Posts by Nicole Goodkind

  • McDonald's goes high-fashion, why Spotify should thank One Direction: This week's weird business news

    Nicole Goodkind at Yahoo Finance 2 days ago

    Here’s what happened this week in weird business news.

    McDonald’s gets into McFashion

    Thanks to McDonald’s (MCD) you can now have your burger and wear it, too. McDonald’s has revealed a Big Mac clothing and lifestyle line in Sweden that includes raincoats, wallpaper, sheets, and even dog coats. The items range from $40 to $45 and are available for purchase online. The stunt is part of McDonald’s “Imlovinit24” marketing campaign which produced events in 24 cities over the course of 24 hours. Other promotions included a Ne-Yo concert in Los Angeles and a giant coffee cup ball pit in Sydney, Australia.

    Willie Nelson puts his money where his mouth is

    Peanut butter and jelly, love and marriage, Willie Nelson and pot. They’re all matches made in heaven. That’s why it comes as no surprise that the country music legend will launch his own marijuana line. Nelson, 81, plans to open stores in states where pot is already legal and will sell his own strains of the wacky tabacky.

    Goodbye Zayn :(

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  • iPhone beats Android when it comes to keeping your data protected

    Nicole Goodkind at Yahoo Finance 4 days ago

    At this point, most people understand that advances in technology go hand-in-hand with privacy invasion. Your phone holds an incredible amount of information about you—it has your credit card info, your address, your birthday and more. But what people might not realize is just how frequently apps on their phone are tracking them. According to a new study by computer scientists at Carnegie Mellon University, 12 of the most popular Android apps track their users location an average of once every three minutes.

    For the relatively small study, researchers downloaded software that logged when apps asked for contacts, call logs and locations on 23 Android users’ phones and tracked them over the course of two weeks. The study found that about a dozen popular applications, including Facebook, Groupon and The Weather Channel tracked location within 50 meters an average of 6,200 times over the 14-day period.  That’s once every 3 minutes. That seems a bit excessive.

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  • Americans tell Yahoo: How I'd spend an extra $1,000

    Nicole Goodkind at Yahoo Finance 5 days ago

    What would you do with an extra $1,000? Would you pay off bills, or treat yourself?

    Given that 60% of Americans are unable to cover unexpected expenses (like a $500 emergency room visit or a car repair bill), you’d think that the money would go to into an emergency fund.

    Not necessarily....Yahoo Finance’s Rick Newman took to the streets of New York City’s Times Square to ask people what they would do with $1,000.

    The results were mixed but nearly everyone we spoke to would be generous with the money. Three people told us they would give the money to their children—to pay for college or just some shoes. One man said he’d buy a round for everyone at a local bar while another woman said she’d give it to the homeless. When asked why he wouldn’t use the money to pay off his bills a man in his early 20s said that there was a difference in his mind between this extra money and the money he works for – if he doesn’t work for the cash he uses it for discretionary spending.

    Watch the video above to see what people had to say about having enough money.

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  • Burger King perfume, adult preschool and Mr. T wants to redo your home: Weird business news

    Nicole Goodkind at Yahoo Finance 9 days ago

    Here’s what happened this week in weird business news…

    Enough Jibber Jabber

    Mr. T pities the fools who don’t take home improvement seriously. That’s right, everyone’s favorite mohawked ex-soldier of fortune has left the A-Team to join the demo team. He’ll be hosting a construction show on DIY TV where he tears out and renovates old rooms called, “I Pity the Tool.”

    "Before I worked in show business, I worked in the demolition business," Mr. T said in a statement. "And even after I made it in Hollywood, I kept on building things."

    This is not DIY TV’s first foray into celebrity home improvement. The network also airs “The Vanilla Ice Project,” “Daryl’s Restoration Over-Hall (with Daryl Hall),” “The Shatner Project,” and “Rev Run’s Renovation."

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    Adult Daycare

    Sense of pride and dignity not included.

    Smell Like Burgers

    If you are lucky enough to get your hands on the flame-grilled fragrance we strongly recommend you avoid dogs and wooded areas.

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  • Americans tell Yahoo: Economy still lousy

    Nicole Goodkind at Yahoo Finance 11 days ago

    Is the economy improving? It’s a simple question that divides friends and family and makes economists go prematurely gray. Unemployment is low, but so is the labor participation rate; new home construction is down but it was a snowy winter; U.S. economic confidence is positive but volatile.

    So which is it? Are things getting better or worse? Our very own Rick Newman took to the streets of Times Square to find out.

    Sentiment was mixed; for the most part people felt that things weren’t great, but that they were getting better. The number one complaint was about jobs. One man said he had college-educated friends who were making minimum wage at McDonald’s, a woman said it took her seven years to find a new job after being laid off, despite having a bachelor's and master's degree. Acknowledging that the unemployment rate is at 5.5%, she says, it feels a lot higher because of underemployment and the large number of people she knows who have given up on looking for a job.

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    Why Amazon stock will rise

  • How Obama can win a big stimulus program

    Nicole Goodkind at Yahoo Finance 12 days ago

    President Obama is currently attempting to hammer out a free trade agreement with 11 countries in the Pacific. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) would get rid of tariffs and other trade barriers between the U.S. and a number of Asian and Pacific nations including Japan, making it easier to sell and import goods. The TPP could create an aditional  $305 billion in exports per year, accoring to the Office of the United States Trade Representative.

    The trade partnership is one of the only things that the Obama administration and the Republican-majority Congress agree on. In a press conference after the midterm elections, Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) said, “I've got a lot of members who believe that international trade agreements are a winner for America. And the president and I discussed that right before I came over here, and I think he's interested in moving forward. I said, 'Send us trade agreements. We're anxious to take a look at them.'"

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  • "It would be a mess" if the Supreme Court guts Obamacare

    Nicole Goodkind at Yahoo Finance 13 days ago

    In what is becoming an annual tradition, the Affordable Care Act is at risk again. This time, the Supreme Court is considering the case of King v. Burwell, a lawsuit that could end subsidized health care in 34 states.

    The suit aims to determine who is eligible to receive health care subsidies outlined within the Affordable Care Act.

    The ACA outlines two main provisions to bring health care to all Americans: the first is the individual mandate, which requires Americans to have health insurance or pay a fine, and the second are the subsidies that make health care more affordable. In King v. Burwell, the plaintiffs-- David King and three other Virginia residents-- argue that states that have opted not to build exchanges are not eligible for these subsidies.

    A win for King would reduce federal tax subsidies by $29 billion in 2016, according to research by the Urban Institute. The research found there would be 8.2 million uninsured Americans and insurance premiums for those who were still covered by the ACA could increase by an average of 35%.

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  • Seattle responds to bus drivers wearing diapers by hiring bathroom czar and other weird business news

    Nicole Goodkind at Yahoo Finance 16 days ago

    Here are this week's weirdest business stories:

    Seattle has a bathroom problem

    In November, Washington state’s Department of Labor and Industries fined King County Metro, which runs bus service through downtown Seattle, $3500. The fine was for a failure to provide bus drivers with access to bathrooms. The report revealed that some drivers had to resort to wearing diapers while driving to avoid from soiling themselves. Labor Department spokesperson Tim Church said that, “Some told us there were - I'm looking for the right word here - urine-soaked driver's seats because they felt they had no other alternative.”

    King County Metro responded by creating a new management position—a bathroom czar or “comfort station coordinator.” The position pays up to $97,000 a year and includes responsibilities like maintaining databases with all public restrooms available to drivers.

    Hopefully Seattle’s bus drivers will be able to find some relief soon.

    Tang, but for alcohol

    The powdered alcohol gained approval for sale this week by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau and will be in stores this summer.

    Eggs with a side of Kevin Bacon

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  • Banks clear stress test, not out of the woods yet

    Nicole Goodkind at Yahoo Finance 17 days ago

    All U.S. banks passed the Federal Reserve’s annual stress test on Wednesday. The test aims to see if major banks can withstand another financial collapse.

    But some major banks just eked by. Bank of America, the second largest bank in the U.S. passed conditionally and will have to resubmit its plan with fixes or face failure later this year. Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase and Morgan Stanley were also required to change their investor payouts in order to make the grade. The U.S. arms of Germany’s Deutsche Bank and Spain’s Santander failed the test.

    Required under the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform bill, the Fed introduced the exam in 2011.  It is conducted on 31 large banks within the United States.  The idea is to ensure that America’s financial institutions have contingency plans and enough capital to endure the fallout of another economic calamity.

    According to the Fed, Bank of America’s original plan had deficiencies in its internal controls and revenue modeling. The stock was down slightly this morning. “Citigroup was in the same position last year and they passed this year,” says Garcia. “Overtime this tends to be no big deal…my guess is that they’ll pass.”