Business | page 18


SUNDAY, DEC. 27, 2015

In Seattle, Turo turns strangers into car sharers

Although peer-to-peer car sharing hasn’t grown with the ferocity of Uber or Lyft, the practice has found a niche in the Pacific Northwest that allows tourists and carless locals to explore Mount Rainier’s majesty, walk through the Skagit Valley tulip fields or taste Vancouver, B.C.’s dim sum.

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Ride-booking business’ unique clientele: Drunk collegians

STORRS, Conn. (AP) – A former University of Connecticut student has found a niche market in the ride-booking business, catering to drunk college students who want to get to and from parties and bars on weekends. Lance Graziano, 22, said he got the idea for Sober XPress LLC in 2012, when a woman flagged him down while he was driving near the Storrs campus and asked if he could give her and a friend a ride back to their dorm.

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FRIDAY, DEC. 25, 2015

Boeing’s plane output climbs even as jobs decline

In another boom year for commercial aerospace, Boeing is busy building infrastructure in Washington state – and yet it also has cut its workforce for the third straight year. By the end of 2015, Boeing’s local assembly plants for the first time will have delivered more than 700 commercial airplanes, propelling Boeing well ahead of Airbus in jet production.

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Federal regulators have issued a warning that some hoverboards – powered by lithium batteries, which can spontaneously overheat and explode and are thus considered hazardous material – have been improperly labeled and shipped in cargo containers.

Why a federal regulator is warning about shipping hoverboards

WASHINGTON – A federal regulator on Thursday issued a safety warning on shipping hoverboards after hundreds of the self-balancing scooters were found improperly labeled and packaged in cargo containers. The toys – based on the floating scooter in “Back to the Future II” – are popular gifts this holiday season. But they also can be dangerous.

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Ford receives record number of patents in 2015

Ford received a record number of new patents this year in what might be viewed as validation of the automaker’s efforts to rebadge itself as a mobility and tech company. Ford underlined its commitment to these areas when it opened a research and innovation center in Silicon Valley in January, which quickly distinguished itself as having a substantially higher number of patents than other Ford facilities.

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THURSDAY, DEC. 24, 2015

This photo provided by KD Interactive shows the Kurio Smart, the first kids tablet to run on Windows 10 and its purchase includes a free year of Microsoft Office. Parents have the option of filtering the Internet and setting usage time limits. (Kd Interactive)

Kiddie tablets ‘grow up’ as competition grows

NEW YORK – Kiddie tablets have grown up. Tablets designed just for kids are getting more sophisticated as they face increased competition from regular tablets. The new products also have better screens, speedier chips and fashionably slim bodies. They let older children do more, yet hold their hands until they’re ready for unsupervised access.

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Once an underdog, Hulu is becoming a player in the streaming world

At the exclusive Spago restaurant in Beverly Hills, a celebration was underway. Writer and actress Mindy Kaling had just made her way through the crowd at a holiday fete put on by streaming service Hulu. Nearby, filmmaker Jason Reitman was chatting with “Breaking Bad” alum Aaron Paul. “We’ve had quite a year at Hulu,” Craig Erwich, head of content for the streaming service, said to the crowd. “I think people are starting to notice all of the efforts we’ve made and we are very grateful.”

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WEDNESDAY, DEC. 23, 2015

Airlines prep for holiday crush: More flights, bigger planes

DALLAS – Airlines are shifting the timing of thousands of flights, even adding dozens of redeyes, as they try to avoid delays while hauling millions of passengers from now through the Christmas weekend. Success or failure could all depend on the weather and Mother Nature isn’t making it easy on airlines.

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Stores discount holiday goods more than last year

NEW YORK – If it seems like the discounts stores are offering are bigger than during last holiday shopping season, that’s because they are. And some of the best deals are happening now. Average price cuts this year on many items from clothing to jewelry are higher than last year, according to Market Track, which reviewed weekly circulars of 11 top retailers from Nov. 1 through Dec. 20.

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A Chipotle Mexican Grill employee prepares food Dec. 15 in Seattle.

Blanched onions: Chipotle tweaks cooking after E. coli scare 

NEW YORK – After an E. coli outbreak that sickened more than 50 people, Chipotle is tweaking its cooking methods. Onions will be dipped in boiling water to kill germs before they’re chopped. Raw chicken will be marinated in re-sealable plastic bags, rather than in bowls. Cilantro will be added to freshly cooked rice so the heat gets rid of microbes in the garnish.

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8th US death due to Takata air bag explosion identified

WASHINGTON – A minor who was driving a car that crashed near Pittsburgh has been tentatively identified by the government as the eighth death in the U.S. due to an explosive air bag inflator made by auto parts maker Takata, federal transportation officials said Wednesday. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration officials also announced an expansion in the recall of vehicles with Takata airbags, already the largest and most complex recall in the agency’s history. The latest findings could result in the recall of several hundred thousand additional vehicles, officials said.

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