Business

Business
3:11 am
Thu May 1, 2014

50 Years Of BASIC

Originally published on Mon May 5, 2014 3:00 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's Joe Palca is in our studios and he's brought along a piece of paper. Joe, what's it say?

JOE PALCA, BYLINE: It says, let X equal seven plus eight divided by three.

INSKEEP: It sounds like kind of a mathematical equation there.

PALCA: It's actually a line of computer code and it was part of the first very short program ever run in a language called BASIC.

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Economy
3:11 am
Thu May 1, 2014

China Could Pass U.S. As Top Economy This Year

Originally published on Wed May 7, 2014 11:46 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The United States economy has been the largest in the world since the days when Ulysses S. Grant was president. That was in the 1870s. But a new World Bank report says by one measure that could change by the end of this year: China would take over the top spot this year.

To explain what the new report means and what it doesn't, we turn to NPR's Frank Langfitt. He's on the line from Shanghai. Hi, Frank.

FRANK LANGFITT, BYLINE: Good morning, Steve.

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Paying For College
1:40 am
Thu May 1, 2014

Is It Still College Without Football?

ImageZoo/Corbis

Originally published on Thu May 1, 2014 7:02 am

A small number of universities are starting to go against the grain, reducing amenities and frills in favor of keeping the costs relatively low.

Neil Theobald is the president of Temple University, which recently began offering students $4,000 per year in grants — if they promise to limit the number of hours they work during the school year and graduate on time.

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All Tech Considered
3:07 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

High-Tech Maker Spaces: Helping Little Startups Make It Big

A member works in the electronics lab at NextFab Studios in Philadelphia. Members pay for access to computers and high-end machines like laser cutters and 3-D printers.
Jon Kalish

Originally published on Wed June 4, 2014 3:20 pm

Around the country, there are lots of tinkerers working on what they hope will be the next brilliant idea — but who don't have the tools in their garage to build it.

In dozens of cities, those innovators can set up shop in a "maker space" — community workshops where members have access to sophisticated tools and expertise.

Maker spaces have become hotbeds of technological innovation and entrepreneurship. Now, governments, universities and big corporations are taking notice — and beginning to invest in them.

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The Salt
3:06 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

Renegade Cider Makers Get Funky To Cope With Apple Shortage

Nat West, owner of Reverend Nat's Hard Cider in Portland, Ore., uses sweet apples to make cider, and gives it an extra kick with ginger juice, herbal tonics, coffee and hops.
Courtesy of Reverend Nat's Hard Cider

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 8:31 am

For centuries, hard apple cider has been made with the fermented juice of apples — nothing more, nothing less. And a lot of cider drinkers and makers — let's call them purists — like it that way.

But a new wave of renegade cider makers in America is shirking tradition and adding unusual ingredients to the fermentation tank — from chocolate and tropical fruit juices to herbs, chili peppers and unusual yeasts. Their aim — which is controversial among the purists — is to bring out the best, or just the weirdest, flavors in the ciders.

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All Tech Considered
2:53 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

Twitter CEO Hopes To Attract Users By Clearing The Clutter

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo says the company has to bridge the gap between the brand's global awareness and user engagement.
Ethan Miller Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 2, 2014 12:48 pm

Twitter is growing and its brand is spreading but Wall Street is unimpressed. On Tuesday, the company announced it had doubled its quarterly revenue from a year ago to $250 million. The social networking site also increased its number of active users to 255 million, up 25 percent from a year earlier.

But despite the gains, Wall Street analysts have called the growth tepid. Twitter went public last November, and its shares have traded as high as $74; on Wednesday, it opened at under $38.

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Energy
2:00 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

Widening Sanctions On Russia Rattle Some In Western Oil Industry

Originally published on Wed April 30, 2014 4:18 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

The new sanctions that the U.S. and the EU imposed on Russia this week have done little to quell the violence in eastern Ukraine, but they have shaken Western oil and gas companies that have ongoing projects in Russia. The sanctions didn't specifically target Russia's energy sector, but as NPR's Jackie Northam reports, they're coming close to a largely state-owned oil giant.

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The Two-Way
10:21 am
Wed April 30, 2014

China Could (By One Measure) Pass U.S. As No. 1 Economy This Year

China's economy is poised to become the world's largest — but when?
AP

Originally published on Wed April 30, 2014 12:22 pm

China is poised to surpass the United States this year as the world's biggest economy, says an estimate released Wednesday by the World Bank's International Comparison Program.

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Shots - Health News
7:58 am
Wed April 30, 2014

Who Really Pays For Health Care Might Surprise You

President Obama said eight million people signed up for health coverage through new insurance exchanges.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed April 30, 2014 3:55 pm

Eight million people have signed up for subsidized private health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, President Obama said this month. Millions more obtained new coverage through the Medicaid program for the poor.

Full implementation of the health law has renewed discussions of winners and losers, makers and moochers.

Here's a corrective to common misconceptions about who pays for health care.

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The Two-Way
7:01 am
Wed April 30, 2014

Harsh Winter Puts The Brakes On U.S. Economic Growth

U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis

Originally published on Wed April 30, 2014 12:59 pm

Growth in the U.S. economy slowed dramatically — to just 0.1 percent — in the January-March quarter amid a particularly harsh winter, according to a report Wednesday from the Commerce Department.

The latest GDP figure was down from 2.6 percent growth in the fourth quarter of last year and represents the weakest growth since the end of 2012.

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Business
5:19 am
Wed April 30, 2014

Mark Zuckerberg Is Immortalized In Wax

Originally published on Wed April 30, 2014 6:49 am

Madame Tussauds unveiled the life-size statue of the Facebook CEO at their museum in San Francisco. The museum says Zuckerberg did not make himself available for a sitting, so artists used photos.

NPR Story
4:49 am
Wed April 30, 2014

Varying Auto Safety Standards Interfere With Trade Negotiations

Originally published on Wed April 30, 2014 10:43 am

The U.S. and Europe have different car safety standards. Some of them are small while others are more dramatic. All car makers agree that the different standards are a pain. So why the difference?

Economy
4:12 am
Wed April 30, 2014

Why Is A French Economist's 700-Page Book So Popular?

Originally published on Wed May 7, 2014 10:22 pm

French economist Thomas Piketty's book, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, has become a sensation. He's been all over the media, and he's lecturing to packed houses on his current U.S. tour.

Law
4:09 am
Wed April 30, 2014

High Court Ruling Likely To Control Patent Trolls

Originally published on Wed April 30, 2014 6:22 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with a bad day for trolls.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

INSKEEP: A Supreme Court ruling, handed down yesterday, will make it easier for companies that successfully fight off frivolous patent lawsuits to get their legal fees reimbursed. Observers say this ruling will help ward off so-called patent trolls.

NPR's Laura Sydell reports.

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Around the Nation
3:05 am
Wed April 30, 2014

Ranchers And The Federal Government: The Long History Of Conflict

Originally published on Fri May 2, 2014 1:01 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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NPR Story
3:05 am
Wed April 30, 2014

White House Warns Highway Trust Fund Is Low On Funds

Originally published on Wed April 30, 2014 6:22 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The Obama administration has sent Congress a $302 billion measure to fund highway and other infrastructure. The White House contends that unless Congress acts, the Highway Trust Fund will run out of money this summer.

Here's NPR's Brian Naylor.

BRIAN NAYLOR, BYLINE: The Obama administration proposes closing some corporate tax loopholes to augment money raised by the gas tax. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx also wants to give states the authority to put new tolls on interstate highways.

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Business
3:01 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

From Waltz To '90s Icon: The Unforgettable Life Of The Nokia Ringtone

Originally published on Wed April 30, 2014 10:06 am

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

There was a time when cell phones were used to make calls and many of the calls were defined by this.

(SOUNDBITE OF NOKIA RINGTONE)

SIEGEL: The Nokia ringtone, it was introduced in 1994. Last Friday, Nokia - once the world's cell phone leader - sold its dwindling phone business to Microsoft for a lot of money, seven and a half billion dollars.

Until today, no one had said what becomes of that ringtone, a tune Nokia says is played about 20,000 times a second worldwide.

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The Two-Way
1:49 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

Texas' Biggest Power Company Files For Bankruptcy

The sun shines through the clouds behind an electrical power line in Dallas.
Tony Gutierrez AP

Originally published on Tue April 29, 2014 2:21 pm

As they say: Everything is bigger in Texas.

Today, the state's biggest power company filed for one of the biggest Chapter 11 bankruptcy filings in corporate history.

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The Salt
1:19 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

Amazon Book List Reveals What's Hot In American Regional Cuisine

Region by region, Amazon food editors found the favorite cookbooks from across America.
Amazon

Originally published on Wed April 30, 2014 12:26 pm

From upstate New York's heirloom veggie craze to the Pacific Northwest's baking boom, regional fare is taking off.

But with zillions of cookbooks coming out every year, how do you figure out which culinary jewels will be worth your precious time and shelf space?

Amazon, that giant aggregator of all things, breaks down about 500 regional cookbooks into manageable bites by curating what it considers the best of its vast collection.

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The Two-Way
11:42 am
Tue April 29, 2014

The Force Is With Them: Star Wars Episode VII Cast Revealed

J.J Abrams (top center right) at the cast read-through of Star Wars: Episode VII on Tuesday with Harrison Ford (clockwise from right), Daisy Ridley, Carrie Fisher, Peter Mayhew, Producer Bryan Burk, Lucasfilm President and Producer Kathleen Kennedy, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Mark Hamill, Andy Serkis, Oscar Isaac, John Boyega, Adam Driver and Writer Lawrence Kasdan.
David James

Originally published on Tue April 29, 2014 1:53 pm

Announced, the cast is: The Star Wars franchise has announced the cast for the upcoming Episode VII movie.

Actors John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson and Max von Sydow will join the cast of the new movie. The three stars of the original films — Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill — will reprise their roles as Han Solo, Princess Leia and Luke Skywalker, respectively. Also back are Anthony Daniels as C-3PO, Kenny Baker as R2-D2 and Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca.

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All Tech Considered
11:24 am
Tue April 29, 2014

Check Out The Barefoot Wax Sculpture Of Mark Zuckerberg

The public will be able to see the life-size Mark Zuckerberg wax figure in San Francisco.
Kurt Wagner Courtesy of Mashable

Originally published on Wed April 30, 2014 12:14 pm

I don't know how I missed this (yes, yes I do) but the life-size wax figure of Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg was unveiled last week.

As you can see here, the wax Zuckerberg is dressed in his signature hoodie, sitting barefoot with his legs crossed and his laptop in his lap. Mashable reports:

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All Tech Considered
10:03 am
Tue April 29, 2014

Psst! Wearable Devices Could Make Big Tech Leaps, Into Your Ear

Bragi's Dash, a fitness-centered wireless earpiece, has raised over $3 million on Kickstarter, the crowdfunding site.
Bragi

Originally published on Tue April 29, 2014 3:35 pm

It's early evening on a Thursday and you're at a networking event, balancing a small plate of appetizers in one hand. Someone comes up to you to say hello. She acts like you've met before, but you can't recall where.

"It's Jackie Barnes," she says.

"Jackie Barnes," you repeat like you remember. "It's been a while."

As you say her name, a little device in your ear picks it up. The device does a search, and microseconds later it feeds you the info it's found on the Web: the college she attended, her current company, that she has two kids and is an avid runner.

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The Two-Way
9:59 am
Tue April 29, 2014

NBA Hits Clippers Owner Sterling With Lifetime Ban, $2.5 Million Fine

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announces a lifetime ban and a $2.5 million fine for Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling Tuesday. Silver said the league verified an audio recording of Sterling making racist remarks.
Elsa Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 29, 2014 9:43 pm

Update at 2:15 p.m. ET: NBA Bans Sterling, Levies $2.5 Million Fine

The NBA is banning Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, league Commissioner Adam Silver announced Tuesday, saying that its investigation has verified Sterling made racist comments in an audio recording that was made public Friday.

Saying that the NBA's investigation included a discussion with Sterling, Silver stated that the views he expressed "are deeply offensive and harmful."

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Economy
4:32 am
Tue April 29, 2014

Fed Meeting To Examine Post-Recession Job Market Strength

Originally published on Tue April 29, 2014 10:52 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Officials at the Federal Reserve will be meeting today and tomorrow. And one thing that will determine their actions is the employment situation in the country. Now, there's some disagreement among economists - both inside and outside the Fed - over how close the job market is to regaining its pre-recession strength.

To find out more, we turn as we often do to David Wessel. He's director of the Hutchins Center at the Brookings Institution and a contributor to the Wall Street Journal. David, good morning.

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Business
4:23 am
Tue April 29, 2014

Port Truckers In Savannah, Ga., Support Calif. Protest

Originally published on Tue April 29, 2014 10:52 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with a truckers strike.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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Around the Nation
3:17 am
Tue April 29, 2014

Kansas Town Destroyed By Tornado Spreads Blame For Lack Of Growth

Originally published on Wed April 30, 2014 12:25 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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NPR Story
3:17 am
Tue April 29, 2014

'To Kill A Mockingbird' Goes Digital

Originally published on Tue April 29, 2014 10:52 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And today's last word in business is: Digital Mockingbird.

Yesterday, on her 88th birthday, author Harper Lee announced that her classic novel "To Kill A Mockingbird" will finally be made available as an e-book and a digital audio book. It was first printed on old fashion paper in 1960 and still sells over a million copies per year.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

In a statement, the reclusive author proclaimed: I'm still old-fashioned. I love dusty old books and libraries. But she added: This is "Mockingbird" for a new generation.

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Race
1:19 am
Tue April 29, 2014

Sterling's Tarnished History Of Alleged Discrimination

LeBron James of the Miami Heat wears black socks to protest Clippers owner Donald Sterling during the Heat's playoff game Monday against the Charlotte Bobcats. Stars throughout the NBA have offered bitter rebukes of Sterling.
Streeter Lecka Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 29, 2014 10:52 am

Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling has been at the heart of racial controversies before.

Sterling, one of the longest-tenured owners of an NBA franchise, is alleged to have made racist comments in an audio tape that was first posted by the celebrity gossip site TMZ.

He is also a prominent real estate mogul in LA who, ironically, has been honored for his philanthropy by the local NAACP.

The NBA says it will announce findings Tuesday afternoon from its investigation into the controversy.

A Fortune In Real Estate

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All Tech Considered
2:01 pm
Mon April 28, 2014

If We'd Only Known About The Impending Spam

1970s NPR logo.
NPR

Originally published on Tue April 29, 2014 12:10 pm

The memo arrived on paper.

Because it was 1994.

A notice, to all NPR staff, proclaiming, "Internet is coming to NPR!"

And there was no directive to log on to this fast-growing "organization," by the way. "If you do not want to use Internet," the memo read, "simply do nothing."

You can see more highlights from NPR's pre-Internet days at the Nprchives Tumblr.

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Space
2:00 pm
Mon April 28, 2014

To Save A Satellite, Former NASA Guy Takes Crowdfunding To Space

An artist's rendering depicts the satellite ISEE-3/ICE during its planned lunar fly-by in August 2014.
Mark Maxwell Courtesy ISEE-3 Reboot Project

Originally published on Mon April 28, 2014 4:18 pm

Keith Cowing discusses his campaign to save an old 1970s NASA spacecraft from becoming space junk. ISEE-3/ICE is a satellite that was once used to monitor space weather, but it's been unused for decades. NASA doesn't want to spend the money to bring it back to life, but Cowing and his colleagues are determined to do it. If they can raise $125,000 on a crowdfunding site called RocketHub, Cowing says they'll contact ISEE-3/ICE, wake it up and put it back to good use.

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