Business news

If you feel like Internet ads are more pervasive and invasive than ever before, you're not alone. Author Tim Wu tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross that the Web has gotten worse over the years, not better — and unrelenting ads are to blame.

"I think you spend 50 percent of your mental energy trying to defeat ad systems," Wu says. "It's amazing that we've got this great scientific invention, the Web and the Internet, and then it has come to the point where using it reminds me of swatting mosquitoes."

Model airplanes have come a long way from the days when you stood in your backyard and the little buzzing plane whirled around on a string. These days, remote-controlled model airplanes are often lovingly crafted historic recreations worth thousands — and even tens of thousands of dollars — that soar high in the sky.

Jerry Willette, with the Champlain Valley Flyers model airplane club in northern New York, built a replica of a World War II twin-engine fighter-bomber called a P-38. It has a wing span of nearly 10 feet.

Sex with someone new has always made me nervous. Now, TV is making it even worse.

I keep seeing scary ads featuring young people asking their parents why they didn't get the vaccine to protect against the human papillomavirus — HPV. If you're unfamiliar with HPV, it's a sexually transmitted infection that has been linked to various cancers, including cervical cancer in women.

I didn't get vaccinated. So lately I've been wondering: Now that I'm 29, is it too late for me to get the vaccine?

Yana Shapiro is a partner at a Philadelphia law firm with an exhausting travel schedule and two boys, ages 9 and 4. When she feels run-down from juggling everything and feels a cold coming on, she books an appointment for an intravenous infusion of water, vitamins and minerals.

"Anything to avoid antibiotics or being out of commission," the 37-year-old says.

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Sotheby's is auctioning the Nobel Prize in economics awarded to John Nash, the mathematician known both for his work on game theory and for his life story as portrayed in the movie A Beautiful Mind.

Both the gold medal and the handwritten certificate that came with it are up for sale, and Sotheby's estimates the award will bring in between $2.5 million and $4 million.

Law enforcement is increasingly worried about losing access to powerful tools for searching social media because of changing attitudes at the social media companies that allow the searches.

This past week brought so many strange and depressing political stories that you may not have had time to read business news.

So let's catch up. Here are three business-news stories you might find interesting:

Family, Food And Football Beat Out Shopping

Here's a turkey of an idea: Urge Americans to gobble down Thanksgiving meals and then rush to the mall.

More than 150 countries have reached a landmark deal in Kigali, Rwanda to reduce emissions of a powerful chemical used in refrigeration and air conditioning.

The U.N. calls this a "breakthrough" against climate change because the pact signed Saturday could prevent global temperatures from rising "up to 0.5 degrees Celsius by the end of this century" – though some experts say the impact may fall short of 0.5 degrees.

Elizabeth Allen was at a happy hour for a San Francisco tech firm a couple of years ago, when a co-worker started forcing himself on her and the few other women at the party — again and again.

He was "giving us lots of hugs," Allen says, "trying to kiss me a few times; he grabbed my butt a couple of times." The women were outnumbered by men, some of whom looked on, bemused, as the women tried to signal their distress.

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Episode 729: When Subaru Came Out

Oct 14, 2016

In the early nineties, Subaru was in trouble. The cars were fine. They ran well enough. But sales had been slumping for years. Subaru was up against giants like Toyota and Nissan. And it was losing. It needed a way to stand out.

Expressing political beliefs with a yard sign is common. But business owners can hurt their bottom lines by advertising an opinion.

Political scientists and marketing experts generally advise against doing that, as we first reported during the 2012 election.

Despite the advice, some business owners are willing to risk a financial hit, depending on whether their customers agree with them.

The Department of Transportation did not mince any words: Starting mid-Saturday, the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 will be "considered a forbidden hazardous material under the Federal Hazardous Material Regulations."

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A Connecticut judge has dismissed a lawsuit that was filed against the manufacturer and seller of the weapon used in the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012.

As of Monday, U.S. citizens who travel to Cuba will no longer be limited to bringing back goods worth up to $400 — including $100 worth of tobacco and alcohol. President Obama ordered the changes, which also clear the way for Cuban-origin pharmaceuticals to gain U.S. regulatory approval.

Instead of those special quotas, normal limits on Americans' importation of foreign products for personal use will apply.

The major for-profit university chain DeVry has agreed to stop making its often-repeated claim: that since 1975, 90 percent of its graduates seeking employment found jobs in their field within six months of graduation.

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The U.S. Treasury Department issued rules Thursday aimed at stemming the practice of "tax inversions." This is the practice where a company moves its legal home abroad in order to avoid or minimize U.S. taxes.

Bloomberg has a helpful explainer of inversions.

Self-driving cars have been getting a lot of attention lately: Uber's self-driving taxis in Pittsburgh, Tesla's semi-autonomous Model S and the driverless Google rides that look like a cross between a Cozy Coupe and a golf cart. But quietly and without much fanfare, researchers and entrepreneurs are working on self-driving trucks — big rigs, tractor trailers.

You will likely pay more to heat your home this winter than you did last winter, the federal government says.

The yearly winter fuels outlook report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration finds higher fuel prices and a colder weather forecast than last year will add up to an increase in heating costs.

NPR's Jeff Brady reports natural gas prices have a particularly big effect because nearly half of American households rely on it for heat:

There is a man who is a thorn in the side of Facebook — a problem that just won't go away. In 2008, Facebook sued him, saying he was a hacker and a spammer who was putting users at risk. But in a truly bizarre plot twist, he stood up to the Internet giant — and he has become the unlikely protagonist in a battle for your rights online.

Our protagonist

Steven Vachani and I are sitting at a Starbucks because, he doesn't want to say it, but: He doesn't have an office or a home in Silicon Valley anymore.

The whirling dervish that is Donald J. Trump spun ever-faster on Thursday, shredding almost everything in his range of vision — Hillary Clinton, his fellow Republicans who fail to support him unequivocally, the growing chorus of women accusing him of sexual misconduct, and especially the press.

It is one of the most recognizable shows on television — a mainstay for nearly a half-century, with a theme song promising, "Sunny day, sweepin' the clouds away."

Yet dark financial clouds have hovered over Sesame Street's parent company in recent years.

After last month's televised congressional hearings, Wells Fargo's top executive, John Stumpf, had become the face of the company's sham-accounts scandal. He retired Wednesday.

Stumpf's downfall was the latest twist in a strange, yearlong tale about huge corporations taking their sterling reputations, tarnishing them and then frantically trying to restore luster.

Experts say undoing the harm won't be easy; great reputations can take decades to build.

Farmers, more than anyone else, manage America's land and water. They grow crops or graze cattle on more than half of the country's land outside of Alaska.

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One of the biggest questions around self-driving cars is about safety. In the blink of an eye would the vehicle, say, endanger the occupant to save another driver or pedestrian? There are any number of answers for a variety of scenarios. Mercedes-Benz, the world's oldest carmaker, says as its vehicles get smarter, it will program its self-driving models to make the lives of the occupants the priority.

When foreign leaders loot their homelands, they sometimes like to stash their valuables in the U.S. Yachts, mansions and artwork have all been purchased in America with laundered money, according the the U.S. Justice Department.

It happens often enough that the department has set up a special unit dedicated to tracking down international kleptocrats.