Is it too late to teach a human how to ween off of technology?
When will robot completely take over human functions in the workplace.
Welcome to California Inc., a weekly newsletter of the L.A. Times Business section. By David Lazarus, who is a business columnist a The final jobs report before Tuesday’s election featured a stronger-than-expected 250,000 net jobs created in October. The unemployment rate held steady at 3.7%, the lowest since 1969. The more significant news in the report was that wages hit a post-recession milestone with average hourly earnings up 3.1% for the 12-month period ended Oct. 31. That was the best since April 2009, though rising inflation cut into the gains.
Top marks: Why does one customer spend years on hold while another gets through quickly? The Wall Street Journal says it’s because of a sneaky rating system called customer lifetime value. “Credit-card companies use the scoring systems to decide what to offer customers who want to cancel their cards. Wireless carriers route high-value callers immediately to their most skilled agents. At some airlines, a high score increases the odds of a seat upgrade.”
Three’s company: The Orange County Register checks out the growing practice among SoCal residents of relying on roommates to bring down housing costs. “High rents create headaches for all residents. ‘Roomies’ can mean unplanned population surges in neighborhoods. This can create a host of societal costs from jammed roads to crowded schools to strained utilities to stretched public safety resources.”
Dirty work: The New Yorker visits with the consulting firm McKinsey, which worked with the Saudis on dealing with the kingdom’s critics. “The firm said that it was ‘horrified’ by the possibility that its work could have been misused, and that it was investigating how the report could have got into the hands of people who were not supposed to have it.”
Somebody’s watching me: As people’s DNA becomes more widely available, Bloomberg BusinessWeek says, it increasingly will be put to use by law enforcement. “More than 15 million people have now taken consumer DNA tests from companies including Ancestry.com Inc. and 23andMe Inc. … And even if you aren’t among them, if a cousin of yours is, you can be found.”
Parking space: The typical driver will spend nearly 38,000 hours behind the wheel in a lifetime, covering some 800,000 miles, the New York Times reveals. “A good seat helps improve safety, makes us better drivers and can even increase a car’s fuel efficiency. And while the car’s exterior can get a shopper to open the door, an eye-catching and comfortable chair can close the sale.”
A wonderful video from the Atlantic about Tom and Barbara Holmes, who moved into a Sacramento house where seven people were murdered. “This is a film about a location where horrific things took place,” says filmmaker Nick Coles said. “It is a real house of horrors … But while this is dark and serious subject matter, Tom and Barbara have managed to deal with it in a sensitive way through humor.”