Business

The Salt
3:13 pm
Wed August 28, 2013

The Latest Frontier In Gourmet Salt, From The Lowest Point On Earth

An Israeli man bathes in the Dead Sea. Spas have long touted the health benefits of the Dead Sea. So does Naked Sea Salt.
Sebastian Scheiner AP

Originally published on Sun September 1, 2013 6:34 am

When you go to the Dead Sea for a float in its extraordinarily buoyant waters, signs warn you not to drink a drop. "Did you swallow water?" one Dead Sea do's and don'ts list asks. "Go immediately to the lifeguard."

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Krulwich Wonders...
10:34 am
Wed August 28, 2013

How To Disappear When Someone's Spying On You

Courtesy of Adam Harvey

Originally published on Wed August 28, 2013 4:32 pm

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All Tech Considered
10:28 am
Wed August 28, 2013

Microsoft Vs. Medium: A Tale Of Two Office Cultures

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer oversaw a system called "stack ranking," which employees have called toxic.
David Becker Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 28, 2013 1:36 pm

In the flood of stories about Steve Ballmer's time at the helm of Microsoft, a troubling symbol of the company's office culture keeps emerging. It's called "stack ranking," a system that had corrosive effects on Microsoft employees by encouraging workers to play office politics at the expense of focusing on creative, substantive work.

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The Salt
8:20 am
Wed August 28, 2013

To Grow Sweeter Produce, California Farmers Turn Off The Water

At Happy Boy Farms near Santa Cruz, Calif., Early Girl tomatoes are grown using dry-farming methods. The tomatoes have become increasingly popular with chefs and wholesalers.
Courtesy Jen Lynne/Happy Boy Farms

Originally published on Sat August 31, 2013 10:57 am

A week without water can easily kill the average person.

But a garden that goes unwatered for months may produce sweeter, more flavorful fruits than anything available in most mainstream supermarkets — even in the scorching heat of a California summer. Commercial growers call it "dry farming," and throughout the state, this unconventional technique seems to be catching on among small producers of tomatoes, apples, grapes, melons and potatoes.

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The Two-Way
5:28 am
Wed August 28, 2013

Click Here For 'The New York Times' While It's Being Hacked

The New York Times' alternate site.
http://news.nytco.com/

The New York Times' website isn't working for us, and many other users, again this morning. As All Tech Considered reported Tuesday evening, the Times appears to be the victim of another hacking by the Syrian Electronic Army — a pro-Assad organization that has previously taken over the websites of other U.S.

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Business
2:59 am
Wed August 28, 2013

Wal-Mart To Offer Same-Sex Health Benefits

Originally published on Wed August 28, 2013 10:33 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And news from the world's biggest retailer: Wal-Mart says beginning next year, it will extend comprehensive medical benefits coverage to domestic and legally married same-sex partners.

Jacqueline Froelich from member station KUAF reports on why Wal-Mart made the change.

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Around the Nation
2:59 am
Wed August 28, 2013

Rim Fire Drives Away Business From Iron Door Saloon

Originally published on Wed August 28, 2013 10:33 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

As the Rim Fire rages on, thousands of houses are threatened; over 100 have already burned. One of them was the home and the family ranch that Corinna Loh grew up on. Now she's struggling to keep her bar, the Iron Door Saloon, one of California's oldest, up and running. Good morning to you.

CORINNA LOH: Good morning.

MONTAGNE: It sounds like it's been a harrowing week. Tell us what has actually happened to you.

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Business
2:59 am
Wed August 28, 2013

Magazine Touts Arizona's Foliage Over Vermont's Colors

Originally published on Wed August 28, 2013 10:33 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And today's last word in business is: say what?

That was roughly the reaction of Vermonters who read this magazine headline. Quote: "Autumn In Arizona and Why It's Better Here Than It Is In Vermont."

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

You see, leaf-peepers, those are the tourists who head north to look at the colorful foliage, are a huge part of the state's economy. An estimated 3.5 million people visit Vermont during the season, spending some $130 million.

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Business
2:59 am
Wed August 28, 2013

JPMorgan Chase In Negotiations With Federal Government

Originally published on Wed August 28, 2013 10:33 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with settling suits for big money.

U.S. authorities are pressing JPMorgan Chase to settle lawsuits over bonds backed by subprime mortgages. And the Federal Housing Finance Agency is looking in the range of $6 billion to settle those suits.

JPMorgan Chase is still negotiating with the government. But here's another eye-popping number: The bank has spent about five billion for legal costs in each of the past two years. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Business
12:53 am
Wed August 28, 2013

Mayer Shines At Yahoo After Spotlight Dimmed At Google

Originally published on Wed August 28, 2013 10:33 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Yahoo yesterday announced a redesign of some of its major sites, the latest step in CEO Marissa Mayer's dramatic turnaround of the company. Since she took the helm last year, Yahoo's stock has surged. And a leading industry measure recently showed Yahoo topping Google in the number of website visits - which is something, since Marissa Mayer jumped to Yahoo after years of being a top player at Google.

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All Tech Considered
12:54 pm
Tue August 27, 2013

Facebook: U.S. Wanted Data On 20,000 Of Its Users This Year

Facebook has issued a report on government requests for its user data.
Flickr Scott Beale

Originally published on Tue August 27, 2013 5:22 pm

In its first "Global Government Requests Report," Facebook has released details on the number of requests it has gotten from government agents for user data.

Facebook reveals that governments around the globe have made 38,000 total requests for user data in the first half of 2013, and the U.S. dwarfs the rest of the world in requests. Up to June 30, the U.S. government asked Facebook for access to accounts of between 20,000 and 21,000 users, the company said.

Facebook has more than 1.1 billion users globally.

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The Two-Way
8:22 am
Tue August 27, 2013

Tesla Sales Hum In California, Beating Porsche, Land Rover

Tesla Motors has outsold several luxury carmakers in California in 2013, on the strength of its Model S, seen here in the foreground. The Telsa Roadster is behind it.
James Lipman Telsa

Originally published on Tue August 27, 2013 10:33 am

It's been a good year for Tesla Motors, the luxury electric car maker, particularly in California, where it's selling more cars than Porsche, Jaguar, Lincoln, or Buick. In 2013, the company has sold 4,714 cars in the state, according to the California New Car Dealers Association.

Here's a rundown of the state's vehicle sales rankings:

  • Tesla: 4,714
  • Porsche: 4,586
  • Land Rover: 4,022
  • Volvo: 2,982
  • Lincoln: 2,230
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The Two-Way
8:16 am
Tue August 27, 2013

Latest Economic Signs Point To Slow, Steady Growth

A home construction site in Oceanside, Calif., earlier this month. Home prices continue to rise across the nation, though the pace appears to have slowed.
Mike Blake Reuters/Landov

Two key economic indicators — home prices and consumer confidence — both seem to signal that slow, steady economic growth lies ahead.

Tuesday's reports:

-- Confidence. The Conference Board's widely watched consumer confidence index increased only slightly in August, to 81.5 from 81 in July, the business research group says.

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Business
3:13 am
Tue August 27, 2013

Amgen To Buy Onyx In $10.4 Billion Deal

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with a major biotech deal.

Amgen, the world's largest biotech company, is buying Onyx Pharmaceuticals for nearly $10.5 billion.

As NPR's Wendy Kaufman reports, Amgen has high hopes for Onyx's cancer drugs.

WENDY KAUFMAN, BYLINE: Amgen has cancer-related medicines, but for the most part they relieve side effects of chemotherapy, they don't act on the cancer itself.

And analyst Mark Schoenebaum of the stock research firm ISI Group says Amgen wanted a piece of that action.

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Economy
3:10 am
Tue August 27, 2013

Why Aren't Wages Outstripping Inflation?

Things appear to be looing good on the economic front: The stock market is up over the past year, profits have been rising and the U.S. economy has been growing for four years. Yet, wages for many American workers have been stagnant. To find out why, Renee Montagne talks to David Wessel, economics editor of The Wall Street Journal.

Around the Nation
3:02 am
Tue August 27, 2013

Residents Of Hot Weather States Sweat Air Conditioning Bills

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Air conditioning is increasingly becoming a necessity, not a luxury, as the number of Americans living in the Sunbelt grows. In Arizona, many people are struggling to keep up with their utility bills. The federal government does have an energy assistance program, but funding is shrinking, and it favors cold weather states that need heating help.

From member station KJZZ in Phoenix, Jude Joffe-Block reports.

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Business
3:02 am
Tue August 27, 2013

Cats Plus Online Videos Equal Precious

Originally published on Wed August 28, 2013 12:23 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And our Last Word In Business today is click catnip. Ten thousand people turned out at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis last summer for the first Internet Cat Video Festival.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

It was such a success, they have brought it back. Scott Stulen runs it and thinks cats and online videos, they just work together.

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The Salt
1:21 am
Tue August 27, 2013

Turning Off The Spigot In Western Kansas Farmland

An irrigation pivot waters a corn field in Nebraska. Many farmers in Nebraska and Kansas rely on irrigation to water their corn fields. But the underground aquifer they draw from will run dry.
Nati Harnik AP

Originally published on Tue August 27, 2013 12:49 pm

Across the High Plains, many farmers depend on underground stores of water, and they worry about wells going dry. A new scientific study of western Kansas lays out a predicted timeline for those fears to become reality. But it also shows an alternative path for farming in Kansas: The moment of reckoning can be delayed, and the impact softened, if farmers start conserving water now.

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Planet Money
10:16 pm
Mon August 26, 2013

A College Kid, A Single Mom, And The Problem With The Poverty Line

Marion Matthew is a home health aide supporting herself and her 17-year-old son.
Pam Fessler NPR

Originally published on Tue August 27, 2013 3:02 am

The College Kid

Rico Saccoccio is a junior at Fordham University in the Bronx. He's from a middle-class family in Connecticut and he spent the summer living at home with his parents, who cover about $15,000 a year in his college costs.

According to the U.S. government, Saccoccio is living in poverty. The $8,000 he earns doing odd jobs puts him well below the $11,945 poverty threshold for an individual. In fact, the U.S. Census Bureau recently reported that more than half of all college students who are living off campus and not at home are poor.

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The Two-Way
3:10 pm
Mon August 26, 2013

Which U.S. Agencies Have Taken The Most Furlough Days?

In May, the Housing and Urban Development agency closed for a day, as employees were placed on furlough. The HUD and other agencies were reportedly forced to take a fraction of the furlough days that had been threatened earlier in 2013.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Tue August 27, 2013 7:36 am

The threat of furloughs loomed large early in 2013, when mandatory budget cuts seemed certain to force federal workers to skip anywhere from 10 to 22 days of work without pay this year. A new tally by Federal News Radio shows that many agencies have taken fewer than half the days they had predicted.

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Remembrances
2:46 pm
Mon August 26, 2013

Muriel Siebert Was One Of the First Women Of Wall Street

Originally published on Tue August 27, 2013 3:30 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block. Muriel Siebert, the first woman to own a seat on the New York Stock Exchange, died over the weekend in Manhattan. She was 84. As NPR's Jim Zarroli reports, Siebert was a pioneer who broke down numerous doors in the male-dominated world of Wall Street.

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All Tech Considered
2:46 pm
Mon August 26, 2013

Inside The 'Bossless' Office, Where The Team Takes Charge

The headquarters of Menlo Innovations, a software design firm in Ann Arbor, Mich. At Menlo, there are no cubicles, few walls and no offices.
Elise Hu NPR

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 12:44 pm

Cubicle culture can be so confining that it's become a cliche. A line from the cult film classic Office Space sums it up: "I have eight different bosses right now," grouses bleary-eyed tech company employee Peter Gibbons. "So that means when I make a mistake, I have eight different people coming by to tell me about it. That's my only real motivation. It's not to be hassled."

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Around the Nation
3:10 am
Mon August 26, 2013

Too Much Rain Washes Out Crops In The South

Parts of the South have seen record rainfall this year. After years of drought, you'd think all that rain would be a good thing. But too much of the wet stuff is bad for farmers' crops.

Business
3:03 am
Mon August 26, 2013

First Female Member Of NYSE Muriel Siebert Dies At 80

Originally published on Mon August 26, 2013 5:02 am

Muriel "Mickie" Siebert bought a seat on the exchange in 1967 and was also the first woman to head one of its member firms. She died Saturday in New York at age 80. The cause was complications of cancer.

Business
3:03 am
Mon August 26, 2013

India's Currency Drops Following U.S. Fed Shift In Policy

Originally published on Mon August 26, 2013 4:06 am

The problems were triggered when the Federal Reserve said it would soon ease bond buying. Renee Montagne talks to Amy Kazmin, a correspondent for the Financial Times in New Delhi, about the troubles with India's economy.

Business
3:03 am
Mon August 26, 2013

Fed Decision Sends Brazil's Currency Lower

Originally published on Mon August 26, 2013 3:40 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF THEME MUSIC)

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

We'll begin NPR's business news with collapsing currencies.

Over the past several months, the focus of financial markets has been the Federal Reserve's plan to phase out or taper some of the extraordinary measures it has taken to stimulate the economy.

Just the idea that the Fed might start dialing back on stimulus spending is rippling through financial markets overseas. For instance, investors who once poured money into emerging markets, like Brazil and India, are suddenly much more cautious.

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Sports
3:08 pm
Sun August 25, 2013

Quitting Your Job For Fantasy Football

Fantasy sports attract an estimated 36+ million players in the U.S. and Canada.
istockphoto.com

Originally published on Sun August 25, 2013 4:04 pm

You may just call it late summer; for many die-hard sports fans, it's called fantasy football drafting season.

Fantasy sports is a huge business, with an estimated 36 million people in the U.S. and Canada picking teams and talkin' trash, according to the Fantasy Sports Trade Association.

And now we may be at a tipping point.

One man - Drew Dinkmeyer - actually left his job as an investment analyst to play fantasy sports full-time.

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The Salt
3:26 am
Sat August 24, 2013

Wine Has Sommeliers. Now, Beer Has Cicerones

Ray Daniels inspects a glass of beer. A Chicago brewer, Daniels started the Cicerone training program five years ago.
Johnny Knight Courtesy of Ray Daniels

Originally published on Sat August 24, 2013 6:08 pm

If you've been to a fancy restaurant, you've probably seen a sommelier — those wine experts who make sure you get the best possible match for your meal. But what if you don't want a chardonnay or pinot? What if you want a nice cold beer?

A new program is working to bring this same level of knowledge to the world of malt and hops by turning out batches of certified beer experts known as Cicerones.

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The Two-Way
4:49 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

ESPN Says It Backs Reporting As It Pulls Out Of NFL Series

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 5:12 pm

  • Sportswriter Stefan Fatsis Discusses ESPN's Decision On 'All Things Considered'

ESPN President John Skipper released a statement Friday defending the network's journalistic integrity after it pulled out of an investigation of the NFL.

ESPN had been a partner with PBS's Frontline on a forthcoming series about concussions in the National Football League. A trailer for the two-part investigation says Frontline "investigates what the NFL knew and when they knew it" regarding the lasting effects of head injuries.

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The Two-Way
3:56 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

Discrimination Suit Dropped Against TV's Paula Deen

Cooking show host Paula Deen in an appearance on Fox & Friends last December.
Slaven Vlasic Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 5:28 pm

An agreement has been reached to dismiss a sexual harassment and discrimination suit against Food Network personality Paula Deen and her brother.

The Associated Press reports that a document filed in U.S. District Court in Savannah, Ga., said the parties had reached agreement "without any award or fees to any party."

Lisa Jackson — a former employee of Uncle Bubba's Seafood and Oyster House, a restaurant owned by Deen and her brother, Bubba Hiers — charged that she suffered from sexual harassment and racial discrimination.

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