Business

Parallels
2:19 am
Fri June 6, 2014

The 'Cool War' With China Is Unseen, But Comes With Consequences

Chinese paramilitary police march at Tiananmen Square in Beijing during winter 2014.
Goh Chai Hin AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 7:13 am

The days of the Cold War are long gone — no more zero-sum showdowns against communism, no duck-and-cover lessons in propaganda videos. But some scholars argue that something else has taken that conflict's place: a "cool war," pitting the U.S. against China.

That war is flaring up, and it's high stakes for American industry.

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Economy
4:34 pm
Thu June 5, 2014

Is Pushing Interest Rates To Less Than Zero A Crazy Idea?

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi speaks at a news conference Thursday in Frankfurt after the ECB said it was cutting rates.
Arne Dedert AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 5, 2014 5:17 pm

By now, you may have heard that on Thursday, the European Central Bank shifted to a negative interest-rate policy for deposits.

That news may have prompted two thoughts: 1) Isn't that crazy? 2) Who cares what happens in Europe?

These questions have answers. But first, some background:

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Planet Money
4:08 pm
Thu June 5, 2014

Why A Pack Of Peanut Butter M&M's Weighs A Tiny Bit Less Than A Regular Pack

Peanut Butter M&M's are larger and more irregular than standard M&M's.
Quoctrung Bui/NPR

Originally published on Wed June 25, 2014 3:03 pm

The other day I went down to the little shop in the lobby of our building for a snack. I couldn't decide whether I wanted regular M&M's or Peanut Butter M&M's so I bought them both. On the way back upstairs to the office, I noticed something strange on the labels. Each had cost $1, but the pack of Peanut Butter M&M's was a very tiny bit lighter: 0.06 ounces lighter!

I wanted to know why, so I called a couple of experts and asked for their theories:

Theory No. 1: Peanut Butter M&M's are more expensive to make.

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Media
3:35 pm
Thu June 5, 2014

'New York Times' Editor: Losing Snowden Scoop 'Really Painful'

Edward Snowden didn't trust The New York Times with his revelations about the National Security Agency because the newspaper had delayed publishing a story about NSA secrets a decade earlier.
Mario Tama Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 5, 2014 5:13 pm

When former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden made the fateful decision to share sensitive documents with reporters revealing secret and mass gathering of the metadata associated with the phone calls made by tens of millions of Americans, he had to figure out which news outfit to trust.

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Business
2:16 pm
Thu June 5, 2014

Internal Probe Decries GM's 'Incompetence And Neglect'

Originally published on Thu June 5, 2014 5:58 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish. A blistering report was released today about why General Motors failed to recall millions of vehicles with a defective part - a faulty ignition switch that has been linked to at least 13 deaths. The report, prepared by a former U.S. attorney, details a pattern of incompetence and misconduct that reached the executive floors at the auto company. In response, GM has dismissed 15 employees and is creating a victims' compensation fund. NPR's Sonari Glinton reports from Detroit.

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Business
2:16 pm
Thu June 5, 2014

Sprint Might Finally Get Its Way With Possible T-Mobile Deal

Originally published on Thu June 5, 2014 5:58 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Sprint has made no secret of its designs on its smaller rival, T-Mobile. And today, there were multiple reports of a tentative deal valued at around $32 billion. Sprint chairman, Masayoshi Son, has said a deal would make it possible for Sprint to offer more competition in high-speed Internet. But as NPR's Yuki Noguchi reports, there are still plenty of obstacles to the proposed takeover.

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All Tech Considered
2:16 pm
Thu June 5, 2014

A Privacy Capitalist Wins Big After Snowden

Mike Janke is the chief executive officer of Silent Circle, a company that sells privacy devices and apps.
Silent Circle

Originally published on Thu June 5, 2014 5:58 pm

A year ago this week, the NSA electronic spying revelations by Edward Snowden began to shake the high-tech industry in a big way. The scandal has hurt some companies, but there are also some tech winners, including an American who has been cashing in on the political hype.

Meet Mike Janke: privacy capitalist.

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The Two-Way
12:17 pm
Thu June 5, 2014

Sprint Is Reportedly Close To Deal To Buy T-Mobile For $32 Billion

Originally published on Thu June 5, 2014 2:36 pm

In a deal that's sure to face scrutiny from U.S. regulators, Sprint is reportedly close to sealing a deal with T-Mobile to buy the company for around $40 a share.

If the sale goes through, T-Mobile would join Sprint as the second U.S. wireless company acquired by Japan's Softbank. It would unite the third- and fourth-ranked carriers in their fight against the industry's two dominant leaders, Verizon and AT&T.

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Arts & Life
10:57 am
Thu June 5, 2014

Couple Goes High-Tech And Low Cost For Their Big Day

Putting on a wedding in New York City can be financial suicide. But one young couple, profiled in Fast Company, say they priced their upcoming celebration at just $10,000 by using online startups.

Business
10:40 am
Thu June 5, 2014

GM CEO Announces Firings In Wake Of Report On Recall Failings

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Let's get the latest news about General Motors. GM has now dismissed 15 employees for misconduct. This is misconduct in the company's response to faulty ignition switches in millions of GM vehicles. Those switches have been linked to at least 13 deaths. The CEO, Mary Barra, announced the actions today in coordination with an internal investigation led by a former U.S. attorney. Here's what Mary Barra had to say.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

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Planet Money
10:08 am
Thu June 5, 2014

The Fight Over Drones, As Seen From A Drone

Quoctrung Bui/NPR

Originally published on Thu June 5, 2014 10:47 am

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All Tech Considered
9:28 am
Thu June 5, 2014

Chicago Conference Is The Latest In Tech Sexism Hall Of Shame

The Chicago tech community balked at this Techweek Chicago invite, which the event has now apologized for.
Courtesy of Techweek Chicago

Originally published on Mon June 30, 2014 7:39 am

Times may be slowly a-changin' for the Y-chromosome-dominant technology sphere, where it's becoming a tougher environment to objectify women, at least publicly.

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The Two-Way
7:32 am
Thu June 5, 2014

GM Review Found 'History Of Failures' In Ignition Switch Debacle, CEO Says

General Motors Chief Executive Officer Mary Barra (center), Executive Vice President Mark Reuss (right) and President Dan Ammann discuss a review of the company's handling of a recall for a deadly ignition switch problem.
Bill Pugliano Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 5, 2014 10:05 am

An internal inquiry into the long-delayed ignition switch recall by General Motors found an 11-year "history of failures," CEO Mary Barra says. She announced the findings of an investigation into how the company handled a deadly defect with ignition switches at a Thursday morning news conference. (updated at 12:04 p.m.: added link to full report).

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NPR Ed
6:03 am
Thu June 5, 2014

A Master's In Media...From Conde Nast?

If she were your professor, all your work would be on time and fabulous. Or else.
Anonymous ASSOCIATED PRESS

Conde Nast, the magazine publishing company known for The New Yorker, Wired and Vogue, is getting into the US higher education market.

As our public media colleagues at Marketplace reported, the company is partnering with a venture capital firm and some as-yet-unnamed universities to launch a set of co-branded certificate courses, and eventually a master's degree.

Why is a media company getting into the higher education business? And why now?

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Business
3:29 am
Thu June 5, 2014

Is Working Past Retirement Age An Antidote To Getting Old?

Originally published on Thu June 5, 2014 10:40 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The word retirement is losing its meaning. A new study finds that almost half the people who say they are retired are still working or have worked in the recent past. Nearly three quarters of baby boomers who are not yet retired say they plan to stay on the job past retirement age. NPR's Ina Jaffe has more.

INA JAFFE, BYLINE: This is a dictionary definition of retirement.

KEN DYCHTWALD: It says, to disappear, to withdraw and go away.

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Business
3:29 am
Thu June 5, 2014

Afghans Must Pass Anti-Money Laundering Law Or Face Blacklist

Originally published on Thu June 5, 2014 10:40 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

OK, several important dates to follow in Afghanistan this month. On June 14, Afghans will vote in a runoff election to choose their next president. And about a week later is a deadline for Afghanistan to enact new laws against money laundering and terrorism financing. If the government misses the deadline, Afghanistan will be placed on a blacklist by the Financial Action Task Force, an international agency made up of the world's strongest economies. That could have devastating consequences for a fragile economy. Here's NPR's Sean Carberry.

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Parallels
1:34 am
Thu June 5, 2014

As Brazil Barrels Toward World Cup, Brazilians Aren't Feeling It

Corinthians Arena in Sao Paulo, Brazil, holds a test match Sunday ahead of the World Cup. One fan who attended said the country "didn't deliver" and isn't ready for the event.
Migquel Schincariol AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 5, 2014 4:47 pm

The stadium where the opening game of the World Cup will be played is a gleaming monument to the world's favorite sport, soccer. The Corinthians Arena — named after one of Brazil's most famous teams, which will take it over — has been built from scratch and boasts a massive LCD screen and state-of-the-art facilities.

Last weekend, it was full of fans watching the last test match before the World Cup begins. It was supposed to be a sort of final run-through to make sure everything is ready and working.

Except it wasn't.

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All Tech Considered
1:32 am
Thu June 5, 2014

A Year After Snowden, U.S. Tech Losing Trust Overseas

Participants hold up images of former NSA analyst Edward Snowden at an April conference on the future of Internet governance in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Andre Penner AP

Originally published on Thu June 5, 2014 3:18 pm

This week marks the one-year anniversary of the Snowden revelations. Whatever you may think about Edward Snowden the man — is he a traitor or a hero? — one fact is indisputable. His leaks shook the U.S. technology industry to its core. And the reverberations keep on coming.

Take Cisco. The Silicon Valley giant is now at risk of losing its once-stellar reputation with foreign customers — at the exact same moment it needs to grow abroad.

Security Worries For The Cloud

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The Two-Way
5:41 pm
Wed June 4, 2014

Attorney Says Sterling Will Sell Clippers, Drop NBA Suit

Donald Sterling watches his Los Angeles Clippers play the Sacramento Kings in October. Sterling's attorney says he has agreed to sell the team.
Mark J. Terrill AP

Reuters is quoting an attorney for Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling as saying his client has agreed to sell the team, and to drop a $1 billion lawsuit against the NBA.

Attorney Maxwell Blecher said Wednesday that Sterling "has made an agreement with the NBA to resolve all their differences," according to SI.com.

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The Two-Way
2:49 pm
Wed June 4, 2014

NFL Says When It Comes To Super Bowl 50, 'L' Is For Losers

NFL loses the roman numerals.
NFL

The old saying goes, "When in Rome, do as the Romans."

But in the case of the Roman numeral for 50, the National Football League has decided, at least for 2016 (and, admittedly in San Francisco, not Rome), to do as the Arabs.

The official explanation is that "Super Bowl L" just isn't as pleasing to the eye as its Arabic numeral equivalent, "Super Bowl 50."

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All Tech Considered
2:18 pm
Wed June 4, 2014

Girlfriend 'Complains A Lot ... Interrupts,' Developer Tells Conference

A slide from a presentation at a tech conference in Berlin.
Courtesy of Markos Saha

Originally published on Fri June 6, 2014 11:16 am

The consequences of a dearth of women in technology are showing up again, this time in a show of sexism at a tech conference in Berlin. (See update at end of post.)

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Business
2:08 pm
Wed June 4, 2014

When A Retail Giant Shops For A CEO, A Good Fit Is Hard To Find

Originally published on Wed June 11, 2014 7:45 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. There are a lot of open job slots in the top ranks of retail companies these days. J.C. Penney, American Eagle Outfitters and Target are all looking for new CEOs. As NPR's Yuki Noguchi reports, executive recruiters say it's harder these days to fill those positions.

YUKI NOGUCHI, BYLINE: Once upon a time, retail wasn't so big or so complicated. And talent was as plentiful as the competition.

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Business
2:08 pm
Wed June 4, 2014

New Pollution Rules Leave Utilities Frustrated, As Details Remain Up In Air

Originally published on Wed June 4, 2014 5:18 pm

The Obama administration has proposed rules for limiting greenhouse gases, but many of the details must still be set by states, leaving utilities unsure about specifics they'll be expected to achieve.

The Salt
10:42 am
Wed June 4, 2014

Hydroponic Tomatoes May One Day Be Tastier Than Ones Grown Outside

Hydroponic tomatoes are now just as tasty as tomatoes grown outside in perfect summer conditions, scientists say.
iStockphoto

Peak tomato season — July through September here on the East Coast — is almost upon us, and the anticipation is palpable. Before we know it, those super sweet, juicy fruits, grown outdoors under the hot sun, will be back in abundance.

We tend to fetishize summer tomatoes, especially heirloom varieties like Brandywine and Cherokee Purple, and regard them as the pinnacle of tomato flavor.

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Author Interviews
9:39 am
Wed June 4, 2014

After Tiananmen Square, New Lives On A New Continent

Originally published on Wed June 4, 2014 11:44 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Economy
9:26 am
Wed June 4, 2014

There's Trouble In The Job Market For Black College Graduates

Originally published on Wed June 4, 2014 11:44 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Economy
9:26 am
Wed June 4, 2014

What's Keeping Some Graduates From Getting Hired?

Originally published on Wed June 4, 2014 11:44 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Business
4:11 am
Wed June 4, 2014

'Mario Kart 8' Is A Big Hit For Wii U

Originally published on Wed June 4, 2014 6:32 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And our last word in Business today - go kart. Mario Kart, to be exact.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The eighth edition of the classic Nintendo video game was released on Friday and sold over 1.2 million units it's first weekend.

GREENE: Mario Kart 8 includes returning features from previous installments.

INSKEEP: The new features include antigravity racing - allowing players to drive on walls and ceilings - and Mario Kart TV, where you can upload highlights of your best races to YouTube.

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Business
3:56 am
Wed June 4, 2014

U.S. Proposes New Tariffs On Chinese-Made Solar Products

Originally published on Wed June 4, 2014 6:32 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

All Tech Considered
3:11 am
Wed June 4, 2014

Into The Virtual Reality Lab With Pioneering Researchers

Peter Mason tries the Oculus virtual reality headset at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco earlier this year. Some see Facebook's acquisition of the company as a turning point.
Jeff Chiu AP

Originally published on Wed June 4, 2014 9:41 pm

When Facebook paid $2 billion to buy Oculus VR, the company that makes the virtual reality goggles, it turned heads. Oculus doesn't even make a profit, but many enthusiasts believe this may be a turning point for a technology that's been around for decades.

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