Business

All Tech Considered
4:44 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

'Serendipitous Interaction' Key To Tech Firms' Workplace Design

Google employees play chess at the company's Russian headquarters in Moscow. Experts say tech companies are using "serendipitous interaction" in their workplace design to promote idea sharing and communication between employees.
Krasilnikov Stanislav ITAR-TASS /Landov

When Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer decided to end full-time work-from-home arrangements at her company, a cultural firestorm ignited. But it was just the latest step in Mayer's effort to transform Yahoo's culture.

When the company was founded in the 1990s, it was one of the most exciting places to work in Silicon Valley. Those days are over; Yahoo has fallen woefully behind in the talent wars and now is trying to catch up.

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Business
3:35 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

Fast Fashion's Challenge: Making Money With 'Made In The USA'

American Apparel boasts that all of its products are made in the USA, primarily at its Los Angeles headquarters. Selling garments produced largely by machine, rather than by hand, has helped the company remain profitable.
Mark Ralston Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 5:02 pm

In the world of fast fashion, two U.S.-based companies loom large: Forever 21 and American Apparel. Both are based in Los Angeles, but the two could not be more different.

American Apparel proudly boasts that the clothes it sells are "made in the USA." In contrast, Forever 21 subcontracts with factories all over the world.

Dov Charney, American Apparel's Canadian-American founder and CEO, has a reputation. "I knew from a very early age — in elementary school — that I was going to rub some people the wrong way," he says.

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Money Coach
9:57 am
Wed March 13, 2013

When Retirement Goes Wrong

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 11:34 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Now, we want to take some time to talk about retirement. Later this hour, we will hear from someone who decided to retire at the advanced age of 32 and - no, his last name is not Buffett or Rockefeller or Gates. We'll ask him why and, equally important, how he managed to do this. That's coming up later this hour.

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Money Coach
9:57 am
Wed March 13, 2013

How To Have Your 'First Retirement' At 32

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 11:34 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

We want to turn now to someone who is thinking about retirement in a very different way. Carl Seidman is in his early 30s, but just a few weeks ago, he quit his job as a consultant in Chicago and hopped on a plane to Chile. He's calling it his first retirement and he says you don't have to wait until you're 65 to retire either, and he's going to tell us more about that.

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The Two-Way
6:45 am
Wed March 13, 2013

Retail Sales Rose In February; Spending Was 'Relatively Robust'

Retail sales rose an estimated 1.1 percent in February from January and were up 4.6 percent from February 2012, the Census Bureau says.

Kathy Bostjancic director of macroeconomic analysis at the The Conference Board research group, says in an analysis sent to reporters that the report's a sign that "consumer spending remains relatively robust." And since consumers buy about 70 percent of all goods and services, their willingness to spend is a key economic driver.

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Business
3:28 am
Wed March 13, 2013

Indianapolis Airport Named Best In North America

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 3:36 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

One American airport already has that wow factor, which brings us to today's last word in business, which is: First Class.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The Indianapolis International Airport was named the Best Airport in North America by the Airports Council International. They're right. It's nice. The annual Airport Service Quality awards are determined by year-round passenger satisfaction surveys.

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Business
3:28 am
Wed March 13, 2013

FAA OKs Boeing Fix For 787 Dreamliner Batteries

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 3:36 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with the movement for Boeing.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

Business
3:28 am
Wed March 13, 2013

China's Hot Real Estate Market Takes Broad Toll

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 3:36 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

In China, property prices continue to spiral upwards, despite government efforts to cool off the hot real estate market there. In recent weeks, there have been warnings that the Chinese housing bubble will burst, with dire effects on the broader economy and the entire world. Some don't see that happening, and one skeptic is Leta Hong Fincher. She is a sociology researcher who studies real estate in China. We reached her in Beijing.

Thank you for joining us.

LETA HONG FINCHER: Thank you for having me, Renee.

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Business
3:28 am
Wed March 13, 2013

More Airports Renovating, Adding New Terminals

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 3:36 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Now let's come back to the United States for this next story, because over the past few years, more than a dozen American airports - big and small - have renovated or added new terminals. The latest in Birmingham, Alabama opens today.

NPR's Russell Lewis reports on why so many airports are sprucing up.

RUSSELL LEWIS, BYLINE: With just hours before the new $200 million terminal was to open, it was a mad dash...

(SOUNDBITE OF DRILLING)

LEWIS: ...as workers drilled signs above the restaurants,

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Business
3:28 am
Wed March 13, 2013

Chinese Solar Company Shuts U.S. Factory

Originally published on Tue March 26, 2013 3:32 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The Chinese solar company Suntech announced yesterday it will shut down its only factory here in the U.S.

As Peter O'Dowd reports from member station KJZZ, recent U.S. tariffs played a role in the plant's failure.

PETER O'DOWD, BYLINE: Suntech had been making solar panels in the Phoenix suburb of Goodyear for two years. But in that time, GTM Research analyst Shyam Mehta says the global price of solar panels had fallen by more than 60 percent.

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The Salt
4:15 pm
Tue March 12, 2013

Can Dunkin' Donuts Really Turn Its Palm Oil Green?

Dunkin' Donuts plans to go green by committing to purchasing all of its palm oil from sustainable sources.
Andrew Huff/via Flickr

Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 5:13 pm

Dunkin' Donuts is changing its recipes — though you may not notice much difference the next time you bite into a cruller. In response to pressure from one of New York's top elected officials, the company recently announced that it will set a goal of using only 100 percent sustainable palm oil in making its donuts.

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Business
3:44 pm
Tue March 12, 2013

Cruise Industry Stays Confidently Afloat Amid Major Accidents

Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 4:42 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

If the cruise industry is smarting from some recent PR disasters, it's not letting on. Executives are gathered in Florida this week for Cruise Shipping Miami, a big conference. It's been a month since an engine fire on the Carnival Triumph knocked out the ship's power, leaving it stranded in the Gulf of Mexico. Cable networks seem to carry every moment of the drama, as the ship and more than 3,000 passengers were towed slowly to port.

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Business
2:10 pm
Tue March 12, 2013

The Reclusive Spanish Billionaire Behind Zara's Fast Fashion Empire

A notorious recluse, Amancio Ortega founded the Zara clothing chain and is No. 3 on Forbes magazine's billionaire list.
Inditex AP

Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 6:18 pm

He's the richest man you've never heard of: Amancio Ortega, founder of the Spanish clothing chain Zara. He's a notorious recluse who is rumored to wear the same plain shirt every day, but his Zara empire has come to define the concept of fast fashion.

And now he's taken Warren Buffett's No. 3 spot on Forbes' billionaires list.

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The Two-Way
12:09 pm
Tue March 12, 2013

Google Will Pay $7 Million To Settle Street View Data Capturing Case

The camera mounted on a Google Street View car used to photograph whole streets obscures part of the U.S. Internet giant's logo.
Daniel Mihailescu AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 12:37 pm

Google has agreed to pay a $7 million fine to settle claims from 37 states and the District of Columbia that the search giant improperly collected data from unsecured wireless networks across the United States using its "Street View" vehicles.

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Shots - Health News
11:00 am
Tue March 12, 2013

When It Comes To Health Care, Patients Don't Want To Weigh Costs

Patients say they feel little personal responsibility for keeping health costs lower.
Andrei Tchernov iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu March 14, 2013 3:06 pm

People willingly drive across town to save 50 cents on a carton of milk. But when it comes to health care, they don't want to think about how much it costs, and they don't want their doctors to think about it either, according to a recent study in the journal Health Affairs.

That's not good news for those who hope to nudge people into being more cost-conscious health care consumers.

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Business
3:33 am
Tue March 12, 2013

SEC Charges Illinois With Fraud Over Pensions

For only the second time ever, the Securities and Exchange Commission is charging a state with fraud, for allegedly misleading investors about the health of its pension funds. The SEC says the state of Illinois did not properly inform investors that its pension funds were significantly underfunded when selling bonds from 2005 to 2009. This is the latest fiscal black eye for a state with a pension shortfall approaching a whopping $100 billion. The state has agreed to settle the charges.

Business
3:17 am
Tue March 12, 2013

SEC Nominee Faces Senate Panel In Confirmation Hearing

Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 3:49 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with the SEC nominee.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

Business
3:17 am
Tue March 12, 2013

Cruise Ship Leaders To Discuss Industry's Future

Leaders of several cruise lines are meeting in Miami on Tuesday to discuss the state of the industry. The conference comes after a series of setbacks, including a cruise ship losing power for days in the Gulf of Mexico.

All Tech Considered
2:29 am
Tue March 12, 2013

Self-Tracking Apps To Help You 'Quantify' Yourself

Noah Zandan shows off his Zeo sleep-tracking headband. His other self-tracking devices are on his wrists. Noah and his father, Peter, are both part of the growing "Quantified Self" movement.
Elise Hu NPR

Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 9:11 am

Technology has made it easier than ever to track your activity levels, your sleep cycles, how you spend your time, and more. The self-trackers who near-obsessively capture and analyze their own data are part of a growing "Quantified Self" movement.

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The Salt
1:58 am
Tue March 12, 2013

Mississippi Passes 'Anti-Bloomberg' Bill

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 3:11 pm

Mayor Mike and his public health edicts are having a rough ride.

On Monday, a state judge in Manhattan struck down New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's rule capping soda sizes. And lawmakers in Mississippi are taking the backlash against government regulation on food marketing one step further.

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Financial Basics For Baby Boomers
1:49 am
Tue March 12, 2013

From Grief Comes A Mission To Make Estate Planning Less Daunting

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 3:17 am

Estate planning may seem like a pain, but imagine the mess you leave to those managing your affairs if you don't draw up a will or get life insurance.

"It takes really just a few hours now, rather than a pile of hours and thousands of dollars to do it later when you really need it done," says Chanel Reynolds, who created a website geared to help people get their affairs in order.

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Business
3:36 pm
Mon March 11, 2013

Betting Site Intrade Shuts Down Under Mysterious Circumstances

The online betting market Intrade has shut down. Intrade allowed customers to wager on the outcome of events such as presidential elections. The company says all betting is on hold until it can investigate possible financial irregularities.

Business
2:27 pm
Mon March 11, 2013

In Trendy World Of Fast Fashion, Styles Aren't Made To Last

Prices at stores like Forever 21 are so low, "it's virtually impossible to walk out empty-handed," says Elizabeth Cline, who writes about fast fashion.
Michael Buckner Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 11, 2013 3:36 pm

When she got out of college and moved to New York, Elizabeth Cline liked to shop at vintage-clothing stores. They were the kinds of places tucked away on side streets in Manhattan and Brooklyn, where a lot of hunting and a little luck might reward you with a great, inexpensive cocktail dress that no one else had.

Then she discovered the world of "fast fashion" — chains like Forever 21, H&M and Zara — and it redefined her whole notion of bargain shopping.

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Planet Money
11:54 am
Mon March 11, 2013

In One Key Way, The Housing Crisis Is Still Going Strong

Lam Thuy Vo / NPR

The housing market is recovering. Prices are rising, the number of foreclosures is falling, and construction crews are finally starting to build again. But in one key way, housing remains in crisis mode: The U.S. housing market is still a ward of the state.

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The Two-Way
8:49 am
Mon March 11, 2013

Add Its Own Demise To Intrade's List Of Blown Calls

Intrade

Who could have predicted this?

Well, apparently not "the world's most famous predictions market."

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The Two-Way
6:16 am
Mon March 11, 2013

Book News: Amazon Tries To Claim '.book' Domain; Publishers Fight Back

Seattle-based Amazon wants control over new Internet domains such as ".book," ".author" and ".read."
Lionel Bonaventure AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 11, 2013 6:52 am

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

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All Tech Considered
5:20 am
Mon March 11, 2013

The Most Talked About Tech And Culture Trends At SXSW Interactive

The feline known as Grumpy Cat.
Elise Hu NPR

Originally published on Mon March 11, 2013 6:40 pm

Everywhere you walk in downtown Austin, Texas, new names compete for the attention of the tens of thousands wandering the SXSW Interactive festival. Which of this year's emerging ideas and brands — MakerBot, Leap Motion, Geomagic — will break into mainstream consciousness? Here's a quick rundown of the conversation topics in coffee lines, and some notes on appearances and panels that caught our attention:

Beyond The Keyboard And Mouse

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Business
3:10 am
Mon March 11, 2013

Alabama Weighs Protections To Entice Airbus

Originally published on Mon March 11, 2013 5:23 am

It's not unusual for states to offer up tax breaks and other incentives to lure industry. Now, Alabama is adding a new enticement for European airplane maker Airbus and its suppliers: protection from legal liability.

All Tech Considered
2:41 am
Mon March 11, 2013

Controlling Your Computer With A Wave Of Your Hand

Festival attendees experiment with Leap Motion technology.
Elise Hu NPR

Originally published on Mon March 11, 2013 6:48 am

If you've had wrist and shoulder pain from clicking a mouse, relief may be in sight. This spring, a new motion sensing device will go on sale that will make it possible for the average computer user to browse the Web and open documents with a wave of a finger.

The Leap Motion Controller is on display at the South by Southwest Interactive conference in Austin, Texas, for the first time. It's one of the most talked about startups at the conference, where some 26,000 people have gathered to see emerging tech companies.

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Author Interviews
2:40 am
Mon March 11, 2013

'Lean In': Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg Explains What's Holding Women Back

Courtesy Knopf

Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 2:37 pm

Of all the posters plastered around Facebook's Silicon Valley headquarters — "Move Fast and Break Things," "Done Is Better Than Perfect" and "Fail Harder" — Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg has a favorite: "What Would You Do If You Weren't Afraid?"

"[It's] something that I think is really important and I think very motivating," Sandberg tells NPR's Renee Montagne. " ... I wrote in my book, what I would do if I wasn't afraid is, I would speak out more on behalf of women."

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