Business

The Salt
3:24 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

In The Making Of Megafarms, A Mixture Of Pride And Pain

When families give up farming and move away, it drains life out of small communities.
Dan Charles NPR

Originally published on Tue June 17, 2014 9:37 am

It seems that everybody, going back at least to Thomas Jefferson, loves small family farms.

Yet those beloved small farms are becoming increasingly irrelevant. Big farms are taking over.

According to the latest census of American agriculture, released this year, there are two million farms in America. But just four percent of those farms account for two-thirds of all agricultural production.

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NPR Ed
3:09 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

Can Schools Solve The Tech Industry's Pipeline Problem?

When Google went public with data about the diversity of its workforce, it fueled the ongoing conversation about diversity in the technology industry.
Virginia Mayo AP

It's been only a couple of weeks since Google released the diversity numbers on its workforce, and there's been a lot of talk since then about why the tech giant and others in the industry don't really reflect the American population as a whole.

A well-written piece today in Mother Jones offers some provocative thoughts on what can be done about it — and schools could play a big role.

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The Two-Way
2:45 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

GM Recalls 3.2 Million More Cars For Faulty Ignition Switches

A 2006 Chevrolet Impala LTZ is one of the vehicles on the latest recall list.
WIECK/GM AP

General Motors has announced the recall of 3.2 million more cars for faulty ignition switches. The latest recall is in addition to the 2.6 million cars that GM has already recalled for a similar problem.

"The safety recall follows a review of ignition issues following the recall in February of 2.6 million Chevrolet Cobalts and other small cars. GM is aware of eight crashes and six injuries related to this recall," GM said in a statement.

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All Tech Considered
2:43 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

Software That Sees Employees, Not Outsiders, As The Real Threat

Military contractor Raytheon is marketing its employee surveillance software to smaller companies that handle big data.
Raytheon

Originally published on Mon June 16, 2014 6:20 pm

A growing number of companies are under pressure to protect sensitive data — and not just from hackers lurking outside the digital walls. They're also looking to protect it from insiders — employees who may want to swipe information such as customer bank account numbers or electronic medical records.

A new breed of security software is hitting the market to help with insider threat detection. And it raises some real labor-relations issues.

Monitoring To Find Bad Intent

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Business
2:29 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

Growing Worker Shortage Looms Over Logging Industry's Future

Michael Redfern's family has been logging Tennessee forests for four generations. But it's hard, dangerous work in a volatile industry, so fewer young people are pursuing the trade.
Bobby Allyn Nashville Public Radio

Originally published on Tue June 17, 2014 11:10 am

Timber is big business in Tennessee. About $1 billion worth of the state's tree products is shipped abroad every year. But within the industry, there is concern that there may soon be too few loggers to keep the profession going.

The Redfern family has been working the state's forests for four generations, but it isn't sure it will see a fifth.

Michael Redfern, 57, runs a three-man operation with his two sons on a 25-acre property in Cedar Hill, near Tennessee's northern border with Kentucky.

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Technology
2:29 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

How Retailers Use Smartphones To Track Shoppers In The Store

Originally published on Mon June 16, 2014 6:20 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Now, from tracking you where you work to where you shop. This doesn't just happen when you shop online, but in actual brick-and-mortar stores, too. And for more on this, I'm joined now by Latanya Sweeney. She's chief technology officer for the Federal Trade Commission, and she has written about how this works. Dr. Sweeney, welcome to the program.

LATANYA SWEENEY: Thank you. Thank you for having me.

SIEGEL: And you've actually written on your own blog. This isn't in your official capacity with the FDC.

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NPR Ed
7:35 am
Mon June 16, 2014

Starbucks Will Pay For Employees To Complete College

Part-time barista, full-time student?
Yang Lee Starbucks

Originally published on Mon June 16, 2014 12:22 pm

Starbucks Coffee Co. today announces an unusually large tuition reimbursement for employees. It's in partnership with Arizona State University's highly ranked online program.

Starbucks employees who sign up for ASU's online courses as freshmen or sophomores will get a partial scholarship plus need-based financial aid; entering juniors and seniors with previous college credits will be able to finish their degrees with the public university for free.

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Business
5:56 am
Mon June 16, 2014

Starbucks Brews Up College Educations For Employees

Starbucks will pay for the online college education of thousands of its U.S. employees, according to The New York Times. The program is part of a partnership with Arizona State University.

The Two-Way
5:42 am
Mon June 16, 2014

Book News: Labor Department Investigating Deaths At Amazon Warehouses

Paul Sakuma AP

Originally published on Mon June 16, 2014 6:35 pm

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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The Two-Way
5:39 am
Mon June 16, 2014

In Escalation, Russia Cuts Gas Supplies To Ukraine

Naftogaz Chairman Andrew Kobolev speaks to reporters Monday outside the government building in Kiev, Ukraine.
Sergei Chuzavkov AP

Originally published on Mon June 16, 2014 10:31 am

Escalating a long-running conflict, Russia said it has decided to cut off gas supplies to Ukraine on Monday.

The move comes after the two sides failed to find common ground on the price of natural gas in light of Ukraine's outstanding gas bill. Perhaps more importantly, it marks another chapter in the conflict between the two countries, which flared after a popular uprising in Ukraine ousted pro-Russia President Viktor Yanukovych.

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Parallels
4:16 am
Mon June 16, 2014

A Chinese Chemical Company And A 'Bath Salts' Epidemic

An empty lab used by China Enriching Chemistry, which was accused of shipping illegal drugs to the U.S. Eric Chang, the company's director, is currently in jail in China, where he was charged with producing ecstasy.
Frank Langfitt NPR

Originally published on Mon June 16, 2014 8:16 am

There were times a few years back when the emergency room at SUNY Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse looked like a scene from a zombie movie. Dr. Ross Sullivan, a physician there, recalls one afternoon when staff wheeled in a man with dilated pupils who was covered in sweat.

"The patient was screaming obscenities, and anybody he would pass, he was threatening and saying he was going to kill them," Sullivan recalls.

Police suspected the patient had taken "bath salts," the notorious synthetic stimulants that were ravaging scores of American communities at the time.

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NPR Story
4:16 am
Mon June 16, 2014

Large Blue Diamond Unearthed In South Africa

Originally published on Mon June 16, 2014 5:56 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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Business
3:37 am
Mon June 16, 2014

Federal Reserve Has New Worries About Inflation Rate

Originally published on Mon June 16, 2014 7:48 am

After years of concern about prices and wages going up too much, central banks are worried about too little inflation. Linda Wertheimer talks to David Wessel of the Brookings Institution.

Shots - Health News
1:52 am
Mon June 16, 2014

Power To The Health Data Geeks

Dave Vockell, CEO of the software company Lyfechannel, takes first place — and wins $20,000 — in the Code-a-Palooza Challenge at Health Datapalooza 2014.
David Hathcox David Hathcox for Health Data Consortium

Originally published on Mon June 16, 2014 2:09 pm

A computer programmer and a kid in a Batman suit walk into a pancake house ...

It sounds like a joke, but it really happened, and now the programmer — Dave Vockell — has a new product to bring to market. It's an app to help seniors talk to their doctors about medical care.

"Like all great health care breakthroughs, it happened at the International House of Pancakes," he says, half-jokingly.

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The Salt
1:51 am
Mon June 16, 2014

Hunting For Alien Bug And Seed Invaders At Baltimore's Port

David Ng (right) and Amanda Furrow, Customs and Border Protection agricultural specialists, inspect wheat for insects and alien seeds at a port in Baltimore, Md.
Dan Charles NPR

Originally published on Mon June 30, 2014 7:33 am

Baltimore's seaport is a world of big, noisy steel machines: giant cargo ships, cranes and roaring trucks.

In the middle of this hubbub, David Ng, an agricultural specialist with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, tries to find things that are small and alive: snails, moths and weed seeds of all sorts.

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The Salt
4:35 pm
Sat June 14, 2014

It's Pink, It's Fresh, It's Everywhere: Rosé Is Rising!

The intensity of the pink color of a rosé wine is determined by the length of time the grape juice has contact with the grape skin during the winemaking process. The wine on the left had the longest skin contact.
Sindhu Hirani Blume NPR

Originally published on Mon June 16, 2014 7:05 am

The pink wine that got a bad rap for years has become synonymous with summer. Rosé is fashionable, complex and fresh. Even Brad and Angelina are in the rosé business. But why now?

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Business
3:07 pm
Sat June 14, 2014

In Silicon Valley, Some Entrepreneurs Seek Social Change

Originally published on Sat June 14, 2014 4:17 pm

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

Every now and then, you'll hear story about a kid who has a lemonade stand or cupcake sale to raise money for a good cause. Beyond that heartwarming headline is a belief that you can do capitalism with a conscience. Well, this is an idea that has taken root in Silicon Valley, in a big, big way.

Carlos Watson is the co-founder of the online magazine, Ozy. He says that young entrepreneurs there are starting businesses for social change. So, Carlos, who are these idealists? And what are the causes they want to support?

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All Tech Considered
3:46 am
Sat June 14, 2014

Tech Week: Snooping On Steve, Uber Battles, 3-D Nutella Printing

Our cellphones are constantly sending out data, and it's easier to get than we thought.
Krocky Meschkin Flickr

So much tech news, so little time. Let's run down the highlights of our tech coverage this week.

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Energy
2:11 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

U.S. Coal Companies Ride Exports To Booming Business

Originally published on Sat June 14, 2014 3:32 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block. The coal industry in this country has taken its share of hits over the past few years, in large part because of concerns about carbon pollution, also because of a glut of low-cost natural gas. You'd think the coal companies would be wobbling on their last legs but in fact some are doing a booming business. NPR's Jackie Northam reports this is due to a huge demand for coal overseas.

(SOUNDBITE OF TRAIN)

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All Tech Considered
10:18 am
Fri June 13, 2014

Critics Renew Calls For More Diverse Video Game Characters

Actress and gamer Aisha Tyler hosted game developer Ubisoft's press conference at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles. The company was recently criticized for not animating female assassins in one of its new games.
Lucy Nicholson Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Mon June 16, 2014 9:11 am

There's a myth that only nerdy white guys play and make video games. At this week's video game extravaganza in Los Angeles called Electronic Entertainment Expo, Microsoft didn't do much to change that image.

At the company's E3 press conference, there was an unseen female announcer, but there was only one female who stood on stage and spoke. Bonnie Ross, who heads the Microsoft studio that produces its blockbuster game Halo, spoke for less than two minutes.

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Business
5:29 am
Fri June 13, 2014

Mexican Chain Offers Burrito Bond To Investors

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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Business
5:29 am
Fri June 13, 2014

Tesla Motors Hopes To Accelerate Electric Car Industry

CEO Elon Musk announced on Thursday that he is suspending enforcement of his company's electric car technology patents. Tesla has hundreds of patents and more pending.

Business
3:17 am
Fri June 13, 2014

At E3, Critics Renew Calls For More Diverse Video Game Characters

Originally published on Fri June 13, 2014 7:29 am

Even though women make up a significant proportion of dedicated gamers, there are few female protagonists in big-selling video games. The same goes for ethnic and racial minorities.

All Tech Considered
1:03 am
Fri June 13, 2014

Here's One Big Way Your Mobile Phone Could Be Open To Hackers

There is a hole in mobile security that could makes tens of millions of Americans vulnerable.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon June 16, 2014 11:08 am

Despite the fact that every major Internet provider has added some kind of encryption to its services over the past year, tracking your online traffic is easier than you think.

And you don't have to be the target of the hacker or the NSA for your traffic to be intercepted. There is a hole in mobile security that could make tens of millions of Americans vulnerable.

Unsecure Wi-Fi networks have been a well-known vulnerability in the tech industry for years. They can let even the most unsophisticated hacker capture your traffic and possibly steal your identity.

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The Salt
4:43 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

POM Wonderful Wins A Round In Food Fight With Coca-Cola

POM sued Coca-Cola, claiming that it was losing sales because the label and advertising for its Minute Maid pomegranate-blueberry drink were misleading consumers into believing they were getting a juice combination consisting mainly of pomegranate and blueberry juices when, in fact, the juice was more than 99 percent apple and grape juices, which are far cheaper.
Courtesy of the Coca-Cola Co.

Originally published on Fri June 13, 2014 10:47 am

A food fight at the U.S. Supreme Court ended in a unanimous decision on Thursday.

The justices ruled that POM Wonderful can go forward with a lawsuit alleging Coca-Cola Co. tricked consumers and stole business from POM with false and misleading juice labels.

The case centers on a product aimed at health-conscious consumers: pomegranate-blueberry juice.

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All Tech Considered
3:13 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

Q&A: Nintendo President Says Don't Count Out Mario

Reggie Fils-Aime is president and chief operating officer of Nintendo of America.
Jae C. Hong AP

Originally published on Thu June 12, 2014 3:36 pm

The American face of Nintendo, President and Chief Operating Officer Reggie Fils-Aime, once said, "I'm about kicking ass, I'm about taking names."

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Author Interviews
3:02 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

Former BP CEO: 'Glass Closet' Still Holds Many Gay Workers Back

Originally published on Thu June 12, 2014 6:30 pm

"It was time to leave the building."

So begins a new book by John Browne, former CEO of the energy giant BP. But that sentence could easily have read: "It was time to leave the closet."

During his 12 years as CEO, he never discussed his sexuality in the workplace. That changed in 2007, when his relationship with a male escort was exposed and Browne resigned amid an ensuing scandal. At the time, he said in a statement, "I have always regarded my sexuality as a personal matter, to be kept private."

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All Tech Considered
2:29 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

Starbucks Makes Itself More Addictive With Wireless Phone Charging

Soon, you'll be able to recharge at Starbucks, and charge your device.
Courtesy of Duracell Powermat

Originally published on Mon June 16, 2014 9:11 am

Starbucks' latest innovation has nothing to do with coffee beans or breakfast, but it may lure the technologically dependent among us into its stores.

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Technology
2:02 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

Facebook Plans To Include More Of Users' Data To Target Ads

Originally published on Fri June 13, 2014 11:39 am

Facebook will use members' Web browsing habits to help advertisers target their ads more effectively. Facebook also announced a feature that allows users to see why targeted ads are coming their way.

All Tech Considered
11:14 am
Thu June 12, 2014

Facebook Ad Targeting Will Use Even More Of Your Data

Facebook says that starting soon, ad targeting will "include information from some of the websites and apps you use," making ads more relevant to users' interests.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri June 13, 2014 9:53 am

Facebook says it will pull from more user data, including browsing histories, to better target ads to consumers. As the changes roll out over the next few weeks, users will also have more control over their own data profiles, the ones that help determine which ads they see.

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