6at4 Business Report: Gas price glitch; Stolen cell phones; tablet sales

April 10, 2012 2:48:51 PM PDT
Gas price glitch proves costly; Philly gas prices will top $4/gallon; Fighting stolen cell phones

Costly Gas Price Glitch
A Facebook post about cheap gas spread very fast in Texas Tuesday morning. A gas station outside of Houston was pumping for just $1 a gallon. There was a problem with the pumps, which led to the pricing error. It took several hours to fix, so many people were able to fill their tanks for just $10. People saved nearly 75% as the national average for a gallon of regular is $3.92.

Disabling Stolen Cell Phones
The government wants to stop people from being able to use your smartphone in the event it gets stolen. Over the next six months, the nation's largest carriers will launch programs that prevent reported devices from being reactivated on the user's current network. In about 18 months, the plan is to stop stolen phones from being used on any network. New York Senator Charles Schumer has also proposed a bill to make it illegal to go around the database. According to police, smartphone thefts made up at least 30% of all robberies in major cities last year.

Gas Prices
So where are gas prices headed? Up, unfortunately. The U.S. Department of Energy says gas prices will peak in May at rougly $4.01 a gallon. What can you expect for this summer? Not much better. The prediction from the U.S. is $3.95 a gallon. Those two Philadelphia refinery closings account for almost 1/4 of the refining capacity here in the northeast which is part of the reason for the high gas prices.

More Job Openings
Have you noticed more job postings?? The U.S. Department of Labor said today that employers advertised 3.5 million job openings in February. That was slightly more than January and is a sign that employers are more optimistic about the economy. It also suggests that maybe Friday's disappointing March jobs report could be a temporary bump because it usually takes one to three months for employers to fill openings.

Tablet Sales Climb
We just thought that last year was the "Year of the Tablet" but so far this year sales are going gangbusters. Worldwide sales of tablet computers will almost double to almost 119 million tablets compared with 60 million tablets last year according to technology researcher Gartner, Inc. Even though Microsoft and Amazon.com have new devices, Gartner says Apple will continue to dominate.