Smartphones can check e-mail, record videos and even stream NPR. Now NASA has discovered they make pretty decent satellites, too. Three smart phones launched into space this past Sunday are orbiting above us even now, transmitting data and images back to Earth. The PhoneSats, which cost just a few thousand dollars each, could usher in big changes for the satellite industry.
Some housing experts say New York's zoning code has discouraged the building of affordable housing by requiring that all apartments be at least 400 square feet. The city is interested in finding ways to rewrite the rules.
Credit Jim Zarroli / NPR
This housing model, showcased at the Museum of the City of New York, depicts possible space-saving methods in the city. Some housing experts say New York's zoning code has discouraged the building of affordable housing by requiring that all apartments be at least 400 square feet. The city is interested in finding ways to rewrite the rules.
Credit Jim Zarroli / NPR
Another space-saving housing model showcased at Making Room, the art exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York.
New York City is notoriously crowded, and it's only getting more so. The city estimates it will have 1 million more people by the year 2030, many of them single. Where to place all these newcomers is a major challenge.
Mayor Mike Bloomberg has announced plans to put up an experimental building of micro-apartments that could be replicated throughout the city. And the Museum of the City of New York is looking at ways to make better use of the city's housing stock.
At a time when so many major American news organizations are cutting back, foreign news agencies are beefing up their presence abroad and in the U.S. One of the biggest new players arrives from China and, more likely than not, can be found on a television set near you.
CCTV, or China Central Television, is owned by the Chinese government. With more than 40 channels in China and an offshoot in the U.S., the broadcaster has been highly profitable for the country's ruling Communist Party, which is liking profits a lot these days.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Another promising report today suggests that the economy in general and employment in particular continue to improve, but there's another statistic that's more troubling. More Americans than ever participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly known as food stamps.
Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 10:16 am
Google has agreed to modify the way it displays search results in Europe as part of a deal to end a probe by the EU's antitrust body. But rivals Microsoft, Nokia and Oracle will first have to sign off on the changes, reports say.
Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 9:31 pm
Update at 11:28 p.m. ET: Toll At 275
Authorities said early Friday that 275 bodies have been recovered from the site.
Brig. Gen. Mohammed Siddiqul Alam Shikder, head of the rescue operation, said 61 people had been rescued since Thursday afternoon, according to The Associated Press. More than 2,000 people have been rescued since the building's collapse on Wednesday.
Our last word in business is good news for the jet setting romantic, possibly bad news for most everyone else on board.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
Virgin Airlines has announced a new service called seat-to-seat delivery, now available on all U.S. flights, which allows passengers to send unsolicited treats to fellow travelers at the touch of a button.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
SIR RICHARD BRANSON: Just order a drink, meal or snack, select his or her seat and don't forget to seal the deal with a suggestive seat-to-seat chat.
Air travelers are growing less and less happy. Automatic budget cuts are now leading to hundreds of flight delays, about half of all delayed flights this week.
NPR's Tamara Keith reports.
TAMARA KEITH, BYLINE: Up until this point, the effects of the sequester have been scattered and hard to pin down: hiring freezes, delayed park openings. But then the furloughs of air traffic controllers the Federal Aviation Administration had been threatening for months hit and, bam, the sequester got real, real fast.
Auto executives got a grilling on Capitol Hill yesterday. Not the usual suspects from Detroit's Big Three. Think much, much smaller. Executives from the hybrid carmaker Fisker testified about hundreds of millions of dollars in loans Fisker got from the government. Today, the company is on the verge of collapse.
NPR's Sonari Glinton reports.
SONARI GLINTON, BYLINE: Fisker, the car company, isn't dead yet. But Congress has already begun the autopsy.
The lending arm of General Electric has stopped offering financing to retailers whose primary business is selling guns. Around 75 retailers are immediately affected. A company spokesman says this is a response to "industry changes, new legislation and tragic events."
Ford, the No. 12 passenger-car seller in China, is showing off 23 vehicles at its exhibit at the Shanghai International Automobile Industry Exhibition this week.
Chang'an Ford Mazda Automobile Co. Ltd. Executive Vice President Luo Minggang (left) and President Marin Burela unveil the new Ford Mondeo model at the Shanghai auto show this week. Ford's sales in China were up 30 percent last year.
General Motors has been the American car company in China. Even when GM was in bankruptcy, the Chinese continued to view Buick as a high-status, luxury brand.
But now Ford, an also-ran in the market for years, is making a push to change all that. Last year, Ford's sales were up more than 30 percent in China, and the Ford Focus was the best-selling car in both the world and China.
Originally published on Wed April 24, 2013 6:30 pm
The redesigned U.S. $100 bill will begin appearing after October with new security features that will make it "easier for the public to authenticate but more difficult for counterfeiters to replicate," the U.S. Federal Reserve said Wednesday.
That market dip yesterday that Steve mentioned, the result of a hacked Twitter feed, highlights how much the financial industry relies on computer algorithms. U.S. stock markets lost $200 billion in value in just a few minutes. The markets bounced back when the Associated Press made clear there was no explosion at the White House and the tweet was a hoax.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
And I'm Audie Cornish. Boeing says its 787 jetliner should resume passenger service early next month. The so-called Dreamliner has been grounded since problems with the lithium ion batteries surfaced back in January. Batteries on two different planes overheated. One of them, a Japan Air Lines jet, caught fire. Boeing is now working with airlines to retrofit its planes with redesigned batteries now housed in fireproof boxes.
A "sold" sign is posted outside a home in Carmel, Ind. Black and Latino homebuyers pay about 3.5 percent more for housing than whites and Asians, according to a study released this week by Duke University.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Now it's time for our Wisdom Watch conversation. That's where we speak with people who've made a difference in their fields.
Today, we hear from one of the most influential tech executives you probably have never heard of unless you're in that field. Not only that, his personal story is just as - if not more - interesting than those of the superstar CEOs you may have heard about in high tech.
In today's economy, many people in search of work can only find part-time jobs. The Bureau of Labor Statistics finds the number of 'involuntary' part-time workers has doubled since 2006. Host Michel Martin talks about what this means for the workplace and the economy, with The Wall Street Journal's Sudeep Reddy.
Originally published on Wed April 24, 2013 9:11 am
Update at 10:50 a.m. ET: Boeing to resume deliveries of 787s
Boeing, which had delivered about 50 of its new passenger aircraft before battery failures in January grounded the plane, says it will resume deliveries to airline customers in early May, The Associated Press reports.
Boeing and the Federal Aviation Authority may be in for another day of tough questions as the National Transportation Safety Board continues its probe of batteries on the 787 Dreamliner. Two severe battery failures prompted the world-wide grounding of the fleet in January.
People who measure risk and uncertainty ranked in the top spot of the survey by CareerCast.com. At the bottom of the list with reporters are flight attendants, roofers, mail carriers, meter readers, dish washers and lumber jacks.
DAVID GREENE, BYLINE: Hackers got into the Associated Press's Twitter account yesterday and sent out a fake tweet saying that the White House had been attacked. Though the tweet was discredited very quickly, it created a swift and panicked reaction on the stock market.
Here's NPR's Jim Zarroli.
JIM ZARROLI, BYLINE: The tweet said that a pair of bombs had gone off in the White House and President Obama was injured. Almost instantaneously, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 125 points.
The massive swath of Boston that has been closed for more than a week is getting closer to reopening. City officials yesterday brought victims of the marathon bombings and their relatives in for a private visit and allowed neighborhood residents back home for the first time in over a week. Businesses also began the process of cleaning up and preparing to reopen.
The hardest-hit shops and restaurants remain boarded up. As NPR's Tovia Smith reports, others are hoping to reopen today or tomorrow.
Last year's drought wreaked havoc on farmers' fields in much of the Midwest, cutting crop yields and forcing livestock producers to cull their herds. This spring, the rain that farmers needed so badly in 2012 has finally returned. But maybe too much, and at the wrong time.
It's almost the end of April, which is prime time to plant corn. But farmers need a break in the rain so they can get this year's crops in the ground and try to lock in good yields at harvest.
Humberto Manzano Jr. moves a pallet of goods at an Amazon.com fulfillment center in Phoenix in 2010. Amazon has endorsed a bill making its way through the Senate that would require more online retailers to collect sales tax.
More online retailers would have to collect sales tax under a bill making its way through the U.S. Senate this week. The measure won strong bipartisan backing on a procedural vote Monday, and President Obama has said he would sign it.
The political battle over the bill pits online retailers against brick-and-mortar stores — and, in some cases, against other online sellers.
This handshake between South Korean President Park Geun-hye and Microsoft founder Bill Gates sparked debate over whether the American — who kept his left hand in his pocket — had been rude. Other photos clearly show Gates' hand in his pocket.0
Microsoft founder Bill Gates met with South Korean President Park Geun-hye Monday, part of a visit to build business ties and boost nuclear energy plans. But it was the handshake they shared that created the biggest stir in Korean society, after Gates greeted Park with a smile — and his left hand jammed into his pants pocket.
We've reported on how cheap natural gas is revolutionizing the energy industry. It's plentiful, thanks to the drilling technique known as fracking. Well, that's also changing American manufacturing. Factories are turning to natural gas to replace oil and even biomass sources like woodchips. And here's an example, a paper mill in East Millinocket, Maine.