And now to Google, which is looking for some hackers to ride to the top in an unusual competition. Our last word in business is: pi contest, as in 3.14.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
Three point one four, that's the amount in millions of dollars that Google is offering in what its Podium Hacking Contest. The challenge here is to hack the Google Chrome operating system and expose security flaws.
Travis McCoy is the product manager for Chrome and we asked him why pi.
Something tells me a few people may be hoisting a few cold ones on Sunday. One hundred ten million people are expected to tune into the Super Bowl then. And, of course, it's not just the game that attracts people, it's also the ads. Viewers who watched the 1984 Super Bowl may not recall who won the game, but they may well remember the ad that Ridley Scott directed for Apple. And you may not recall very many plays from last year's Super Bowl, but I bet you heard about the Chrysler ad starring Clint Eastwood.
Netflix customers will soon have a new option: Along with the company's usual offerings, viewers will be able to watch a new show called House of Cards, a political drama adapted from a British show, and starring Kevin Spacey. David Fincher (known for The Social Network and Seven) will direct the first two episodes. But what's new about House of Cards is that all 13 episodes will be available at once — and they were financed by Netflix itself.
You're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.
Making a living in commercial fishing in the Northeast has gotten tougher with each passing year. Now, regulators have announced strict new limits on the amount of cod fishermen can haul in from Massachusetts to Maine. It's part of an effort to rebuild severely depleted fish stocks.
As Maine Public Radio's Jay Field reports, some fishermen worry the new restrictions may finally put them out of business for good.
Melissa spent months looking for a job — any job. For days, the 25-year-old consistently visited her welfare-to-work program in downtown Brooklyn, resume in hand and an interview smile splashed across her face.
"Every day, Monday through Friday, 9 to 4," she explains. "That's dedication."
Melissa, who asked us to not reveal her last name, has plenty of job experience. She's a self-identified "people person" and says she aces every interview. But there's just one thing holding her back: the past.
Officially as of last week, there's nothing quite like Apple's stores. After an array of patents of its products, Apple has decided to go whole hog and trademark its minimalist store design. The trademark was approved by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Jan. 22, Reuters reported.
A $20.1 billion merger of beer conglomerates is now delayed, after the U.S. Justice Department sued to stop Anheuser-Busch InBev's acquisition of Mexico's dominant brewer, Grupo Modelo, Thursday. The agency's antitrust division says the two corporations haven't done enough to protect consumers.
The deal would put Corona, Bud Light, Stella Artois, and other popular beers under the same corporate umbrella, ending the competition that Justice officials say has resulted in lower prices. The Mexican government approved the merger last November.
Americans' personal incomes grew by 3.5 percent in 2012, compared with 5.1 percent growth the year before, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reports. And it says consumer spending rose 3.6 percent last year, vs. 5 percent in 2011.
It may sound like a line from The Godfather, but some agricultural specialists advise that farming isn't personal; it's business. And family farms need to think and act more like a business to survive in a competitive world, says Bernie Erven, professor emeritus in the department of agricultural economics at Ohio State University.
Originally published on Thu January 31, 2013 5:36 am
BlackBerry has unveiled a new smarthphone that it hopes will woo back the many customers it lost in the past few years. Among its strategies, the company appointed singer Alicia Keys as its global creative director. But in the last few days Keys was found to be tweeting from an iPhone, one of BlackBerry's big rivals.
NPR's business news starts with advertisers liking Facebook.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
MONTAGNE: Facebook says its mobile advertising business nearly doubled from the third to fourth quarter of 2012. As a whole, the company's ad business grew at its fastest rate since it went public last May.
Originally published on Thu January 31, 2013 5:11 am
The economy shrank a bit in the fourth quarter and analysts are trying to figure out why. It's clear that declines in business inventories and government spending played a role, but was the real problem the narrowly averted fiscal cliff?
Originally published on Thu January 31, 2013 4:47 am
Chinese computer company Lenovo has become the world's biggest seller of personal computers. Steve Inskeep talks to Vijay Vaitheeswaran, a correspondent for The Economist, about his recent article in the magazine on the rise of Lenovo.
Note: We originally published a version of this post a few weeks ago. We are republishing it now to coincide with our story airing today on Morning Edition.
All kinds of proposals to reduce gun violence have been floated recently. One idea that has gotten the attention of economists is liability insurance. Most states require car owners to have liability insurance to cover damages their vehicles cause to others; some economists think we should require the same of gun owners.
We reached out to a few economists to get their thoughts.
Boeing is scrambling to figure out why batteries malfunctioned on its 787, prompting officials to ground the airplane this month. And at a time when Boeing most needs its skilled engineers, they're weighing a possible strike. Union leaders are considering the company's final contract offer.
The standoff between Boeing and about 23,000 engineers and technicians — mostly in the Seattle region — has been brewing for months. Dozens of them recently packed a union hall south of Seattle for training in how to run a picket line.
It's no secret that Research In Motion is in trouble. The tablet device it released in 2011 did so poorly the company took a $485 million hit. Android phones and Apple's iPhone have left the company in the technology graveyard.
It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep, with Renee Montagne. Good morning.
Let's try again, shall we, to explain what it means when we hear that the U.S. economy shrank in the fourth quarter of 2012. As we've discussed elsewhere in the program, the decline was slight - just one-tenth of a percentage point - but it is the first contraction of the economy since the Great Recession officially ended in 2009. NPR's Jim Zarroli is with us once again in New York. Jim, good morning.
Originally published on Wed January 30, 2013 4:42 pm
If you've earned a paycheck in recent years, you'll probably want want to know about this:
The Equifax credit reporting agency, NBC News reports, has collected 190 million employment and salary records on about one-third of U.S. adults and has sold some of the information "to debt collectors, financial service companies and other entities."
And there was a time only a few years ago when the BlackBerry was the undisputed champion of the smartphone market - a title now held by Apple's iPhone or the Samsung Galaxy. After years of falling sales and strategic blunders, the company that many have already written off, is unveiling a new device today. It's called the BlackBerry Z10.
And to talk about whether it can save the company, we called Rich Jaroslovsky. He's technology commentator for Bloomberg News.
The Ford Motor Company also announced its earnings yesterday, saying it had a pre-tax profit of $8 billion for 2012. And that gives union employees a reason to celebrate. They will each get a profit sharing check of $8,300 - a record high amount.
There's also some good news coming for General Motors workers, as Michigan Radio's Tracy Samilton reports.
OK. In the next few days, cable companies announce how they did financially in 2012. Most industry watchers expect some negative trends to continue. More people are canceling their cable subscriptions. They are called cord cutters, because they are getting TV from the Internet and over the air, not their cable cords. But they're not the only problem the cable industry needs to worry about. NPR's Neda Ulaby reports.