Business

Economy
9:57 am
Tue September 3, 2013

Syria: The Money Effect

The uncertain future of American military action in Syria is causing ripple effects in the world market. Host Michel Martin speaks with economic reporter Sudeep Reddy of The Wall Street Journal, about the relationship between the Syrian conflict and oil.

The Two-Way
5:23 am
Tue September 3, 2013

For Microsoft, Nokia's Phones Are 'Key To Everything'

That's a Nokia Lumia 820 smartphone snapping an image of a Windows icon.
Dado Ruvic Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue September 3, 2013 10:52 am

Here's why Microsoft says its $7.2 billion deal to buy Nokia's smartphone business as well as that company's patents and services makes sense.

"It all starts with the phone," writes PCWorld, in a piece that analyzes why "the phone is key to everything."

According to the magazine:

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Business
3:29 am
Tue September 3, 2013

Will Microsoft's Nokia Deal Shake Up Mobile?

Nokia was the only large phone manufacturer in the world to commit to selling phones running Microsoft's operating system. Now Microsoft is buying Nokia's mobile phone business.
Timothy Clary AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 3, 2013 11:30 am

Nokia was once the largest mobile phone manufacturer in the world, the most valuable company in Europe and an icon in its home base of Finland. But the rise of Apple and Android smartphones knocked the company on its heels.

Now comes news that Microsoft is buying Nokia's mobile phone business for $7.2 billion. NPR's Steve Henn answers some questions about the deal.

So what is Microsoft getting here?

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Business
3:15 am
Tue September 3, 2013

Verizon Buys Out Vodafone To Acquire Wireless Company

Originally published on Tue September 3, 2013 8:54 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF THEME MUSIC)

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR News business news starts with Verizon in total control.

At least for the wireless network. Yesterday, we told you Verizon was on the way to approving one of the biggest deals in the history of the telecommunications business. And now we can tell you the deal is sealed. The company will pay $130 billion in cash and stock to the British company Vodafone to acquire Vodafone's share of their joint wireless venture.

NPR's Jim Zarroli reports.

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Business
3:15 am
Tue September 3, 2013

Lava Lamp Turns 50

Originally published on Tue September 3, 2013 8:54 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

OK. Our last word in business has to be said just the right way. The word is: Groovy. But you have to say it this way - groovy baby.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Groovy...

(LAUGHTER)

MONTAGNE: ...baby. Well, in the '60s, the grooviest thing around was the Lava Lamp. And we're mentioning it just now because it turns 50 today.

INSKEEP: Groovy. The fluorescent lamp, with its hypnotic moving liquid blob center, helped to define the psychedelic era. It first hit stores in Britain on this day in 1963.

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Business
3:15 am
Tue September 3, 2013

New York's Dairy Farmers Squeezed By Greek Yogurt Boom

The recent yogurt boom of upstate New York has meant more jobs in places like the Chobani plant in South Edmeston, but it has not led to a bigger dairy herd in the state.
Mike Groll AP

Originally published on Tue September 3, 2013 12:01 pm

Upstate New York has lugged around the Rust Belt identity for decades now.
But today, the region is trying on a new reputation as the king of yogurt — especially the high-protein Greek yogurt that consumers crave.

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The Two-Way
4:23 pm
Mon September 2, 2013

Time Warner And CBS Reach Deal To End Programming Blackout

Originally published on Tue September 3, 2013 8:07 am

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Around the Nation
2:45 am
Mon September 2, 2013

In Maine, Even With A GPS, You Can't Get There From Here

If you're planning that last summer road trip, you might want to pull those maps out of the attic.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon September 2, 2013 8:58 am

Once a standard fixture at every gas station, good old fashioned paper maps have all but folded in the digital age. But, there are places that can baffle your high tech gadgets.

Getting yourself lost in a rural state is an easy thing to do. Pavement turns into dirt track, and before you know it, you're driving through miles of woods and boulders, and your GPS isn't helping.

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Business
2:45 am
Mon September 2, 2013

Verizon Poised To Gain Full Control Of Wireless Business

Originally published on Mon September 2, 2013 4:32 am

Verizon and Vodafone are joint owners of the nation's No. 1 wireless provider Verizon Wireless. Over the weekend, the two companies were in talks to finalize the terms of a $130 billion deal. That's how much Vodafone is asking for its 45 percent stake in the company.

NPR Story
2:43 am
Mon September 2, 2013

One Direction Heats Up Labor Day Box Office

Originally published on Mon September 2, 2013 11:40 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And today's last word in business is: boy band. Because what's better than one teenage heartthrob? Five of them. In 3-D.

The Irish-English pop group One Direction helped Hollywood break a Labor Day weekend record. Their 3-D concert film "One Direction: This is Us" grossed $17 million in its first three days to top the weekend box office. That's a nice take for the Morgan Spurlock music documentary, which cost a modest $10 million to make.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, ONE DIRECTION: THIS IS US")

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U.S.
1:23 am
Mon September 2, 2013

Cincinnati's Airport: Best In The U.S.?

A passenger rides an escalator to Terminal A at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport in Erlanger, Ky.
Paul Sancya AP

Originally published on Mon September 2, 2013 2:45 am

In the grand days of railroad travel, passengers arrived in monumental terminals. There was grandeur, style and comfort — qualities that today's equivalent for long-distance travel, the airport, mostly lack. Especially in the United States.

In a survey of international travelers by the British firm Skytrax, not a single U.S. airport ranked anywhere near the top of the list. Singapore got top honors, while the best the United States could do was Cincinnati's airport — which came in at No. 30.

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Planet Money
1:21 am
Mon September 2, 2013

Ecuador To World: Pay Up To Save The Rainforest. World To Ecuador: Meh.

An aerial view of the Yasuni National Park, in Ecuador's northeastern jungle.
Dolores Ochoa AP

Originally published on Mon September 2, 2013 5:04 pm

The government of Ecuador has abandoned a plan that would have kept part of the Amazonian rainforest off limits to oil drilling. The initiative was an unusual one: Ecuador was promising to keep the oil in the ground, but it wanted to be paid for doing so.

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Business
1:20 am
Mon September 2, 2013

Trucker Shortage Worsens As Energy Sector Booms

Keith Ceynar transfers oil from his truck into a tank at a facility outside Alexander, N.D. An increasing amount of oil is being delivered by trucks.
Matthew Staver Landov

Originally published on Mon September 2, 2013 2:45 am

When goods arrive in Houston, they may come in containers stacked high on huge ships or strung out on long lines of rail cars. But to get to the customer, those goods need to be put on trucks and driven to their final destinations.

And now with the oil and gas sectors booming, the demand for truckers is soaring. The U.S. Energy Information Administration says oil delivered to refineries by trucks shot up 38 percent between 2011 and 2012.

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Business
3:41 pm
Sun September 1, 2013

When Stress Takes Over, Employee Burnout Can Set In

Pushing workers only goes so far, says one long-time human resources manager.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sun September 1, 2013 5:16 pm

As Labor Day honors American workers, stress weighs on many. A changing world — and therefore a changing workplace — has many employees on the job and staring at screens for hours upon hours. Some have reached a breaking point.

John Challenger, CEO of workplace consulting company Challenger, Gray & Christmas, diagnoses burnout. He tells NPR's Jacki Lyden stress can manifest emotionally, mentally or physically. "It can be combined with doubts about your confidence or the value of the work you do," he says.

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Economy
7:14 am
Sun September 1, 2013

Making It On Minimum Wage

Originally published on Sun September 1, 2013 9:23 am

Joanna Cruz, a New Jersey mother of three who works as a cook at a convenience store, wrote in an online essay that "too often, people think that individuals on public assistance programs are lazy. I would like for them to spend one day in my shoes." She shares what it's like to support a family on minimum wage with guest host Wade Goodwyn.

The Two-Way
3:25 pm
Fri August 30, 2013

Apple Stores Launch Trade-In Program For Used iPhones

People hoping to upgrade their old iPhone for a newer model now have the option of trading in their phone to get credit toward a new device at an Apple store. The technology company announced the new option Friday, ahead of the expected Sept. 10 release of updates to its iPhone line.

The new trade-in program, which Apple says is available at its 252 U.S. retail stores, has several requirements:

  • The phone must be able to be powered up.
  • The phone cannot be water-damaged.
  • Any generation iPhone is eligible.
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Technology
2:55 pm
Fri August 30, 2013

Firms Brace For Possible Retaliatory Cyberattacks From Syria

With the possibility of a strike on Syrian targets, U.S. firms are trying to protect themselves from cyberattacks that may follow.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri August 30, 2013 7:18 pm

The prospect of a military strike against Syria in the next few days has private U.S. firms bracing for retaliation — in cyberspace.

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All Tech Considered
2:03 pm
Fri August 30, 2013

Facebook's Latest Privacy Changes: Tag, You're You

A bigger facial recognition database could allow Facebook to collect more data about whom we are interacting with in the real world.
Dado Ruvic Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri August 30, 2013 3:11 pm

Writing a post about Facebook changing its privacy policies can feel like a fool's errand.

Nearly everyone who has a pulse — and lives part of his life online — most likely knows how Facebook makes its money and understands why this service, which connects 1.1 billion people, is free.

But here we go again.

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The Two-Way
10:54 am
Fri August 30, 2013

Bag It, Trader Joe's Tells 'Pirate' Grocer In Canada

"I bought the stuff at full retail. I own it," says Michael Hallatt, owner of the _irate Joe's grocery in Vancouver. His store faces a lawsuit from Trader Joe's for infringing on its trademark and possibly confusing customers.
_irate Joe's

Originally published on Fri August 30, 2013 1:24 pm

For the past year and a half, Mike Hallatt has been driving across the U.S.-Canada border and back, bringing loads of groceries back to Vancouver. There's no food shortage in Canada — but there's an absolute lack of Trader Joe's grocery stores, and that created an opening for an entrepreneur who doesn't mind making a long drive.

Originally called Pirate Joe's, Hallatt's store serves a niche market: Canadians who wish Trader Joe's was in their country and who will pay a bit extra for triple ginger snaps and fanciful trail mixes.

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All Tech Considered
9:50 am
Fri August 30, 2013

Tech Week That Was: Syrian Hackers And Google Intrigue

A cyberattack, reportedly by a group called the Syrian Electronic Army, forced The New York Times offline this week.
NPR

Originally published on Fri August 30, 2013 1:44 pm

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 across the Internet.

ICYMI

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Business
8:54 am
Fri August 30, 2013

More Americans Are In The Mood To Travel For Labor Day

Labor Day weekend travel may rise by 4.2 percent to the highest level since before the recession, according to AAA Travel.
Scott Olson Getty Images

After years of sticking close to home, more Americans are eager to shake off the recession's remnants and have a final summer adventure, according to experts who track travel.

"We've noticed that vacation plans increased quite a bit in August," compared with June, said Chris Christopher, an economist who focuses on consumer markets for IHS Global Insight, a forecasting firm.

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Business
2:46 am
Fri August 30, 2013

Secret U.S. Spy Budget Revealed

Originally published on Fri August 30, 2013 7:51 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

NPR's business news starts a black budget illuminated.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

Author Interviews
1:16 am
Fri August 30, 2013

Honest Tea Founders Tell Their Story Of Not-Too-Sweet Success

Barry Nalebuff (left) and Seth Goldman cofounded Honest Tea in 1997. Goldman is the company's TeaEO. Nalebuff is a professor at Yale School of Management.
Crown Business

Originally published on Fri August 30, 2013 7:51 am

If you want to know what prompted Seth Goldman and Barry Nalebuff to cofound Honest Tea, here's the simple answer they give on their website: They were thirsty. Goldman had taken Nalebuff's class at the Yale School of Management, and they were both tired of the super sweet iced teas available in stores. So in the late 1990s, they started their own company based on the hunch that other people out there felt the same way.

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Shots - Health News
1:06 am
Fri August 30, 2013

Money May Be Motivating Doctors To Do More C-Sections

Pregnant doctors are less likely than other women to deliver their babies via C-section, recent research suggests. Economists say that may be because the physician patients feel more empowered to question the obstetrician.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue September 3, 2013 6:57 am

Obstetricians perform more cesarean sections when there are financial incentives to do so, according to a new study that explores links between economic incentives and medical decision-making during childbirth.

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StoryCorps
1:00 am
Fri August 30, 2013

Following In The Family Footsteps

Mackenzie Byles graduated in 2010 from Mount Ida College with a degree in Funeral Home Management. She's taking over the family business from her dad, Don.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Fri August 30, 2013 7:51 am

Don Byles, 65, is a funeral director in New London, Conn. His grandfather started the family's business, Byles-MacDougall Funeral Service, in 1904. Now, Byles is getting ready to hand it over to his 25-year-old daughter Mackenzie.

"You have to teach me a lot of stuff before you can retire," Mackenzie tells her dad during a recent visit to StoryCorps. "I'm a little nervous about being on my own here. I've got big shoes to fill with you."

Click on the audio link above to hear their StoryCorps conversation.

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The Salt
4:01 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

Antibiotic Use On The Farm: Are We Flying Blind?

Piglets in a pen on a hog farm in Frankenstein, Mo.
Jeff Roberson AP

Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 3:26 pm

There's a heated debate over the use of antibiotics in farm animals. Critics say farmers overuse these drugs; farmers say they don't.

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The Record
2:58 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

Can Streaming Services Make Money?

On June 15, the day that Pandora became a publicly traded company, traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange wore the company's insignia.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 5:48 pm

Every time you turn around it seems like there's a new streaming music service. Pandora was among the first a decade ago. Rdio launched in 2010. Spotify came to the U.S. in the summer of 2011. Apple and Google plan to join the fray this year. Music producer Jimmy Iovine is launching a service tied to his headphone brand Beats by Dr. Dre.

What's odd is they are all jumping into a business that, so far, doesn't seem to be turning a profit.

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Business
2:51 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

Threat Of U.S. Strike In Syria Drives Up Oil Prices

Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 4:01 pm

Crude oil prices are up about 20 percent over the past two months. On Tuesday, the price of the U.S. benchmark, West Texas Intermediate, hit $109. Events in Syria are driving the price spike. Syria doesn't produce much oil, but there is great concern that the conflict there might spill over and involve other Persian Gulf nations such as Iran and Saudi Arabia.

Shots - Health News
2:26 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

How Money Worries Can Scramble Your Thinking

Worrying about finances can tax the brain just as much as staying up all night.
Illustration by Katherine Streeter for NPR

Originally published on Fri August 30, 2013 1:29 pm

There's no question that dealing with mortgages, car payments and other bills takes up time and energy. But having a tight budget may also zap our ability to think clearly, scientists report Thursday in the journal Science.

In a series of clever experiments involving farmers in India and shoppers in New Jersey, scientists found that people are worse at solving puzzles — similar to those on the IQ test — when they're first reminded of money problems.

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The Two-Way
1:50 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

Nasdaq Gives Detail On Cause Of Last Week's Trading Halt

People in New York City walk by the Nasdaq stock market one day after the the electronic exchange experienced a a three-hour trading delay due to a technical problem.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. issued a deeper explanation for the technical problems that halted trading for three hours last week.

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