Business

Technology
10:02 am
Mon January 13, 2014

From The Archives: 1984, The Year Of Online Shopping?

In 1984, shopping online wasn't this easy.
Guy Erwood iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 1:41 pm

Amazon.com was founded in 1994.

A decade earlier, in 1984, only 8.2 percent of households in the United States had computers, according to the U.S. Census.

But there were limited ways to shop via a computer in 1984. And Robert Krulwich, who was then NPR's business correspondent, decided he wanted to try it.

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All Tech Considered
9:28 am
Mon January 13, 2014

Soft Launching In Nine Months? You'll Need A Social Strategy

Don't Forget Buzzfeed. 34 Signs That You're Expecting ... That You're Not Expecting.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 7:07 am

Editor's Note: If you can't tell from your own Facebook or Twitter feeds, many young couples these days are sharing news of their growing families by making pregnancy announcements via social media. So our social media team's Melody Kramer decided, if you can't beat 'em, improve 'em! Here's her humorous take on how to really think through the social media strategy of the baby to be, er, "product" you're about to "launch."

Dear Jackie and Jeff,

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The Salt
9:09 am
Mon January 13, 2014

California's Pot Farms Could Leave Salmon Runs Truly Smoked

This dead juvenile coho salmon was found in a tributary of California's South Fork Eel River. About 20 large-scale marijuana farms are located upstream from the watershed pictured. All of them divert water from the stream.
Courtesy Scott Bauer

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 3:08 pm

For many users and advocates of marijuana, the boom in the West Coast growing industry may be all good and groovy. But in California, critics say the recent explosion of the marijuana industry along the state's North Coast — a region called the "emerald triangle" — could put a permanent buzz kill on struggling salmon populations.

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Business
4:57 am
Mon January 13, 2014

Volkswagen To Invest $7 Billion In North American Operations

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 10:18 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with a little German engineering.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

INSKEEP: Volkswagen has announced plans to invest $7 billion in its North American operations. It's part of an effort to boost sales in the United States, which slid 7 percent last year. A new seven-seat SUV designed specifically for the American market is a central part of the new investment plan.

It is believed the new vocal will be built at VW's plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

National Security
2:56 am
Mon January 13, 2014

Surveillance Controversy: NSA Versus Tech Companies

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 10:18 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

President Obama is expected to announce Friday how he wants to reform surveillance programs run by the National Security Agency. Those previously secret programs were exposed by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. American technology companies are among those pushing hardest for change. Having been caught up in the surveillance controversy, they are braced for battle. NPR's Tom Gjelten dubs that battle the NSA versus the techs.

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Economy
1:08 am
Mon January 13, 2014

What Does Living In Poverty Really Mean?

Elba Salsado walks with her groceries after receiving them from a food bank in Miami.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 10:18 am

Financial writer Tim Harford, author of the new book The Undercover Economist Strikes Back, says the poverty line for a single American in 2012 was $30.52 per day. But Harford, talking with NPR's David Greene, says it's also about how people view themselves and how they're viewed by other people.


Interview Highlights

On defining and measuring poverty

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All Tech Considered
4:41 pm
Sun January 12, 2014

Internet In America: An On Again, Off Again Relationship

Comcast is the largest cable company and home Internet service provider in the United States. A recent survey found that many Americans give Internet service providers low marks for satisfaction.
Matt Rourke AP

Originally published on Sun January 12, 2014 4:50 pm

The American Customer Satisfaction Index surveys large swaths of consumers about various industries. And in last year's survey, Americans rated Internet service providers at the very bottom for satisfaction. That puts them below the postal service, health insurance and even airlines.

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Television
3:33 pm
Sun January 12, 2014

Why Live Award Shows Have High Value, Even When We Hate Them

Originally published on Sun January 12, 2014 4:50 pm

Award shows are a booming business these days. Ratings have been climbing year by year, and networks are definitely paying attention — and packing their schedules to the brim.

There are at least 19 televised award shows airing between the start of the year and the broadcast of the Academy Awards on March 2.

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Music News
7:56 am
Sun January 12, 2014

Insane Clown Posse Sues FBI For Targeting Fans

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 10:02 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

INSANE CLOWN POSSE: (Singing) If magic is all we've ever known, then it's easy to miss what really goes on.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Business
7:56 am
Sun January 12, 2014

Neiman Marcus Credit Card Breach Heightens Consumer Concerns

Originally published on Sun January 12, 2014 9:41 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. If you use a credit card - and most of us do - it's hard not to be a little concerned. Discount retailer Target continues to apologize for a massive security breach over the holidays. And just yesterday, the high-end retailer Neiman Marcus disclosed that shoppers at its stores have been compromised as well. Independent investigative reporter Brian Krebs was the first to report on both these security breaches. He joins us to talk more. Welcome to the program, Brian.

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The Two-Way
5:49 pm
Sat January 11, 2014

Main Contractor Behind HealthCare.gov To Be Replaced By Accenture

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 6:08 am

Updated 8:50 p.m.

The main contractor behind the embattled Affordable Care Act enrollment site, which suffered major technological issues after its Oct. 1 debut, will be replaced early this year.

Accenture will replace CGI Federal, the IT contractor that built HealthCare.gov, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced Saturday. CGI Federal's contract expires on Feb. 28.

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Religion
3:32 pm
Sat January 11, 2014

When The Right To Religion Conflicts With A Changing Society

Little Sisters of the Poor runs the Mullen Home for the Aged in Denver, Colo. The group is seeking exemption from an Affordable Care Act requirement.
Brennan Linsley AP

Originally published on Sat January 11, 2014 4:40 pm

As the White House continues dealing with well-publicized problems with the HealthCare.gov website, there's at least one big question related to the Affordable Care Act that's outside the president's control: Can employers with religious objections be compelled to provide access to contraception coverage for their workers?

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor has granted a temporary injunction while she considers a challenge to the contraception requirement by a group of nuns called the Little Sisters of the Poor. The Catholic organization serves the poor elderly.

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Opinion
3:32 pm
Sat January 11, 2014

A New Rule For The Workplace: 'Hug Sparingly'

Research psychologist Peggy Drexler says one way to resist an unwanted hug at work is with a stiff handshake.
Simone Becchetti iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sat January 11, 2014 4:40 pm

Everyone loves hugs right? Well, no. And for those who aren't fans, things can get really awkward.

In a recent piece for TIME.com, research psychologist Peggy Drexler declared: "I am not a hugger. And I am not alone."

She calls for an end to the "hugging arms race," particularly at work.

"It's something that's in the zeitgeist, but we really haven't made any rules," she tells All Things Considered host Arun Rath. "My own rule is: I won't hug if you don't."

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Technology
10:53 am
Sat January 11, 2014

A First Look At New Tech Products To Hit The Market

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon.

The biggest show in Vegas this week wasn't Celine Dion or DJ Afrojack. It was the Consumer Electronics Show. The annual show where buyers, journalists and consumers get a first look at new tech products that are about to hit the market. Snoop Dogg was there, Secretary of Commerce Pritzker was there. And so was NPR's Steve Henn, who joined us as the show was packing up, from the floor of the Consumer Electronic Show on Friday. Steve, thanks so much for being with us.

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Economy
9:27 am
Sat January 11, 2014

December Jobs Report Has Analysts Flummoxed

Originally published on Sat January 11, 2014 10:53 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Yesterday's jobs report came as something of a surprise after several months of positive economic news. Employers added just 74,000 jobs. Economists had been expecting businesses to generate nearly three times that many. A few people were heartened by the fact that the unemployment rate fell to 6.7 percent, the lowest since October 2008. As NPR's Chris Arnold reports, the numbers reflect that many of the long-term unemployed have simply given up looking for work.

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The Two-Way
6:47 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

Neiman Marcus Says Hackers Stole Credit Card Data

Upscale retailer Neiman Marcus isn't yet saying how many customers might be at risk, but it is confirming that a breach of credit card data took place. The company says it learned of "potentially unauthorized payment card activity" before Christmas. The company says it is working with federal investigators, and a forensics team is trying to determine the size of the breach.

The digital security expert Brian Krebs wrote about the stolen credit card data today:

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The Two-Way
5:58 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

$1.35 Billion In Losses Reported By Nevada's Major Casinos

Large casinos in Nevada are continuing their losing streak, reporting more than a billion dollars in losses for the most recent fiscal year. Here, a view of Paris Las Vegas, a hotel and casino located on the Las Vegas Strip.
John Gurzinski AFP/Getty Images

Nevada's big casinos are on a losing streak. For the fifth straight year, the state's largest casinos are reporting net losses – in this case, a total of $1.35 billion in the most recent fiscal year. That's the news from a report released by the Nevada Gaming Control Board Friday, which focuses on casinos that gross at least $1 million in gaming revenue.

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It's All Politics
5:27 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

Will Bad Jobless Data Spur Action On Unemployment Insurance?

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., cited the bad December jobless numbers as a reason Congress should extend federal unemployment insurance.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Just as the Senate seemed to descend into another round of partisan gridlock, this time over extending emergency jobless benefits, the arrival of a surprisingly weak December jobs report raised the pressure on Congress to act.

The question is whether news that the economy created a mere 74,000 jobs last month — far fewer than the 200,000 forecasters predicted — delivered enough of a jolt to Capitol Hill, where what seemed like bipartisan progress on the issue early in the week had reverted to partisan nastiness.

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The Salt
3:02 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

American Beer Fans, Praise The Heavens: A Trappist Brewery In U.S.

Spencer Trappist Ale, made by the first official Trappist brewery outside Europe, will go on sale next week in Massachusetts.
Nick Hiller The Spencer Brewery

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 2:27 pm

The town of Spencer, in central Massachusetts, isn't well known for ... well, anything, really. But it's about to become internationally famous — at least in beer-drinking circles.

Spencer is home to St. Joseph's Abbey, where robed monks are busy brewing the first American Trappist beer. If all goes as planned, Spencer Trappist Ale will be available in Massachusetts retail stores by the middle of next week.

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Politics
3:01 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

Tech Companies 'Gob-Smacked' To Find NSA Collecting Data

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 5:19 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Changes are coming soon to the way the National Security Agency gathers information about people all over the globe. President Obama is slated to speak next Friday about what action he'll take to revamp the NSA surveillance programs, which were revealed in news leaks from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. The president has been meeting with stakeholders for several months, including executives from some of the biggest technology firms.

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Economy
3:01 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

For Target, Holiday Woes Are Worse Than Expected

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 5:19 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

The retail giant Target delivered more bad news today. The company was the victim of a massive security breach before Christmas, and today it announced that that cyber-attack was much worse than originally reported. NPR's Sonari Glinton explains.

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Economy
3:01 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

December Jobs Report Disappoints

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 5:19 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

Is it a bad economy or just bad data? That's the question today after a new round of disappointing employment numbers. The government reported the economy added just 74,000 jobs in December, well below expectations. The other surprise, the unemployment rate still dropped.

NPR's John Ydstie spent the day talking with economists about the report, and many say they just don't believe it.

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Politics
3:01 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

Minimum Wage Fight Takes Shape Across The Map

Trish Gallagher holds a sign for passing motorists to read during a demonstration in support of a higher minimum wage near a Burger King in Boston on Dec. 5. Massachusetts is one of several states considering a minimum wage ballot measure.
BRIAN SNYDER Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 5:19 pm

You never know where you might find a volunteer with a clipboard looking for signatures trying to get a voter referendum on the local ballot – like Ed Flanagan in the town of North Pole, Alaska.

"I'm out in what's called the North Pole transfer station. This facility has about 50 metal dumpsters arranged in a fenced area. Folks back up and throw their household trash in there. This is a very busy place," he says.

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Planet Money
3:01 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

How A Community Bank Tripped On Footnote 1,861 Of The Volcker Rule

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 10:05 am

When people talk about the Volcker Rule, they often mention JPMorgan Chase, the giant bank where a trader recently made a bad bet that lost $6 billion. The Volcker Rule is supposed to put an end to that sort of thing, by prohibiting banks from trading with their own money.

But some banks that are very, very different from JPMorgan Chase are struggling with an obscure provision in the rule. Specifically, footnote 1,861, which bars banks from investing in something called trust-preferred securities — a rather obscure investment favored by lots of small, community banks invest

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Business
1:20 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

What's Behind The Drop In Unemployment

Shoppers make a purchase at an outlet mall in Los Angeles. Employers added 55,000 jobs in the retail sector in December.
Gus Ruelas Reuters/Landov

Whether you had a job or were looking for one, December was a gloomy month.

The Labor Department said Friday that for December, employers added only 74,000 jobs — about a third as many as most economists had been predicting. That was the lowest level of job creation in three years — not exactly the news that 10.4 million job seekers wanted to hear.

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All Tech Considered
1:11 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

Tech Week That Was: CES, T-Mobile CEO And Predictions For 2014

John Legere, CEO and president of T-Mobile USA, crashed rival AT&T's Consumer Electronics Show party and won a slew of free publicity as a result.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 3:12 pm

It's 2014 and we're back to full team strength, which means we've returned with your guide to the week's previous tech coverage on NPR (in case you missed it) and from our friends at what seems like an ever-growing crop of tech journalism organizations.

ICYMI

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Economy
9:46 am
Fri January 10, 2014

Why Getting A Job Doesn't Mean Getting Out Of Poverty

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 11:47 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. This week, we, like many of our colleagues, have been talking about poverty because this week marks 50 years after President Lyndon Johnson declared a war on poverty. Later this hour, we'll speak with a minister who now preaches from the same pulpit where the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. once stood in Atlanta - Ebenezer Baptist Church. And he's asking whether the black church is still a force for addressing issues like poverty. That's later.

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Business
3:18 am
Fri January 10, 2014

Safety Group Sues Buckyballs Founder In Product Recall Case

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 10:45 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

A federal government agency has taken and unusual step. They are suing the founder of a toy company over product safety concerns - and recently, he filed a countersuit. The Consumer Product Safety Commission says Buckyballs - if you're not familiar with them - these are clusters of magnetized balls, are a serious danger to children.

Ilya Marritz from member station WNYC has the story.

ILYA MARRITZ, BYLINE: Call them brainteasers, amusements, or gifts for dad, just don't call these little magnetic beads a toy.

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Business
3:16 am
Fri January 10, 2014

Alcoa To Pay $384 Million Penalty For Bahrain Bribes

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 10:45 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And let's keep talking about international trade here. The American aluminum giant Alcoa and one of its subsidiaries will pay $384 million in fines to the United States government for engaging in corrupt practices overseas.

The payment is part of a settlement in a bribery case involving the royal family of Bahrain.

NPR's John Ydstie reports.

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Technology
3:08 am
Fri January 10, 2014

Startups Often Focus On Data Security Too Late, If At All

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 10:45 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

This year's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas includes companies that promise to revolutionize medicine as we know it. They're using sensors and systems like Wi-Fi Internet connections and Bluetooth to monitor the human body on a constant, real-time basis. Critics say this high-tech medicine is leaving security concerns behind.

Aarti Shahani reports from member station KQED.

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