Money

Exit signs

Money | For 19 straight weekends box-office receipts lagged behind the same weekends in 2004
by Timothy Lamer
Posted 7/23/05, 12:00 am

Hollywood set a record this year that it would probably like to forget. For 19 straight weekends box-office receipts lagged behind the same weekends in 2004, the worst year-over-year losing stretch since the industry began tracking the statistic 25 years ago.

The good news for theater owners: A strong opening by Fantastic Four (see "story") during the July 8-10 weekend finally broke the slump.

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The record on oil

Money | The real record oil prices were set nearly 25 years ago, records that we have not even approached yet this year
by Timothy Lamer
Posted 7/16/05, 12:00 am

In 1981, a postage stamp was 15 cents, a typical new home cost about $83,000, and the median household income was about $19,000. Today those numbers are 37 cents, about $217,000, and more than $43,000, respectively.

Remember that as you read press reports this month about "record high" oil and gasoline prices, and be skeptical. The number of dollars that it takes to buy a barrel of oil or a gallon of gas may be higher than ever, but that is not the whole story.

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Lost in cyberspace

Money | Americans are gaining new tools to protect themselves from identity theft
by Timothy Lamer
Posted 7/02/05, 12:00 am

MasterCard International announced on June 17 that up to 40 million credit-card accounts had become exposed to fraud after computer hackers stole account information from a credit-card payment processor. MasterCard accounts made up 13.9 million of those exposed, while Visa accounts made up about 20 million. American Express cards and Discover cards may also have been exposed, as have cardholders as far away as Japan and Hong Kong.

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