The search warrant covering [former California Public Utilities Commission President Michael Peevey and former PG&E executive Brian Cherry’s] homes said investigators were looking for evidence of improper “ex parte communications, judge-shopping, bribery, obstruction of justice or due administration of laws, favors or preferential treatment” related to matters coming before the utilities commission from December 2009 on.
The rise of Uber-like jobs is the logical culmination of an economic and tech system that holds efficiency as its paramount virtue. … “Can you imagine if this turns into a Mechanical Turk economy, where everyone is doing piecework at all odd hours, and no one knows when the next job will come, and how much it will pay? What kind of private lives can we possibly have, what kind of relationships, what kind of families?” said Robert B. Reich, an economist at the University of California, Berkeley who was the secretary of labor during the Clinton administration.
The report says the rising popularity of e-cigarettes – and a lack of regulations to curb their use – threaten California’s progress in reducing smoking rates and their associated health problems. In the last 25 years, California’s efforts to reduce smoking have cut the smoking rate in half, saved 1 million lives and saved $134 billion in health care costs … But the report’s findings on the current use of e-cigarettes suggest that many of those gains could be reversed.
Last year, for instance, an electronics company that marketed what it said were “secure” Internet-connected cameras, allowing parents to remotely monitor their babies, settled a complaint by the F.T.C. that lax security practices had exposed its customers to privacy invasions. A security flaw allowed anyone with the cameras’ Internet addresses to view, and in some cases hear, what was happening in customers’ homes.
In late 2013, California passed new flammability standards which kicked in at the beginning of this month. While not banning flame retardants, they no longer require that furniture be resistant to open flame but only to smoldering cigarettes. Most upholstery fabrics meet that standard without chemicals, eliminating the need for fire-resistant foam underneath. For greater consumer protection, the state later added a requirement that products containing the chemicals be labeled.