Business

Technology
3:04 pm
Sat May 31, 2014

Is There A Driverless Car In Your Future?

Originally published on Sat May 31, 2014 4:20 pm

Earlier this week, Google debuted a fully functional driverless car — one built without a steering wheel or brake pedals. NPR's Arun Rath talks with Brad Templeton, who's advised Google on its car program, about what a future without drivers might look like.

Business
3:04 pm
Sat May 31, 2014

Searching For Something New And Different? Here Are Products To Watch

Originally published on Sat May 31, 2014 5:20 pm

Quixey, a search engine for apps, hopes to challenge Google's place as King of the Internet Search. Ozy.com's Carlos Watson discusses that service and why you should keep an eye on Black & Sexy TV.

Business
11:22 am
Sat May 31, 2014

Regulators And Airlines Fight Over Fares, Fees And Fairness

The government wants airlines to be more up front with passengers about the total cost of tickets.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

This week, the Department of Transportation hit Southwest Airlines with a $200,000 fine for touting a fare that did not exist. The carrier had said in a TV ad that customers in Atlanta could fly to New York, Chicago or Los Angeles for just $59. But the bargain fare turned out to be too good to be true.

Southwest, which paid a fine for a similar problem last year, says the ad was a mistake. The airline pulled it as soon as the error was discovered.

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All Tech Considered
8:49 am
Sat May 31, 2014

With Beats, Apple Buys A Quick Start On Smart Headphones

Richard Sherman of the Seattle Seahawks wears Beats headphones before a preseason football game last August.
John Froschauer AP

Originally published on Mon June 2, 2014 1:39 pm

Apple's purchase of headphone maker Beats By Dre for $3 billion is a big payday for Beats founders Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre. But what's in it for Apple?

Beats By Dre headphones are flashy, cool, a fashion statement. One critic called them the Air Jordans of headwear. Most reviewers, however, say Beats headphones aren't actually that good.

"Every time I've listened to them, I think, 'Oh, right, I really don't like these,' " says Whitson Gordon, editor-in-chief of Lifehacker.com.

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Simon Says
6:29 am
Sat May 31, 2014

Adman Was King Of The One-Liners, But Knew Where To Draw The Line

David Abbott brought strong opinions and a way with words to the advertising industry.
Courtesy of Julian Hanford

Originally published on Sat May 31, 2014 4:29 pm

George Orwell once referred to advertising as "the rattling of a stick inside a swill bucket."

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All Tech Considered
3:20 am
Sat May 31, 2014

Tech Week: C-E-Bros, Diversity Numbers And The Beats Deal

Rapper Dr. Dre is an executive at Apple, now.
Chelsea Lauren Getty Images for BET

The evidence of a lack of gender parity in technology keeps stacking up; this week we saw the fraternity-day emails of Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel and the diversity and gender breakdowns that Google's been reluctant to share. Let's get right into your week in review:

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The Two-Way
2:38 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

SpaceX Unveils A Sleek New Ride To Orbit

SpaceX's new crew capsule was unveiled yesterday.
SpaceX

Yesterday, entrepreneur Elon Musk sauntered on to stage and unveiled his latest product: not a smart phone, but a spaceship.

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The Salt
2:06 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

Oklahoma's Extreme Drought Has Wheat Farmers Bracing For Worst

Fred and Wayne Schmedt say the drought has withered their wheat plants down from an average height of 24 to 30 inches to just 6 to 8 inches.
Joe Wertz StateImpact Oaklahoma

Originally published on Fri May 30, 2014 5:27 pm

Rainfall totals in southwest Oklahoma are more than 3 inches below normal. And that means that the wheat crop grown in brothers Fred and Wayne Schmedt's farm is several inches shorter than normal as well.

Laughter is key to surviving as a farmer here. Fred Schmedt looks out on his field, then down at his legs and laughs at how short the wheat stalks are.

"What would you call that, high-shoe-top high?" he says. "In a normal year — a really good year — it'd be thigh-high. So we're looking at plants that are 6 to 8 inches tall versus 24 to 30 inches tall."

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Business
5:21 am
Fri May 30, 2014

Chinese Entrepreneur Takes Wheeled Luggage A Step Further

Originally published on Fri May 30, 2014 10:36 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And today's last word in business is traveling by suitcase. Maybe you're old enough to remember that moment, not so many years ago really, when somebody finally put wheels on luggage. Life for travelers got so much easier. No more lugging bags through airports and lobbies, down sidewalks. Well, now one Chinese entrepreneur has taken the concept a step further.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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Business
3:27 am
Fri May 30, 2014

IMF Predicts Europe's Economic Growth Will Continue To Be Weak

Originally published on Fri May 30, 2014 10:36 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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Business
3:24 am
Fri May 30, 2014

SpaceX Founder Elon Musk Reveals New Spacecraft

Originally published on Fri May 30, 2014 10:36 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's Business News begins with - not kidding - riding a dragon. Last night, the private spaceflight company, SpaceX, unveiled a new capsule called Dragon to take astronauts into orbit. NPR's Geoff Brumfiel reports that this is part of the company's promise to make spaceflight cheap.

GEOFF BRUMFIEL, BYLINE: When Internet entrepreneur, Elon Musk, announced he was starting a space launch company, there were doubters.

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Planet Money
1:03 am
Fri May 30, 2014

Drone Wars: Who Owns The Air?

Originally published on Thu June 5, 2014 10:50 am

There are lots of entrepreneurs who would love to fly drones — tiny unmanned aircraft — all over the country. They dream of drones delivering packages and taking photos, but there's a battle in the courts right now standing in their way. The battle is about whether it's legal for drones to take to the sky.

The question at the core of the battle: Who owns the air?

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Media
10:01 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

'Period Of Turmoil' Preceded Abramson Firing, Says Top Editor At 'Times'

New York Times Executive Editor Dean Baquet, seen in 2006 while serving as editor of the Los Angeles Times, said in an interview with NPR that he doesn't believe his predecessor, Jill Abramson, was fired because of gender.
Bill Haber AP

Originally published on Fri June 6, 2014 7:57 am

Dean Baquet sat in his new office in Midtown Manhattan, the very picture of composure and precision, as he described the top-level dysfunction that led to the firing of Jill Abramson as executive editor of The New York Times and his promotion to replace her as the top news executive there.

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The Salt
3:37 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

Economic Upswing Has Fewer Americans Receiving Food Stamps

A woman and her daughter shop at a Greenmarket in New York City using Electronic Benefits Transfer, or food stamps. Government data show that fewer people were receiving the benefits in February 2014 than at the peak in December 2012.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 5:11 pm

Critics of the food stamp program have been alarmed in recent years by its rapid growth. Last year, about 1 in 7 people in the U.S. received food stamps, or SNAP benefits, as they're called. That's almost 48 million people, a record high.

But the numbers have started to drop. In February, the last month for which figures were available, 1.6 million fewer people received food stamps than at the peak in December 2012, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which runs the program.

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Economy
2:58 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

The Economy Takes A Dip, But Analysts Look For It To Snap Back

Auto sales rebounded in March and consumer spending remains strong, signs that the economy won't stay down for long, analysts say.
Jonathan Ernst Reuters/Landov

The Commerce Department on Thursday said the U.S. economy shriveled during the icy winter, contracting at a 1 percent pace.

So does that news leave you feeling chilled with disappointment, or revved up for a summer rebound?

How consumers and business owners answer may determine the direction of jobs and economic growth for the back half of 2014.

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Media
2:27 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

For TV Advertisers, A Hunt For Live Audiences

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 5:11 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, BYLINE: Now, if you're a company wanting to buy advertising on television, nowadays you'll find some heavily watched programming more attractive than some other heavily watched programming, for example the old reliable.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIEGEL: A big, live sports event, or a more novel idea, the familiar musical, performed live.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSICAL)

CHORUS: Doe, a deer, a female deer. Ray, a drop of golden sun.

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Environment
2:27 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

Conservatives, Environmentalists Found Common Ground In Cap And Trade

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 5:11 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, BYLINE: Now more about the history of cap and trade and how conservatives and environmentalists came together to establish that approach to reducing emissions. To tell us that story, joining us is C. Boyden Gray who assist in the formulation of the policy during the administration of President George H. W. Bush. He was later U.S. ambassador to the European Union. Ambassador Gray, welcome to the program.

C. BOYDEN GRAY: Thank you very much.

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U.S.
2:27 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

As Oklahoma Drought Continues, Farmers Prepare For Losses

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 5:11 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

The agricultural economies of southern Great Plains states have withered after four years of extreme drought. Farmers in Oklahoma are bracing for one of the worst wheat crops in the state's history. As StateImpact's Joe Wertz tells us, that poor wheat harvest could have national consequences.

JOE WERTZ: Wayne Schmedt adjust's his faded, blue baseball cap and crouches down in a wind-whipped field of stunted wheat.

W. SCHMEDT: We don't have any use for this, so we'll give it to you as a souvenir.

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Economy
2:27 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

Germany's Economy Is Doing Well — And That's Bad For The Eurozone

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 5:11 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, BYLINE: Germany's economy is having a pretty good year so far. Manufacturing is high, unemployment is low. The economy is expanding, and yet the strangest report has recently come out of Europe. It says all of that success is actually a problem for the rest of the Eurozone. Zoe Chase of our Planet Money team wondered why Germany's success isn't considered a good thing.

ZOE CHASE, BYLINE: Germany's got a thing about making stuff the world wants.

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The Two-Way
1:30 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

Ford Recalls 1.4 Million Vehicles For Various Defects

2010 Ford Explorers move through final assembly at the Louisville, Ky., plant. The Explorer is one of several vehicles subject to Thursday's recall.
Sam VarnHagen AP

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 2:33 pm

Ford announced Thursday a recall of some 1.4 million vehicles, including more than 1 million SUVs with a power steering defect and nearly 200,000 Taurus sedans with a corrosion problem. The company also said it was recalling 82,576 sedans with floor mats that could interfere with the accelerator.

The Dearborn, Mich.-based automaker said the recall involves 915,000 Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner SUVs. A separate recall covers 196,000 Ford Explorer SUVs. The SUVs affected are from model years 2008 to 2011.

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All Tech Considered
10:37 am
Thu May 29, 2014

Google's White Male-Heavy Staff Underlines Tech's Diversity Problem

A long line for a men's room at a 2009 tech conference in Omaha, Neb. Photos of this situation have now inspired a Twitter feed.
SleepyJeanne Flickr

Originally published on Mon June 2, 2014 1:38 pm

When it finally published a demographic breakdown of its workforce this week, tech giant Google admitted, "We've always been reluctant to publish numbers about the diversity of our workforce at Google. We now realize we were wrong, and that it's time to be candid about the issues."

This is what the numbers showed: Google's staff is made up of 70 percent men, is 61 percent white, 30 percent Asian, and all other races and ethnicities don't register above 5 percent.

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The Two-Way
7:40 am
Thu May 29, 2014

U.S. GDP Fell 1 Percent; First Drop In 3 Years

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 11:39 am

Revising its early numbers for the first quarter of 2014, the Commerce Department says the U.S. economy shrank by 1 percent at an annualized rate. Last month, estimates of the quarter's gross domestic product had shown a small gain of 0.1 percent.

Government analysts blame the slump on "a significant decline in inventory investment," especially among car dealerships. They also say U.S. exports declined along with spending on housing and government programs.

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Business
5:33 am
Thu May 29, 2014

Apple's Beats Acquisition Could Facilitate Streaming Service

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And with that, our last word in business is winners and losers.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

According to Zack O'Malley, Greenburg of Forbes, thanks to that Beats sale, Dr. Dre stands to surpass Sean Diddy Combs as hip-hop's richest man.

O'MALLEY: We placed Diddy's net worth at 700 million as of a couple of months ago. Dr. Dre was at 550 million.

GREENE: Greenburg says the deal with Apple will likely bump up his net worth between 700 and 800 million.

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Energy
3:32 am
Thu May 29, 2014

Russia-China Natural Gas Deal Likely To Reshape Energy Markets

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 5:33 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep in New York.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene in Washington. Good morning. Let's look now at the shifting balance of power in East Asia. In a moment, we'll hear President Obama's view of a rising China. First we'll report on the implications of China's latest energy deal. China signed an agreement to buy Russian natural gas sent through a pipeline in Siberia. This deal has far-reaching implications as we hear from NPR's Jackie Northam.

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Book News & Features
3:25 am
Thu May 29, 2014

Authors Angered Over Amazon's Dispute With Publisher Hachette

Originally published on Mon June 2, 2014 7:37 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

We've reached a moment that probably shouldn't surprise us when it comes to the modern publishing industry. A lot of people are addicted to buying books online using Amazon. But Amazon is now in a pricing dispute with the publisher Hachette. The online giant is refusing to accept orders for upcoming books from Hachette, which has a heavy-hitting roster of authors. NPR's Mandalit del Barco reports.

MANDALIT DEL BARCO: Some authors are furious at Amazon.

NINA LADEN: They don't really care. It's all about money.

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Business
3:24 am
Thu May 29, 2014

For $3 Billion, Apple Buys Dr. Dre's Beats Electronics

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 5:33 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Apple is moving to the beat. The company's made it official. It's buying Beats Electronics, which streams music and makes the popular Beats headphones. Rumors of this deal leaked earlier this month. All told, Beats came with a $3 billion price tag - the largest acquisition in Apple's history. As NPR's Laura Sydell reports, it's a deal that has some analysts scratching their heads.

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Business
3:22 am
Thu May 29, 2014

Lifting Ban On Crude Oil Exports Would Boost U.S. Economy

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 5:33 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's Business News starts with something a little crude. A new study is recommending the United States end its four-decade ban on crude oil exports. The report by the energy branch of the global consulting firm IHS says ending the ban would lower gasoline prices, create jobs and boost government revenues. NPR's John Ydstie has more.

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The Two-Way
3:34 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

Apple Buys Dr. Dre's Beats Electronics For $3 Billion

Apple announced Wednesday that it is acquiring Beats Electronics for $3 billion. Beats, the headphone and music streaming specialist, also brings the swagger of rapper Dr. Dre and recording impresario Jimmy Iovine.
Michael Dwyer AP

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 5:41 pm

Apple announced Wednesday that it is acquiring Beats Electronics, agreeing to pay $3 billion for the audio equipment and subscription streaming music service founded by Dr. Dre and producer Jimmy Iovine.

While it is relatively small in comparison with major acquisitions made by other tech companies, the deal represents the largest-ever for 38-year-old Apple.

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The Two-Way
2:43 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

Church Group Announces Boycott Of NPR Over 'Tell Me More' Cancellation

The National Black Church Initiative is calling for its members not to give money to NPR in response to the cancellation of Tell Me More, the nationally syndicated show that the company plans to stop producing after July.

"This cancellation disheartens us deeply," NBCI President Rev. Anthony Evans said in a statement. "Tell Me More is a brilliantly formatted radio program that showcases a multitude of viewpoints."

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Business
2:39 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

The Anatomy Of A Corporate Tweet: 140 Characters In 45 Days

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 3:13 pm

Business Insider reporter Aaron Taube recently took a look at the world of corporate social media, where writing a 140-character tweet can take up to 45 days. He explains the long and careful process.

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