Business

#NPRWIT: Women In Tech
9:39 am
Tue March 11, 2014

Investing In Women Entrepreneurs

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 10:50 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. We're going to start the program today by returning to our series of conversations about and with women in tech. All this month, which happens to be Women's History Month, we're hearing from innovators from around the world as they tweet a day in their lives using the hashtag #NPRWIT. We're also speaking with trailblazers about new ideas they're bringing to tech and how they're encouraging more women and girls to enter the field.

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Business
5:19 am
Tue March 11, 2014

Congress To Investigate General Motors Recall

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 8:28 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news begins with Congress investigating a GM recall.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

GREENE: General Motors last month recalled 1.6 million older-model compact cars. The concern was that faulty ignition switches could cause the cars engines to turn off - a problem that's been linked to 13 deaths. GM employees knew of the issue as early as 2004, according to the company's own chronology.

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Business
4:11 am
Tue March 11, 2014

Will Stocks' 5-Year Trajectory Keep Going Higher?

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 8:28 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene. Good morning.

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NPR Story
3:04 am
Tue March 11, 2014

Dropcam Lets Owners Keep Tabs On Their Pets

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 8:28 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And our last word in business today is: Doggie Cam.

There has been a lot in the news lately about the Internet and privacy. And now it seems that even pets are under surveillance by owners.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

That's right. Thanks to a newly-improved smartphone app and device called the Dropcam, pet owners can check in on their furry friends while they're at work or out of town. Through the app, you can not only see your dog, but talk to them through a speaker as well.

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NPR Story
3:04 am
Tue March 11, 2014

Ice And Snow Forced Airlines To Cancel Thousands Of Flights

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 8:28 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

So far this winter, lots of snow and ice has forced major U.S. airlines to cancel more than 74,000 flights. At an aviation conference in New York yesterday, top executives of some of the nation's biggest airlines spoke about how those cancellations are affecting business.

NPR's Jim Zarroli reports.

JIM ZARROLI, BYLINE: American Airlines said it cancelled 28,000 flights in January and February. Almost as many flights were grounded by United Continental. At Southwest 6,500 flights were cancelled.

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Around the Nation
3:04 am
Tue March 11, 2014

2013 Flooding Still Dampens Colorado's Tourist Trade

Originally published on Wed March 12, 2014 7:40 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Now for an update on a more recent disaster here in the U.S. In September of last year, heavy rain flooded large areas of Colorado, killing 10 people, damaging businesses, homes, and roads. Many towns are still struggling to recover.

Grace Hood from member station KUNC traveled to two communities in northern Colorado that were among the hardest hit to see how they are coping today.

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The Salt
1:06 am
Tue March 11, 2014

Turning Food Waste Into Fuel Takes Gumption And Trillions Of Bacteria

The digester eggs at Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant in Brooklyn contain millions of gallons of black sludge.
Courtesy of New York City Department of Environmental Protection

Originally published on Wed March 12, 2014 11:12 am

Every year, Americans send millions of tons of food to the landfill. What if you could use all of those pizza crusts and rotten vegetables to heat your home? That's already happening in one unlikely laboratory: the Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant in Brooklyn.

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Business
1:02 am
Tue March 11, 2014

Customer Surveys Are Here To Stay. Suggestions For Improvement?

Washington Post advice columnist Judith Martin compares surveys to an insecure friend: " 'Are you sure you like me? Really? Do you like me?' And after a while you want to say, 'No! Go away!' "
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 2:58 pm

Call the cable company, and an automated voice wants to ask you about the experience. Buy a taco at a fast-food chain, and the receipt says there's a chance to win $500 if you answer a few questions.

Customer surveys seem to be everywhere — something Judith Martin addressed in her Miss Manners column in January: "They are violating the first rule of business: Don't annoy the customer."

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The Two-Way
4:36 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

Seattle Moves To Curb Uber, Other Ride-Share Services

Seattle's government has given early approval to caps on ride-share companies such as Uber. Here, Peter Faris, whose company's drivers use Uber to find customers, holds a smartphone with the ride-sharing company's app in Washington, D.C.
Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

Uber, Lyft, and similar companies that pair people who pay for a car ride with drivers who operate outside the traditional taxi system are facing new limits in Seattle, where the City Council's Taxi Committee recently voted to cap the number of "ride-share" drivers.

The full council had been scheduled to vote on a limit of 150 drivers per ride-share company today; the vote, which has sparked intense interest in the city, has been postponed until next Monday.

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The Two-Way
4:00 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

Colorado Collected $2.1 Million In January Taxes On Recreational Pot

Marijuana is stored in bins for trimming and packaging in preparation to be sold retail at 3D Cannabis Center, in Denver.
Brennan Linsley AP

Originally published on Mon March 10, 2014 4:38 pm

For the first time since it legalized recreational marijuana, Colorado is releasing revenue figures: The state made $3.5 million in taxes and fees in January.

As KUSA-TV reports, $2.1 million of that came from the sale of recreational pot and $1.4 million came from medical marijuana.

KUSA adds:

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The Salt
3:50 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

What Pepsi Can Teach Us About Soft (Drink) Power In Russia

Pepsi was the first American consumer product to be manufactured and sold in the former Soviet Union. In 1991, Russians could buy the soda for 20 kopeks, about 10 cents.
Peter Dejong AP

Originally published on Mon March 10, 2014 7:09 pm

The United States has threatened economic sanctions against Moscow, but America is light on financial leverage in Russia: The country represents less than 1 percent of U.S. trade, and few major U.S. companies have significant investments there.

But one company with a long history in Russia is Pepsi.

So how did the American soft drink giant get its foot in the door to build a major market in Russia?

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All Tech Considered
3:23 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

SXSW: Software, Apps Still Rule But A Hardware Resurgence Is On

A set of littleBits comes with more than 40 different types of electronic pieces that connect with magnets.
NPR

Originally published on Mon March 10, 2014 5:59 pm

The task of building your very own toy, or robot, or radio can seem daunting for someone without much background in engineering. But a set of color-coded electronic bits that can be magnetically snapped together called littleBits is aiming to make creating your own electronics easy for everyone. It's like Legos, if only Legos could be connected into circuits that light up, move or make music.

"Circuits in seconds," promises the outside of the box.

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Children's Health
2:22 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

Casinos, Sites Of Excess, Might Actually Help Families Slim Down

Originally published on Mon March 10, 2014 5:59 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

When you think about casinos, you probably think about excess: smoke-filled rooms, too much alcohol, and endless buffets filled with piles of high-fat and high sugar foods.

But as NPR's Patti Neighmond reports, a new study suggests casinos may actually have a health benefit for children who live in nearby communities.

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Politics
2:22 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

Hedge Fund Turns To Lobbying To Back Up Its Billion-Dollar Bet

Originally published on Mon March 10, 2014 5:59 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Short selling a stock - betting that it will go down instead of up - is common on Wall Street. But what about placing a bet against a company and then trying to get the government to do things that would drive down the company's share price?

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Your Money
2:22 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

Groups Use Cash Prizes To Encourage Saving

Maya Gaines, of the Baltimore CASH Campaign, tries to encourage people to put aside some of their tax refunds into savings. She rings bells, cheers and dances every time someone decides to do that.
Pam Fessler NPR

Originally published on Mon March 10, 2014 5:59 pm

When it comes to getting ahead in the world, a lack of savings can be a big hurdle, especially for low-income families. Most don't have enough money set aside for emergencies, let alone for college or a house. Some people think the answer is to make savings more fun, like the lottery, with the chance to win big prizes.

It's called prize-linked savings, something that's been available in Great Britain for decades. Now, it's starting to catch on in the United States.

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The Salt
10:50 am
Mon March 10, 2014

The Upside Of All This Cold? A Boom In Ice Cider

The icy winter is just what's needed for tasty ice cider.
Herb Swanson for NPR

Originally published on Mon March 10, 2014 9:41 pm

If there's anything most of us are tired of this winter, it's bone-chilling cold.
It's enough to drive you to drink.

Literally. Because frigid weather is just what some enterprising artisans need to make a dessert wine that has been showing up on trendy tables and menus. Ice cider was invented in Quebec in the 1990s.

This time of year, it's fermenting on the other side of the border as well, as a few snowy states try to tap into the locavore market and turn perishables into profits.

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Business
5:07 am
Mon March 10, 2014

Chiquita Brands To Buy Irish Rival

Originally published on Mon March 10, 2014 7:59 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news begins with a soon-to-be top banana.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MONTAGNE: An American company long synonymous with bananas is merging with an Irish rival to create the world's biggest banana company. The new company will be called ChiquitaFyffes, and it's expected to have annual sales of $4.6 billion.

Business
5:07 am
Mon March 10, 2014

IBM Computer Creates Meals At South By SouthWest Festival

Originally published on Mon March 10, 2014 7:59 am

IBM brought a very special food truck to Austin. It is serving dishes developed by its famous supercomputer Watson. In addition to fruit, Baltic Apple Pie uses garlic, onion and pork.

Business
3:03 am
Mon March 10, 2014

Identity Theft Tops Dirty Dozen List Compiled By IRS

Originally published on Mon March 10, 2014 7:59 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

The "Dirty Dozen" is not just the name of an action film from the 1960s. It's also the name of the list the IRS puts out each year documenting the most common tax scams. For the past two years, identity theft has topped the list. That's when thieves first steal someone's identity and then steal their tax refund by filing a fraudulent return.

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Economy
2:57 am
Mon March 10, 2014

Signs Point To A Slowing U.S. Housing Market

Originally published on Mon March 10, 2014 7:59 am

After rising sharply in 2013, home prices in many areas are leveling off. An interesting and worrisome development for most Americans because their home is often their most valuable asset.

Business
12:58 am
Mon March 10, 2014

Big Investors Boosting Home Prices, And Not Everyone's Pleased

ReBOUND Residential in Florida has bought multiple properties like this one, a formerly bank-owned home in Sunrise, Fla., as investment properties. The houses are now bringing steady returns as rentals.
Greg Allen NPR

Originally published on Mon March 10, 2014 8:20 am

It's taken several years, but in many parts of the country, home prices are nearly back to where they were at the peak. In places like Florida, where the housing recession hit hard, home prices rose last year by one-fifth or more.

A major factor in the price rise is hedge funds, private equity firms and other large investors. They've moved aggressively into the residential market over the past two years, buying tens of thousands of distressed properties, often at bargain prices.

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The Two-Way
1:01 pm
Sun March 9, 2014

Detroit's William Clay Ford Dies At Age 88

William Clay Ford, seen here in 1995 on a 1903 Ford Model A, has died at age 88. He posed for a photo with Edsel Ford II (left) and his son, William Clay Ford Jr.
Ford Motor Co.

William Clay Ford, a descendant of auto industry pioneer Henry Ford and owner of the Detroit Lions, has died at age 88. He was the son of Edsel Ford.

Ford's death was confirmed by the automaker that bears his family's name Sunday. The company said Ford died at home after suffering from pneumonia. And it said that during his 57 years with the company, Ford led the Design Committee and helped develop cars such as the Continental Mark II, a sleek two-door built in the mid-1950s.

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The Salt
12:36 pm
Sun March 9, 2014

A Theme Park For Foodies? Italians Say Bologna

Customers dine at the original Eataly in Turin, Italy, which opened in 2007.
demoshelsinki/Flickr

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 11:53 am

Italy has more UNESCO world heritage sites than any other country in the world, and its art and cultural riches have drawn visitors for centuries.

It also prides itself on being a culinary mecca, where preparing, cooking and serving meals is a fine, even sacred, art. And now that the country is in the deepest and most protracted recession since World War II, why not cash in on its reputation as a paradise for visiting gourmets and gourmands?

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The Sunday Conversation
7:52 am
Sun March 9, 2014

Rebuilding A Life And A City After Years On Detroit's Streets

Isaac Lott has been working in deconstruction for four years. He's one of several Reclaim Detroit employees who have spent time in prison and are now starting a new life with the company.
Marvin Shaouni for NPR

Originally published on Sun March 9, 2014 10:00 am

Each week, Weekend Edition Sunday host Rachel Martin brings listeners an unexpected side of the news by talking with someone personally affected by the stories making headlines.

After years of selling drugs and serving prison time in Detroit, 54-year-old Isaac Lott is now a site supervisor with the organization Reclaim Detroit. The group deconstructs abandoned homes to reclaim materials from them.

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All Tech Considered
4:40 pm
Sat March 8, 2014

SXSW Diary: Aereo, The Supreme Court And TV's Future

Chet Kanojia is the founder and CEO of Aereo, which is fighting big broadcasters over its tiny antenna.
Elise Hu NPR

Originally published on Sun March 9, 2014 10:16 pm

The crowds are so thick in Austin, Texas, that locals are using an Avoid Humans app to find some peace and quiet, and the warning at the convention center of South By Southwest Interactive goes something like this: "Only one person per escalator step OR YOU WILL BREAK IT!"

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Economy
8:16 am
Sat March 8, 2014

What Germans Know Could Help Bridge U.S. Workers' Skill Gap

President Barack Obama promotes job training at General Electric's Waukesha, Wis., gas engine plant in January.
Jeffrey Phelps AP

Originally published on Sat March 8, 2014 9:31 am

Job training programs are failing to turn out enough skilled workers to fill job openings in the U.S., a phenomenon that puzzles some European companies that expand into the U.S.

President Obama freely admits that America needs to improve the way it trains workers. In a speech at a General Electric manufacturing plant in Wisconsin earlier this year, he said, "We gotta move away from what my labor secretary, Tom Perez, calls 'train and pray.' You train workers first and then you hope they get a job."

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Business
3:20 am
Sat March 8, 2014

Don't Run Out For Caviar Yet, But Wages Are Heading Higher

Construction companies added 15,000 jobs even though the weather was horrible in much of the country in February.
Sarah Glenn Getty Images

Originally published on Sat March 8, 2014 10:40 am

  • Freezing Weather Put A Chill On Economy, Housing Market?

Friday's monthly employment report was encouraging — but not just for job seekers. People who already have work could find something to celebrate too: Hourly wages rose at a decent pace.

That's a welcome change for employees who have seen only very, very modest raises in this economic recovery.

The Labor Department said average hourly wages rose by 9 cents an hour in February, up to $24.31. With that bump, workers are now making 2.2 percent more per hour than they were a year ago.

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All Tech Considered
3:19 am
Sat March 8, 2014

Tech Week That Was: Women In Tech, Bitcoin's Man And SXSW Begins

A Bitcoin sign at a shop in Hong Kong.
Philippe Lopez AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 8:15 am

Another hectic week in the technology space wraps up just as the massive festival for interactive geeks and the marketers who love them — South By Southwest — gets under way in Austin, Texas.

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Media
2:03 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

After Newsweek 'Outs' Purported Bitcoin Founder, Questions Follow

Originally published on Fri April 4, 2014 3:02 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block. The past 36 hours have brought us a splashy cover story claiming to have found the figure behind a shadowy multi-billion dollar enterprise, also a media circus replete with an OJ Simpson-like car chase through the streets of Los Angeles and an army of online debunkers intent on proving the article false.

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Economy
2:03 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

February Jobs Numbers Give Some Economists Reason To Smile

Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 5:29 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block. There was some positive economic news today. Job growth in February was stronger than expected. The government monthly employment report showed 175,000 jobs were added to the economy last month. There were also upward revisions for December and January. As NPR's John Ydstie reports, that improvement comes despite evidence that stormy winter weather may have restrained job growth.

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