The reigning king in the truck world is the Ford F-150, and it's been that way for a couple of decades. But staying on top is getting harder.
With new, tougher fuel standards looming there is a lot of emphasis on efficiency and innovation. On Wednesday, Ford is announcing its flagship truck is taking a step into the alternative fuel world with a vehicle that can run on natural gas.
When you look at their bottom lines and their advertising you realize that the Detroit Three make cars, but they're really truck companies, especially Ford.
Northern California's Salinas Valley is often dubbed America's salad bowl. Large growers there have long relied on thousands of seasonal workers from rural Mexico to pick lettuce, spinach and celery from sunrise to sunset. Many of these workers seem destined for a life in the fields. But a program that helps field workers, like Raul Murillo, start their own farms and businesses is starting to yield a few success stories.
Another barrier to recognition of same-sex marriage appears to have fallen. On Monday a federal judge ordered a law firm to pay survivor's benefits to the widow in a same-sex marriage, and on Tuesday the law firm said it was happy to comply and would not appeal.
The decision is the latest in a series of court rulings equalizing benefits for legally married same-sex couples in the aftermath of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling.
Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 1:01 pm
The dazzling array of food options at the Googleplex campus in Mountain View, Calif. — 25 cafes at last count — is the much-cited example of tech world food perks. And you can peruse the menus at Airbnb and Facebook to get a taste of an equally high bar for not just free food, but worldly food that is designed to delight and fuel employees to work better and harder.
A series of fiery explosions ravaged a Blue Rhino propane gas plant in central Florida's Lake County late Monday night, forcing nearby residents to be evacuated. The detonations reportedly lasted for some 30 minutes and were heard as far as 10 miles away. A fire at the plant raged into the early morning hours.
Update at 11:10 a.m. ET: Work Continues; No Sign Of Sabotage
President Obama visits Chattanooga, Tenn., Tuesday to continue his "job creation" speeches around the country. He's stopping at a distribution center for Amazon.com. On Monday, the online retailer announced it's hiring 5,000 workers across several states.
Federal regulators are close to announcing a settlement with JPMorgan Chase. The bank was accused of manipulating prices in the U.S. energy market. It's not yet clear whether JPMorgan will be forced to admit wrongdoing.
A year ago, Montana opened the nation's first clinic for free primary healthcare services to its state government employees. The Helena, Mont., clinic was pitched as a way to improve overall employee health, but the idea has faced its fair share of political opposition.
A year later, the state says the clinic is already saving money.
Pamela Weitz, a 61-year-old state library technician, was skeptical about the place at first.
Chris Valasek and Charlie Miller have been hacking into products for a long time. But they don't steal stuff or mess with people; instead, their purpose is to pressure companies into making their products more secure.
This week, they scored big. Their research on hacking cars has captured the attention of millions and has been featured in Forbes and on the Today show.
At Margaret O'Keefe's farm in East Texas, they grow high-quality Bermuda grass. The fields are flat and vibrant green, surrounded by woods of a darker, richer green. The family loves this land. O'Keefe inherited it from her mother, who divided it among eight children.
"She used to call it 'enchanted valley,' " O'Keefe says.
But her "enchanted valley" also lies in the path of the Crosstex NGL Pipeline.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
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Tomorrow, President Obama visits and Amazon distribution center in Chattanooga. He'll be talking about job creation. That may help explain the timing of an announcement today from Amazon. It's going on a hiring spree, looking for 5,000 new full-time employees for its U.S. distribution centers. NPR's Wendy Kaufman has more on Amazon's plans to grow.
It's Paris meets Madison Avenue. Yesterday two of the world's largest advertising agencies announced plans to merge. The French ad company Publicis is combining with the New York-based Omnicom. The merger is largely a response to the growing dominance of Silicon Valley companies such as Google and Facebook.
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NPR's digital culture correspondent Laura Sydell joins us now to talk about what it all means. Hey there, Laura.
Originally published on Mon July 29, 2013 11:53 am
Amazon.com plans to hire more than 5,000 full-time workers for its warehouse and order-fulfillment centers, the retailing giant said Monday. Many of the jobs will be at Amazon outposts that are spread across more than 10 states.
"Median pay inside Amazon fulfillment centers is 30 percent higher than that of people who work in traditional retail stores," the company said in a news release announcing its plans.
BMW's electric i3 Concept is presented before the Paris Motor Show last September. The car was officially unveiled Monday; purchasers can reportedly opt for using a gas-powered SUV several weeks each year.
Originally published on Mon July 29, 2013 10:37 am
As it unveils its all-electric i3 compact sedan Monday, BMW also plans to offer buyers the option of booking a gas-powered SUV for a few weeks every year, according to reports. The move is part of BMW's efforts to ease customers' concerns about relying on an electric vehicle year-round, particularly for long family trips.
There's been concern about working conditions at factories run by Apple's foreign suppliers since the story last year about Foxconn. At the time, the tech giant moved to address those concerns to show that it took them seriously. But more allegations surfaced Monday centering on Apple's effort to build a cheaper iPhone.
David Greene talks to Vanity Fair financial journalist Bryan Burrough about the SAC hedge fund insider trading case, and how little the public cares, compared with the 1980s insider trading crackdown that was widely followed and became a part of popular culture.
The largest solar power plant of its kind is about to turn on in California's Mojave Desert.
The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System will power about 140,000 homes and will be a boon to the state's renewable energy goals, but it was no slam dunk. Now, California is trying to bring conservationists and energy companies together to create a smoother path for future projects.
Neil Barofsky, special inspector general for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, testifies before Congress about the program in 2010. Barofsky now says of the financial crisis: "The folks responsible for this incredibly painful economic damage that struck our economy have gone free."
U.S. sanctions mean that any citizen or business wanting to buy stuff from North Korea has to send a letter to the U.S. government asking for special permission. A few months back, we submitted a Freedom of Information Act request, asking for those letters.
Our request was granted: We recently received a packet of 18 letters from Americans who wanted to do business with the most isolated nation on the planet. We've posted all of the letters online.
Jobs are the focus of this year's National Urban League Conference in Philadelphia. Guest host Celeste Headlee speaks with President and CEO Marc Morial, about how the League has progressed on that front, and asks about the biggest issues facing African-Americans today.
Guest host Celeste Headlee gets a wrap of the week's political news with journalist Callie Crossley and conservative commentator Lenny McAllister. They talk about President Obama's push to get the economy back on track, and the battle over the President's health care law.
Originally published on Fri July 26, 2013 11:29 am
Each Friday we round up the big conversations in tech and culture during the week that was. We also revisit the work that appeared on this blog, and highlight what we're reading from our fellow technology writers and observers at other organizations.
NPR's business news starts with Toyota holding onto the trophy.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
GREENE: Toyota remains the world's top-selling automaker. Numbers out today show the Japanese company sold 4.9 million cars and trucks in the first half of the year, beating out its rival General Motors. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
And the Justice Department took an unusual step yesterday when it indicted a firm for securities fraud. Officials say the hedge fund company SAC Capital and its founder Steven Cohen routinely tolerated and encouraged illegal activity by employees. SAC is denying charges that it engaged in massive insider trading over the years.