Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 11:20 am
Microsoft Office announced Tuesday that it's moving on from Clip Art, the image service that proved oh-so-popular in many a school paper and work presentation for years:
"The Office.com Clip Art and image library has closed shop. Customers can still add images to their documents, presentations, and other files that they have saved to their devices (phones, tablets, and PCs), OneDrive, and SharePoint."
Originally published on Thu December 4, 2014 8:44 am
When it needs to serve 75,000 raw oysters to 3,000 people in one weekend, Washington D.C.'s landmark Old Ebbitt Grill calls in reinforcements. It hires expert oyster shuckers to help out with its Oyster Riot event each year. And for most of the last 20 years, those experts have included 59-year-old George Hastings.
Originally published on Tue December 2, 2014 3:55 pm
Since Tim Cook has been CEO of Apple, the company's market capitalization (or the value of its outstanding shares) has increased by more than $300 billion. On Nov. 26, it reached its highest level yet, almost $698 billion.
Numerically, this is a feat. Quartz says, "In nominal terms no company has ever been as big as Apple." Of course, Quartz goes on to say that, adjusted for inflation, Microsoft was bigger at its 1990s peak.
Originally published on Wed December 3, 2014 9:23 am
Gas stations have long been synonymous with cold pizza, dried-out doughnuts and mediocre hot dogs rotating on unappetizing roller grills. But in cities like Miami, Kansas City, and even Saxapahaw, N.C., among others, patrons can fuel up on gourmet grub and top off their tanks in one stop.
Originally published on Tue December 2, 2014 1:13 pm
By a 44-5 vote, Chicago's City Council set a minimum-wage target of $13 an hour, to be reached by the middle of 2019. The move comes after Illinois passed a nonbinding advisory last month that calls for the state to raise its minimum pay level to $10 by the start of next year.
The current minimum wage in Chicago and the rest of Illinois is $8.25. Under the ordinance, the city's minimum wage will rise to $10 by next July and go up in increments each summer thereafter.
Originally published on Tue December 2, 2014 5:55 pm
A new analysis takes aim at one of political science's evergreen topics: What do donors get in exchange for their campaign contributions?
The answer, according to three researchers at Arizona State University's W.P. Carey School of Business, is that "investments in on-going access to policymakers are associated with future tax benefits."
Originally published on Wed December 3, 2014 6:33 am
Do it or else. Increasingly, that's the message from employers who are offering financial incentives to workers who take part in wellness programs that include screenings for blood pressure, cholesterol and body mass index.
But the programs are under fire from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which filed suit against Honeywell International in October charging that the company's wellness program isn't voluntary and thus violates federal law.
Originally published on Tue December 2, 2014 5:18 pm
For three years, Erin Maynard ran a store called The Geeky Cauldron out of her home in Phoenix. On the online artisan marketplace Etsy, she sold jewelry inspired by themes from popular books, films and TV shows: think vampires and wizards. For the most part, it made her decent income, but month-to-month sales were a roller coaster: Some months, sales topped $5,000, while other months they barely cracked $1,000.
Originally published on Tue December 2, 2014 7:04 am
It's been nearly a year since Colorado made recreational marijuana legal, and since then, pot has become a billion-dollar business in the state. And some growers have made it a mission to make it legitimate and mainstream.
"Change the face," says pot entrepreneur Brooke Gehring. "But really, not to be the stereotype of what they think is stoner culture, but to realize they are true business people that are operating these companies."
Originally published on Tue December 2, 2014 12:57 am
A recent hack of Sony Pictures resulted in a leak of at least five of the company's movies and the disabling of its corporate networks and email. The attack began last Monday, when screens at Sony displayed the words "Hacked By #GOP," as well as images of a skull. (#GOP reportedly stands for Guardians of Peace.) According to NBC News, an accompanying message "threatened to release 'secrets and top secrets' of the company."
Originally published on Mon December 1, 2014 5:24 am
Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
In the pattern of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, tomorrow is labeled Giving Tuesday. Charities want to attract new donors. It's the third Giving Tuesday and the biggest so far, as NPR's Pam Fessler reports.
Originally published on Tue December 2, 2014 5:42 pm
For many online retailers, Cyber Monday is likely to be the peak shopping day of the year. To handle the onslaught of orders, Amazon has begun rolling out a new robot army.
The Amazon order-fulfillment center in Tracy, Calif., is more than a million square feet — or 28 football fields, if you prefer — filled with orange and yellow bins flying this way and that on conveyor belts. Chances are, if you ordered a bunch of items in the San Francisco Bay Area recently, Amazon put that box together here.
Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 12:46 pm
All of us are familiar with the sound a smartphone makes when an email or text has arrived. Our somewhat Pavlovian response is to pick up the device, see who the message is from and read it.
In Germany, a growing number of these emails come from the boss contacting employees after work. That's not healthy, say experts on work-related stress, including psychologist Gerdamarie Schmitz in Berlin, who is feeling the technological encroachment herself.
Originally published on Sun November 30, 2014 12:33 pm
Black Friday shopping at brick-and-mortar stores in the United States was down about 7 percent from a year ago, according to ShopperTrak, but more purchases on Thanksgiving Day nearly made up the difference. Meanwhile, online retailers recorded double-digit year-on-year increases in sales.
ShopperTrak says Friday store sales hit $9.1 billion, but that shoppers spent $3.2 billion on Thanksgiving — a 24 percent increase for sales on that day from over last year. Overall, it represented a 0.5 percent drop from last year.
Originally published on Sun November 30, 2014 12:27 am
In the '90s, Rainbo Records owner Steve Sheldon wanted to keep his vinyl presses going.
Everyone thought he was crazy; they told him it was a dead format. But Sheldon was adamant.
"I actually said, many times, 'I think it will be around longer than CDs,' " Sheldon says.
Today, his Canoga Park, Calif., operation is massive. There are sound testing rooms, large printers for making labels and rows of workers stuffing sleeves. And then there are the actual presses themselves — 14 of them — giving off smoke and smelling of burnt rubber.
Originally published on Sat November 29, 2014 4:29 pm
There are more twins in the "millennial generation" than any other generation, thanks partly to a twin boom in the '90s. The main reason was a new technology called in vitro fertilization, which in its early days frequently produced twins, triplets and other multiple births.