Business

The Two-Way
2:34 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

Dow Loses 318 Points, The Most In One Day Since June

The Dow closed 318 points lower on Friday, the biggest one-day drop since June.

As NBC News puts it, the index joined the rout that hit European and Asian markets on fears that the global economy is slowing.

The Wall Street Journal adds:

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Business
2:27 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

In The Super Bowl Ad Game, One Small Business Will Win Big

Originally published on Fri January 24, 2014 6:55 pm

Super Bowl suspense is building — for the game and the commercials. With an audience of over 100 million people, advertisers covet this space, but at a reported $4 million a spot, only the mightiest corporations can afford Super Bowl exposure. This year, though, there's an exception. One lucky little business will get one of those primo slots — free.

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All Tech Considered
2:09 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

Tech Week That Was: The Mac Turns 30, More NSA Rumblings

Apple's CEO Steve Jobs (left) and President John Sculley display the hardware unveiled at the annual shareholders meeting on Jan. 24, 1984.
Terry Schmitt UPI/Landov

It may have been a slow news week — no national security flaws or revelations, no more signs that Google is trying to take over the world — but we had plenty of content to feed your tech appetite here on All Tech Considered.

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Planet Money
11:54 am
Fri January 24, 2014

An Astonishing Share Of Homebuyers Are Paying All Cash

adfa

More and more people are buying homes with pure cash. In December, all-cash purchases accounted for 42.1 percent of all U.S. residential sales, according to the latest report from RealtyTrac, a company that collects and analyzes housing data.

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All Tech Considered
8:50 am
Fri January 24, 2014

As Windows XP Fades Away, Will Its Users Stick With Microsoft?

A man walks past a Microsoft billboard featuring Windows XP in November 2001 in Beijing.
Kevin Lee Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 8:10 am

Windows XP may have been largely developed in a different millennium, but it's not going into retirement without a fight.

Even as Microsoft promotes Windows 8, its latest operating system, Windows XP is still the second-most used OS on nonmobile computers, according to Net Applications web analytics. Debuting in 2001, XP lasted through three new Microsoft operating systems and the growth of mobile technology.

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Business
5:00 am
Fri January 24, 2014

David's Bridal Goes Upscale Near Beverly Hills

Originally published on Fri January 24, 2014 5:29 am

David's Bridal is famously known for carrying inexpensive bridal dresses, some for less than $100. Now the company wants to offer an elevated experience for brides to be — with chandeliers, marble tiling and plush chairs. There will be price tags to match — as much as 2,000.

Business
3:57 am
Fri January 24, 2014

Wal-Mart Creates Fund To Spur U.S. Manufacturing

Originally published on Fri January 24, 2014 5:29 am

The $10 million fund will supply grants to projects aimed at creating new processes and jobs in the sector. The fund will be launched in March, and Wal-Mart will fund the grants for five years.

Business
3:57 am
Fri January 24, 2014

MIT Housing Survey Focuses On 70 Metro Areas

Originally published on Fri January 24, 2014 5:29 am

A new report from the MIT Center for Real Estate forecasts home prices in 60 U.S. cities. Whether housing prices are going up or down depends on where you live.

Business
3:57 am
Fri January 24, 2014

Drowning In Debt, Bike Sharing's Bixi Files For Bankruptcy

Originally published on Fri January 24, 2014 5:29 am

Montreal-based Bixi, which came up with the bike sharing systems offered in many American cities, has filed for bankruptcy. Renee Montagne talks with Andy Riga of the Montreal Gazette about where things went wrong for Bixi, and the future prospects of its operations in North America.

All Tech Considered
2:07 am
Fri January 24, 2014

At 30, The Original Mac Is Still An Archetype Of Innovation

A 1984 Apple Macintosh Classic was on display at the Museum for Art and Industry in Hamburg, Germany, in 2011.
Philipp Guelland dapd

Originally published on Fri January 24, 2014 5:58 am

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Planet Money
1:40 am
Fri January 24, 2014

When A $65 Cab Ride Costs $192

Update: Several readers commented on the route shown in the map above. Lisa Chow took the car for purposes of this story, and chose a route that began and ended near NPR's New York offices.
Lisa Chow

Originally published on Fri January 24, 2014 8:37 am

I was in the car for about an hour, rolling around Manhattan in the middle of a snowstorm. The ride normally would have cost me $65. But when it came time to pay, my driver, Kirk Furye, was concerned for me.

"Are you going to get in trouble with NPR?" he asked. "You are almost at three times the [normal] amount."

Final cost of a one-hour cab ride: $192.00.

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The Salt
2:45 pm
Thu January 23, 2014

Potential Carcinogen In Colas Has FDA Reviewing Data

4-MEI, a chemical created during the manufacturing of caramel color used to dye sodas brown, is under new scrutiny.
iStockphoto

A new study from Consumer Reports finds varying levels of a chemical compound classified as a possible human carcinogen in many popular brands of soda.

The findings have prompted the Food and Drug Administration to take a new look at the compound, 4-methylimidazole — or 4-MEI for short. It is found in the caramel color that soda makers use to dye the drinks brown.

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Economy
2:43 pm
Thu January 23, 2014

What Do Americans Think About Income Inequality?

Originally published on Fri January 24, 2014 3:32 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And as we just heard from Jim, economic mobility may not have changed much in the last 20 years, but income inequality has skyrocketed. More on the latter now from Michael Dimock, vice president of research at the Pew Research Center. Pew has a new survey out, asking Americans what they think about income inequality.

Michael Dimock, welcome once again.

MICHAEL DIMOCK: Thanks for having me.

SIEGEL: And first finding is Americans say there is growing income inequality, yes?

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All Tech Considered
2:28 pm
Thu January 23, 2014

Retailers Can Wait To Tell You Your Card Data Have Been Compromised

The security breaches at Target and Neiman Marcus have raised questions over how quickly companies are required to disclose that customer information was hacked.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 24, 2014 3:32 pm

You might think that retailers have to let you know right away if they get hacked and someone steals your account information.

But recent disclosures by Target and Neiman Marcus that their networks were hacked, and data about their consumers were stolen, have raised questions about how quickly merchants need to alert their customers.

In the case of Neiman Marcus, the company may have had evidence of a breach as far back as July. But the law is a bit murky on just how quickly companies need to let customers know.

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The Two-Way
8:07 am
Thu January 23, 2014

DOJ Alleges Fraudulent Security Checks By Firm That Vetted Snowden

Surveillance camera video of Aaron Alexis, a contractor who killed 12 people at the Washington Navy Yard on Sept. 16, 2013. Alexis was one of thousands of individuals cleared by the firm known as USIS.
HO UPI/Landov

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 3:41 pm

The private contractor that signed off on background checks for both NSA leaker Edward Snowden and Washington Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis is being accused of fraud by the Justice Department for allegedly submitting more than 650,000 incomplete investigations.

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The Two-Way
6:59 am
Thu January 23, 2014

Sales Of Existing Homes Hit 7-Year High In 2013

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 8:35 am

We updated the top of this post at 10:30 a.m. ET.

The evidence that the housing sector has bounced back from the deep slump it sank into starting in 2007 was reinforced Thursday morning with word from the National Association of Realtors that:

"Existing-home sales edged up in December, sales for all of 2013 were the highest since 2006, and median prices maintained strong growth. ...

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Business
6:20 am
Thu January 23, 2014

Don't Fall For The Oldest Trick In The Book

Police in Ceres, Calif., have a warning: If someone comes up to you in a silver Lexus at dusk offering a ridiculously cheap iPad — don't buy it. Authorities say several people have fallen prey to the alluring low prices.

Business
6:20 am
Thu January 23, 2014

Netflix Reports Better-Than-Expected Earnings

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news begins with a Netflix surge.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MONTAGNE: The video streaming company's shares spiked more than 17 percent yesterday during after-hours trading. That's thanks to better-than-expected fourth-quarter results. Netflix reported a net income of $48 million for the last quarter of 2013 - up from eight million a year ago.

Business
4:30 am
Thu January 23, 2014

World Economic Forum Opens In Switzerland

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 6:20 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The World Economic Forum is underway at the Swiss Alpine resort of Davos. It's an annual meeting of the world's business elites but also in attendance are world leaders and academics, celebrities and charities.

Gideon Rachman is chief foreign affairs columnist for the Financial Times. He's a regular at Davos and he joined us from there. Good morning.

GIDEON RACHMAN: Good morning.

MONTAGNE: Tell us about who is there this year and if there are some names that you're surprised to find are not.

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Around the Nation
3:27 am
Thu January 23, 2014

Texas Landowners Keep Watchful Eye On Keystone KL Pipeline

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 6:20 am

Oil is now running through the southern part of the keystone XL pipeline. Supporters and opponents will be watching carefully to see what that could mean for the northern section of the project, that still awaits approval from the Obama administration.

Europe
1:51 am
Thu January 23, 2014

Spain Exits Bailout In A Sign Of Progress, Not Full Recovery

Shareholders protest bank practices at the headquarters of Spain's largest mortgage lender, Bankia, in Madrid on June 23, 2012, at the height of the country's banking crisis. Europe stepped in at that time with $56 billion in loans to help the banking system.
Andrea Comas Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 5:47 pm

Spain's banking system on Thursday is marking an end to its reliance on bailout loans from Europe that were desperately needed 18 months ago to shore up its banks after a construction boom-and-bust.

Spain is now the second eurozone country to cleanly exit its bailout program, after Ireland.

It's a dramatic difference from a year and a half ago, when demonstrations erupted outside banks in Spain almost daily. At the time, record numbers of Spaniards were losing their homes in foreclosure. Unemployment soared past 25 percent and kept rising.

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All Tech Considered
1:42 am
Thu January 23, 2014

Target Hack A Tipping Point In Moving Away From Magnetic Stripes

A cryptographic chip embedded in a British debit card. America is nearly alone in still relying on magnetic stripes to authenticate purchases.
Christopher Furlong Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 1:01 pm

The credit and debit card data breaches at Target and Neiman Marcus compromised more than 70 million American consumers, and analysts say even more of us are at risk. That's because the technology we use to swipe for our purchases — magnetic stripes on the backs of cards — isn't hard for a skilled fraudster to hack.

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Intelligence Squared U.S.
1:06 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

Debate: Is The Affordable Care Act Beyond Repair?

Dr. Scott Gottlieb and Megan McArdle face off against Jonathan Chait and Dr. Douglas Kamerow over the Affordable Care Act in a debate moderated by John Donvan in January.
Samuel LaHoz Intelligence Squared US
  • Listen To The Full Audio Of The Debate
  • Listen To The Broadcast Version Of The Debate

The Affordable Care Act had ardent critics and supporters long before last fall's troubled launch of the HealthCare.gov website. Opponents of Obamacare say the law will reduce, not increase, the number of health plans available to Americans and that fewer consumers will be able to afford care than before. And delays in implementation of portions of the ACA, they argue, demonstrate how the Obama administration has been forced to undermine its own law in order to keep it running.

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The Two-Way
12:37 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

Warren Buffett's $1 Billion Basketball Bet Is A Very Long Shot

Warren Buffett with Harlem Globetrotter Chris "Handles" Franklin at Berkshire Hathaway's annual meeting in May 2013.
Nati Harnik AP

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 2:13 pm

Talk about March Madness:

Billionaire investment guru Warren Buffett and Quicken Loans have teamed up on a "Billion $ Bracket Challenge."

Basically, Quicken is offering a $1 billion grand prize — yes, that's billion, with a B — if someone correctly picks the outcome of all 63 games in the men's Division I college basketball tournament this spring.

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Planet Money
11:47 am
Wed January 22, 2014

Millions Of People Are Quitting Their Jobs Every Month. That's Good News.

quits
Quoctrung Bui/NPR

Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 8:35 am

It might be hard to imagine in this sputtering recovery, but 2.4 million people actually quit their jobs in November, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That's nearly a million more quitters than there were during the darkest months of the recession.

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The Salt
11:24 am
Wed January 22, 2014

Long John Silver's Throws Trans Fats Overboard

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 2:22 pm

Long John Silver's has gained some notoriety in the past for serving up what the food police dubbed the most unhealthful meal in America. (aka heart attack on a hook.)

But the fast-food chain is out to change its reputation. One step in this new direction: a quick transition from partially hydrogenated oils that contain bedeviled trans fats. Today, the chain announced it is moving to a 100 percent soybean oil that is trans-fat free.

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The Two-Way
6:37 am
Wed January 22, 2014

Almost No Poor Nations By 2035? That's What Bill Gates Says

Bill Gates at an event held by his foundation in Berlin last November.
Maurizio Gambarini EPA/Landov

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 11:26 am

It is a myth that "poor countries are doomed to stay poor," and by the year 2035, "there will be almost no poor countries left in the world," Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Bill Gates writes in his latest annual letter about the work of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and conditions in the nations where the foundation works.

Gates sees a world where once-impoverished countries have already made tremendous progress and where more will follow their lead.

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Business
5:47 am
Wed January 22, 2014

Amazon Does The Math, Anticipates Your Needs

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 6:12 am

Amazon has a patent for what it calls "anticipatory shipping" — shipping goods to a warehouse near you before you've bought them. Renee Montagne talks to Tim Stevens, editor-at-large for CNET, about Amazon developing a sales method to ultimately read your mind.

Around the Nation
3:23 am
Wed January 22, 2014

Punishing Winter Temperatures Drain Propane Supplies

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 6:12 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And this latest winter storm and those freezing temperatures are putting a strain on already low supplies of propane in the Northeast and Midwest. Millions of Americans use the liquefied gas to heat their homes. And as NPR's Tovia Smith reports, they're paying more and getting less this winter season, which started early, thanks to the extreme cold of the polar vortex.

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Business
3:23 am
Wed January 22, 2014

Banks Challenged By Economy Despite Positive Earnings

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 6:12 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Over the past week or so, most of the country's banks have reported their profits for the last quarter of 2013. The numbers, mostly, have better than most analysts expected. After a rough few years, most big financial institutions are faring pretty well. But there's some debate about how sustainable the numbers really are.

NPR's Jim Zarroli reports.

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