Biz Bits: Tiger close to joining exclusive club

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald

Tiger ‘Billionaire’ Woods

According to a report by Forbes, Tiger Woods is on track to be the world’s first billionaire athlete in the next couple of years. Based on their calculations, Woods will top $1 billion in career earnings in 2010 and will have a net worth of $1 billion the next year. No athlete – not even Michael Jordan – has ever been worth a billion dollars.

This Week’s Sign of a Bad Economy

Toyota Motor Corp. has joined the trend of automobile manufacturers producing fewer large-size vehicles. A Toyota plant in Mississippi is now slated to produce the popular hybrid Prius instead of the Highlander SUV, the company announced Thursday. 

Tech Tip: Reviewing the iPhone

If you’re not one of those who stood in line for hours to get the new iPhone but are still considering purchasing one, here’s what the tech experts have to say about it:

Edward C. Baig, USA Today: “It’s cheaper, faster and a lot friendlier for business. Apple’s blockbuster smartphone already had nifty features such as visual voicemail, a splendid built-in video iPod and the best mobile Web browser I’ve ever used. With GPS newly added to the mix, this handheld marvel has no equal among consumer-oriented smartphones.”

Walt Mossberg, Wall Street Journal: “If you’ve been waiting to buy an iPhone until it dropped in price, or ran on faster cell networks, you might want to take the plunge, if you can live with the higher service costs and the weaker battery life. The same goes for those with existing iPhones who love the device but crave faster cellular data speeds. But if you already own an iPhone, and can usually use Wi-Fi for data, you probably should hold off and get the free software upgrade before deciding whether it’s worth getting the new hardware.”

David Pogue, New York Times: “So the iPhone 3G is a nice upgrade. It more than keeps pace with advancing technology, and new buyers will generally be delighted. … But it’s not so much better that it turns all those original iPhones into has-beens.”

Tip of the Week: Five ways to cut auto insurance costs

- Comparison shop. Prices can vary widely from company to company, so it pays to shop around for the best policy deal. Remember, though, that the cheapest deal isn't necessarily the best. Look for a combination of good coverage and a good rate.

- Drive better. A good driving record is a powerful bargaining chip when you're insurance shopping. Insurance companies are interested in minimizing risk, and drivers with clean records are generally considered to be better risks.

- Think about insurance before you buy a car. Keep in mind that insurance companies consider many factors when assigning rates to a particular vehicle, including the age of the car, body type, vehicle class, safety features such as electronic stability control, and if the make and model are frequent targets of car thieves.

- Take care of your car. While insurers generally won't care about your car's repair and maintenance history, these things can indirectly affect your rate -- if your car experiences a critical malfunction while you're driving, it could cause or contribute to an accident.

- Buy smart. Did you know that you can lower your insurance premiums by carrying a higher deductible? Just be sure that you are prepared to pay that deductible should you have an accident. One option is to select a higher deductible and then set aside the amount of that deductible in an interest-bearing account. (ARA)

The List

Here are the 10 best cities for young professionals, according to Forbes:

10. Austin, Texas

9. Milwaukee

8. Charlotte, N.C.

7. Chicago

6. Washington, D.C.

5. Minneapolis

4. New York

3. Houston

2. Boston

1. San Francisco

Quote of Note

“You've heard of mental depression -- this is a mental recession. ... We have sort of become a nation of whiners."

Phil Gramm, one of John McCain’s economic advisers, in comments to The Washington Post.

Number to Know: 30

Percent of sales that fur made up of’s sales, according to the company, which decided this week to stop all fur sales.

GateHouse News Service