Business

Business
3:38 am
Mon February 25, 2013

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 7:11 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And today's last word in business is: pirates beware.

If you download copyrighted material illegally, you might get a warning from your Internet service provider starting as soon as today. That's according to blogs covering file-sharing communities like Bit Torrent, where users share and download movies and music for free. Big copyright holders like the Motion Picture Association of America, have been working with Internet providers on ways to punish online pirates, although we do not yet know what the punishment might be.

Business
3:38 am
Mon February 25, 2013

Insurance Industry Lab Creates Indoor Hailstorm

Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 7:11 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Bad weather can mean big losses for homeowners and insurance companies. So recently, the insurance industry built a laboratory in rural Richburg, South Carolina in hopes of developing more weather-resistant buildings. The latest experiment was a giant, indoor hailstorm.

Julie Rose of member station WFAE takes us inside.

JULIE ROSE, BYLINE: Tanya Brown has had a single obsession these past two years...

TANYA BROWN: I'm a research engineer and the lead engineer on this project.

ROSE: How to make hail.

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Around the Nation
3:07 am
Mon February 25, 2013

Oakland To Issue IDs That Double As Debit Cards

Oakland Mayor Jean Quan (center) and former Oakland Councilman Ignacio De La Fuente are registered for the Oakland City ID Prepaid MasterCard program by Jaime Suriano (left) Feb. 1 in Oakland, Calif.
Ben Margot AP

Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 7:11 am

The city of Oakland, Calif., is taking a major step toward helping to bring many of its residents, especially illegal immigrants, out of the shadows.

It will issue a municipal identification card to anyone who can prove residency.

Oakland isn't the only city to issue such ID cards to illegal immigrants. New Haven, Conn., and San Francisco already do that.

The Oakland card, however, has a unique feature — it doubles as a debit card.

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Oscars 2013: The 85th Annual Academy Awards
10:54 am
Fri February 22, 2013

Despite Dark Themes, A Big Oscar Bounce

Despite its dark themes (slavery and the Civil War are hardly feel-good topics), Lincoln, like other Oscar nominees, has done very well at the box office. Disney has spent about $10 million campaigning for the best-picture prize, hoping for a payoff down the line.
DreamWorks

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 4:47 pm

How much is a best-picture Oscar worth? Not the statuette — winners are required to sell that back to the Academy for a buck if they want to get rid of it. No, what's the Oscar worth at the box office?

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Economy
10:06 am
Fri February 22, 2013

Could Minimum Wage Increase Boom Or Bust Economy?

President Obama's plan to jump-start the economy starts with increasing the minimum wage and avoiding sequestration. Host Michel Martin talks about those challenges and others, like rising gas prices and expanding waist lines. She's joined by NPR's senior business editor Marilyn Geewax and Wall Street Journal economics reporter Sudeep Reddy.

BackTalk
10:06 am
Fri February 22, 2013

Who Should We Honor On Presidents' Day?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

And now it's time for BackTalk. That's where we lift the curtain on what's happening in the TELL ME MORE blogosphere. Editor Ammad Omar is with us. What's going on today, Ammad?

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Business
3:42 am
Fri February 22, 2013

Boeing Believes It Has Safety Fix For 787s

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 4:22 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Let's talk about another meeting happening today. Senior officials from Boeing are sitting down with the head of the Federal Aviation Administration. Boeing wants its 787 Dreamliner fleet back in service. It's been grounded for more than a month. Neither Boeing nor safety investigators have discovered exactly what caused two 787 batteries to overheat and in one case catch fire last month. But, Boeing believes, it can mitigate any future risk with a series of fixes.

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Politics
3:42 am
Fri February 22, 2013

Obama To Urge Japan To Join Trans-Pacific Partnership

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 4:26 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with a Japanese visit to the White House.

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will meet with President Obama at the White House today. For Abe, the primary focus of the summit is re-vitalizing Japan's security alliance with the United States in the face of the threat from North Korea as well as tensions between Japan and China.

But as NPR's John Ydstie reports, the leaders will also discuss economic issues.

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Business
3:42 am
Fri February 22, 2013

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 1:33 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And today's last word in business is Oscar swag.

On Sunday, nominees who do not win an Academy award will nevertheless take home about $47,000 worth of consolation gifts - which sounds like a lot, but in 2010 the swag was worth a lot more - more than $90,000.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

This year, goodies include trips to places like Australia, Hawaii and Mexico. The gift bags may also include such useful items as hand illustrated tennis shoes, portion controlled dinnerware, and a book by Leeza Gibbons.

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Planet Money
1:46 am
Fri February 22, 2013

At A Trade Show, Power Tools Fit For The Amish

Robert Smith / NPR

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 7:59 pm

The Buckeye Tool Expo in Dalton, Ohio, is held in a massive hall filled with bearded men in black hats and women in white bonnets. A few horses and buggies are tied up outside.

The Amish have chosen to forgo many of the delights of the modern world, but they still need to drill, sand and cut wood. This trade expo shows off all the loopholes that let the Amish get their hands on power tools.

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Crisis In The Housing Market
1:24 am
Fri February 22, 2013

In Miami, A New Condo Boom Revives Hopes Of Housing Recovery

Brickell CityCentre is a new project that includes retail, offices and two condo towers. In all, some 19 condo towers are going up in downtown Miami, just seven years after the housing market crash.
Greg Allen NPR

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 6:07 am

Here's a headline that may sound familiar: Miami is in the middle of a condo boom.

Just seven years ago, Miami had a similar surge in condo construction. But it all came crashing down. There was an international banking crisis, and the Florida real estate bubble burst — taking down investors and many developers.

But new towers are once again reshaping the city's skyline.

Peter Zalewski, a real estate consultant with Condo Vultures, says 19 condo towers are now in the works in Miami, with 7,000 total units.

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Business
3:47 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

Native American Tribes Venture Out Of Casino Business

The Mille Lacs Band says it'€™s putting profits from its casinos into a hotel venture in downtown St. Paul, Minn. The move is to diversify the tribe'€™s business.
Conrad Wilson Minnesota Public Radio

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 8:26 am

Nearly half of all Native American tribes across the country are benefiting from casinos and other gaming revenues. For most, it's their largest source of income. But growing threats to that revenue due to competition from non-Indian gaming are forcing many tribes to look for other investment opportunities.

In a dramatic example of that diversification, one group of Native Americans is buying nearly half the hotel rooms in Minnesota's capital.

A Big Business Shift

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The Two-Way
3:31 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

Surely Congress Would Know Better Than to Hurt Airlines. No?

Those baggage fees, cramped seats and tiny pretzel bags to the contrary and notwithstanding, airline passengers enjoyed good times in 2012, according to an annual recap from Airlines for America, the industry trade group.

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All Tech Considered
1:56 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

Watch Out: Apple Patent Hints At Something For Your Wrist

A drawing from Apple's patent application could give clues to the rumored iWatch device.
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

The rumor mill has been churning out speculation about what's next from Apple.

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The Salt
1:10 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

One In Three Fish Sold At Restaurants And Grocery Stores Is Mislabeled

Escolar, right, is often substituted for more expensive Albacore tuna (left), a report on mislabeled seafood found.
Yoon S. Byun Boston Globe via Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 10:24 am

There are so many fish in the sea. But from a diner's viewpoint, peering down at a sliver of white fish atop a bed of sushi rice, a lot of them look the same.

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The Salt
12:16 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

Former Peanut Firm Executives Indicted Over 2009 Salmonella Outbreak

A sign outside the Peanut Corp. of America's processing plant in Blakely, Ga.
Ric Feld AP

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 8:26 am

Four former executives from Peanut Corp. of America and a related company are facing federal criminal charges for covering up information that their peanut butter was contaminated with salmonella bacteria.

The charges are related to a nationwide outbreak of salmonella back in 2009. More than 700 people became ill, and federal investigators traced the source of the bacteria to peanut butter manufactured in Blakely, Ga., by the Peanut Corp. of America. The company is no longer in business.

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The Two-Way
11:06 am
Thu February 21, 2013

In Wal-Mart's Earnings Report, A Lesson On The Tax Code

A Walmart store in Paramount, Calif. in November of 2012.
Frederic J. Brown AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 21, 2013 11:31 am

The New York Times points out something rather interesting about an otherwise mundane business story. Wal-Mart's fourth-quarter earnings report tells the tale of how changes in the tax code has both helped corporations and hurt them.

As the Times puts it, during the fourth quarter of last year, "the tax code gave and the tax code took away."

The paper explains:

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The Two-Way
8:46 am
Thu February 21, 2013

Existing Home Sales Rise Again; 'Seller's Market Is Developing,' Realtors Say

A "for sale" sign in San Francisco last summer.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Sales of existing homes rose 0.4 percent in January from December and were up 9.1 percent from January 2012, the National Association of Realtors reports.

The trade group also says "a seller's market is developing and home prices continue to rise."

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The Two-Way
6:48 am
Thu February 21, 2013

Inflation Was In Check Last Month; Jobless Claims Jumped Last Week

Gasoline prices at a station in Encinitas, Calif., earlier this week.
Mike Blake Reuters /Landov

Consumer prices were flat in January, the Bureau of Labor Statistics says. But a driving force behind that good news has reversed itself since then. According to BLS, gasoline prices fell 3 percent last month. In February, though, gas prices have risen sharply. So watch for next month's BLS report on consumer prices to tell a different story.

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The Two-Way
6:29 am
Thu February 21, 2013

Who's Been Hacked By China? Better Question Might Be: Who Hasn't?

Originally published on Thu February 21, 2013 6:51 am

This week's stories about alleged cyberthieves based in China have news outlets chasing related angles. Today's include:

-- "Chinese Cyberspies Have Hacked Most Washington Institutions, Experts Say."

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Business
3:43 am
Thu February 21, 2013

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Thu February 21, 2013 4:55 am

Sony has sold about 77 million PlayStation 3s since its launch in 2006, starting at $500 each. The new model is expected to be cheaper, and it should be available in time for the holidays. The company says the PlayStation 4 will focus on social networking features and cloud-based games.

Business
3:43 am
Thu February 21, 2013

New York Times Co. To Sell 'Boston Globe'

Originally published on Thu February 21, 2013 4:30 am

The company said it wanted to focus on The New York Times — its flagship newspaper. The Times bought the Globe for a record $1.1 billion in 1993.

Business
3:43 am
Thu February 21, 2013

Google Invites Ideas For Its High Tech Eyewear

Originally published on Thu February 21, 2013 6:37 am

Google says it will select several thousand "Glass Explorers" to test drive its augmented technology eyewear. The company is running a contest to find "bold, creative" people with imaginative ideas about how they would use the technology.

All Tech Considered
3:13 am
Thu February 21, 2013

Amid Lawsuits, Aereo Brings Broadcast TV To The Internet

Aereo allows users to connect to a distant antenna — a tiny device that acts like an old set of rabbit ears — and watch broadcast TV channels on their computer, tablet or smartphone. Currently the service is available only in New York City, and it's embroiled in legal complications.
Source images from iStockphoto.com, composite by Camila Domonoske

Originally published on Thu February 21, 2013 3:52 am

An antenna or a provider: For nearly all Americans, those are the only two ways to access live network TV. Anyone within range of a transmitter can hook up rabbit ears to tune in to ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, and other broadcasters, while cable or satellite subscribers get local channels through their subscription.

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Planet Money
1:05 am
Thu February 21, 2013

Three Ways To Totally Transform U.S. Immigration Policy

Immigrants wait for their citizenship interviews at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services on Jan. 29.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 21, 2013 8:42 am

With immigration policy in the news again, I asked three economists, "Dream big: If you could create any immigration policy for the U.S., what would it be?" Here's what they said.

1. The Best And The Brightest

Dean Baker of the Center for Economic and Policy Research would give out more visas to highly skilled workers: scientists, engineers, computer programmers and doctors.

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The Salt
1:01 am
Thu February 21, 2013

Secret Menus Give Restaurants A Not-So-Secret Boost

Originally published on Thu February 21, 2013 6:06 am

When you're trying to decide where to eat, knowing what's on the menu is important. But for restaurants trying to bring customers through the door, what's not on the menu is just as important.

Secret menus aren't new. In-N-Out Burger has had one for years. But experts say more companies are now adding secret menu items, which are even catching on overseas in places like the United Kingdom and Singapore.

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The Two-Way
3:39 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

New York Times Co. Plans To Sell 'Boston Globe'

A Boston Globe newpaper sits inside a vendor box in 2009.
Darren McCollester Getty Images

The New York Times Co. will continue shedding assets, this time announcing it is looking to sell The Boston Globe.

The New York Times reports the company said it was looking to sell off the Globe and "other New England properties" to "focus energy and resources on its flagship newspaper."

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Business
3:12 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

Office Depot Announces Plans To Merge With OfficeMax

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 4:11 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block, with this accounting of the rapid pace of deal making in corporate America. This month alone, U.S. Airways and American Airlines merged, Comcast bought up NBC Universal, Warren Buffett teamed up with a Brazilian firm to buy the Heinz Company, and Michael Dell helped take the public company that bears his name private.

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Media
3:12 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

New York Times Plans To Sell 'Boston Globe'

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 4:11 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

The Grey Lady is shedding more of its assets. This afternoon, The New York Times Company announced that it intends to sell The Boston Globe and other properties it owns in New England.

For more on this, NPR's media correspondent David Folkenflik joins me from our bureau in New York. And, David, what can you tell us? Why this sale, and why now?

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Business
2:41 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

For The Publicly Traded, Going Private Can Be Risky Business

Dell's founder and another tech company have announced plans to take the computer giant private. While companies can benefit from withdrawing from the stock market, there are potential pitfalls as well.
Paul Sakuma AP

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 4:11 pm

It's been a busy month for corporate America.

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