery Jackpots

On Friday night, a Mega Millions jackpot of more than $500 million is in the offing. Somebody may win big. Now, the only guaranteed winners of lotteries are state treasuries. But we're betting you're more interested in your own odds of winning a lottery, and where the payouts are best.

$4 Gas? What a Bargain! (And, No, We're Not Kidding)

Most Americans say that if the price of gas rises to between $4 to $6 a gallon, they're going to make "major" changes in lifestyle. Well, get ready to change, America: In some states prices have already touched the $4 mark. But it could be ever so much worse.

Why Public Universities Are a Bad Deal for Your Kids

Here's a higher education shocker: Thanks to tuition hikes at California's state universities on one hand, and Ivy League financial aid policies on the other, attending Harvard is actually the better deal for the Golden State's middle class students. And that's not just a West Coast phenomenon.

Savings Insecurity Is Growing: Share Your Stories

Far too many Americans haven't got enough liquid assets set aside to get them through a temporary job loss or other fiscal crisis. If you're among them, we'd like to hear from you: How has an underfunded emergency savings cushion affected you and your family.

Tax Doomsday Is Coming for Amazon

It sometimes seems like every new idea Amazon has dreamed up lately has been designed to help it lose money more efficiently. But the truth is more subtle: If it doesn't take these short-term hits now, it's destined to get crushed in a few years when the tax men come a-calling.

Doing Good to Do Well Gets a Legal Boost in California

You might not yet have heard of "B corporations" -- these companies with the dual missions of boosting social good and generating profits are a relatively new idea. But thanks to a recent California decision to make that social mission legally binding, the idea is poised to really take off.

The 10 Best U.S. Cities for Raising a Family

Choosing where to raise your kids can be a deeply personal decision, but some things are universally desired, like good schools, health care and recreation. 24/7 Wall St. looked at these factors and more to identify the 10 best U.S. cities in which to raise a family.

U.S. Homes Lose (Only) $700 Billion in Value in '11

The year-end housing news is sobering: U.S. homes are expected to lose more than $681 billion in value in 2011. But there's an upside: That's 35% less than the $1.1 trillion lost in 2010, according to research from Zillow.

Men's Wearhouse: Suits for the 99%

The Occupy Wall Street protesters might not believe they've got too many "suits" on their side, but retailer Men's Wearhouse took a stand for them last week. On Wednesday, Occupy Oakland planned a citywide strike to protest income disparity in America, and the local Men's Wearhouse closed its doors in support.

Bank Transfer Day: Small Protests, Big Changes

Did Bank Transfer Day work? Over the weekend, many Americans came out to protest big banks, and while there's no hard data yet to gauge the day's impact, credit unions around the country are reporting a continuing upsurge in interest. And the protests don't appear to be fading.

Seven Celebrities Who Went from Hot Shot to Homeless

On the heels of the New York Post report this week that funk hit maker Sly Stone of Sly and the Family Stone was broke and living in a van, The Price of Fame presents a tragic list of seven other celebrities who ended up homeless, desperate, and on the streets.

Advice for an Exec Laid Off After 37 Years With One Firm

Rhonda, a 57-year-old Californian, was laid off in September after 37 years with a medical laboratory company. Now she needs to dust off those rusty job hunting skills, and figure out her financial next steps too. DailyFinance's Laura Rowley brought in a couple of experts to guide her.

Latest Mortage Mod Scam Is an Audit to Nowhere

A raft of con artists have cropped up over the last two years offering "forensic loan audits." They promise to review your mortgage documents, looking for errors and legal flaws that they say they'll use to expedite a loan modification deal. All they usually end up doing is taking more money from already stressed homeowners.

Will Latinos Drive the Housing Recovery?

More than any other demographic, Latino homeowners were slammed by the mortgage crisis: Two-thirds of total Hispanic wealth in the U.S. evaporated from 2005 to 2009. But as the fastest growing demographic in the nation, they are also well positioned to power the housing rebound.

Meet the 12 People Who Have to Fix the U.S. Budget

There has been a pleasant lull in reporting about the debt ceiling and budget debate, but don't let the quiet fool you. Right now, 11 men and one woman are crafting a plan to reduce the federal budget deficit by $1.5 trillion over 10 years. They are the members of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction -- aka, the Deficit Supercommittee

10 Most Popular U.S. Summer Vacation Cities

When it's time for some R&R in the sun, Americans have a wealth of options. But based on summertime hotel room rentals, which one takes the crown? Orlando with its theme parks? New York with its culture? Washington with it's history? L.A. with its beaches? None of the above. Curious? Read on ...