Business

Business
2:42 am
Thu February 28, 2013

Experts Boil Telecommuting Decisions Down To Flexibility Vs. Serendipity

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 10:04 am

Yahoo touched off a debate about the effectiveness of telecommuting when it told employees last week that they may no longer work from home. The policy change was made, according to the company's internal email, to enhance workplace collaboration.

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, who happens to be a new mother, drew fierce criticism from those who say she should embrace, rather than reject, flexible work arrangements.

What exactly is lost and what's gained when people work from home?

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All Tech Considered
3:57 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

As States Embrace Online Gambling, Questions Arise

Internet gambling has become legal in New Jersey and Nevada, but experts say enforcement and regulations still need to be straightened out.
Jim Mone AP

Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 4:35 pm

Several states are rushing to establish a foothold in online gambling — an activity that federal officials were only recently trying to ban.

Just a while ago, the federal government actually viewed online gambling as a crime. Lately, the Obama administration has taken a more permissive stance. It now allows states to sell lottery tickets online.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie had expressed reservations about online gambling a month ago and had vetoed an earlier version of the bill. But in the end, the pressure to sign the legislation was just too great.

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The Salt
3:12 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

Budweiser May Seem Watery, But It Tests At Full Strength, Lab Says

Plaintiffs accuse Anheuser-Busch of misleading consumers about the alcohol content in Bud Light, Budweiser and other products. The brewer denies the claims.
Gary C. Caskey UPI/Landov

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 1:14 pm

Update at 7:35 p.m. ET: Beer Is At Full Strength, Tests Say

Samples of Budweiser and other Anheuser-Busch InBev beers were found to be in line with their advertised alcohol content, according to lab tests conducted at NPR's request. We've rewritten portions of this post to reflect that new information.

Anheuser-Busch is accused of misleading beer drinkers about the alcohol content of Budweiser and other products, in a series of class-action lawsuits filed in federal court.

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Business
12:18 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

Presence Vs. Productivity: How Managers View Telecommuting

Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 12:34 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan, in Washington. The buzz has been building since the leak of an internal Yahoo memo last week on telecommuting. New Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer decided to end the company's work-from-home program. The memo, made public on the website AllThingsD, declares that communication and collaboration will be important, and that starts with physically being together.

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Economy
10:15 am
Wed February 27, 2013

Economists See Budget Cuts Putting The Recovery At Risk

Shipyard workers wait for President Obama to speak about looming automatic federal budget cuts Tuesday in Newport News, Va.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 2:52 pm

Getting economists to agree with each other isn't easy. But Congress and the White House have managed to unite them.

More than 95 percent of top U.S. economists believe growth is "likely to be negatively affected" by the automatic federal spending cuts that are scheduled to kick in Friday, according to the latest survey by the National Association for Business Economics.

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The Salt
8:52 am
Wed February 27, 2013

Cheesecake Factory, IBM Team Up To Crack The Code Of Customer Bliss

A new outpost for The Cheesecake Factory in Bloomfield Hills, Mich.
PR Newswire

Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 9:17 am

Consider the following entirely fictitious but totally plausible scenario:

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Education
4:13 am
Wed February 27, 2013

Colleges Prepare For Automatic Federal Budget Cuts

Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 5:37 am

Colleges and universities are bracing for steep spending reductions in student aid and research funding due to the looming sequestration process. Financial aid offices are scrambling to offset the drop. University researchers say they're already seeing delays in federal grant making.

Economy
4:13 am
Wed February 27, 2013

Across-The-Board Cuts Make Sequester Uniquely Painful

Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 5:37 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

And I'm Linda Wertheimer.

When people talk about the deep federal budget cuts, that are scheduled to take effect on Friday, they often come back to the same phrase. It's popped up on our air dozens of times in the last few weeks.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #1: Across-the-board spending cuts.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #2: An ax across-the-board.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #3: Across-the-board.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Across-the-board.

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Around the Nation
4:13 am
Wed February 27, 2013

Sequester Cuts Free Some Immigration Detainees

Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 5:37 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency has released hundreds of immigration detainees ahead of Friday's sequester deadline. The decision was made to help bring down the agency's budget, in light of the automatic spending cuts. ICE officials are getting both praise and a lot of heat for the unusual move. NPR's Ted Robbins has the story.

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Politics
4:13 am
Wed February 27, 2013

Sequester Politics In The News

Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 5:37 am

Usually when we come up to the edge of one of these deadlines there are 11th-hour negotiations, and the two parties manage to swerve away from the precipice at the last minute. What about this time?

Business
4:13 am
Wed February 27, 2013

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 5:37 am

Renee Montagne and Linda Wertheimer have the Last Word in business.

Your Money
1:41 am
Wed February 27, 2013

Americans Earn More Than Their Parents (With A Caveat), Study Says

Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 5:54 am

Most Americans are earning more money than their parents, according to a new study from Pew's Economic Mobility Project. But those gains don't tell the whole picture.

Let's start with the good news. The Pew Charitable Trust study looked at actual pairs of children and parents. Around age 40, 83 percent of the children were earning at least a thousand bucks more than their parents were when they were 40.

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Working Late: Older Americans On The Job
1:02 am
Wed February 27, 2013

At 85, 'Old-School' Politician Shows No Signs Of Quitting

Wisconsin state Sen. Fred Risser at the state Capitol.
Narayan Mahon for NPR

Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 6:16 pm

Increasingly, people are continuing to work past 65. Almost a third of Americans between the ages of 65 and 70 are working, and among those older than 75, about 7 percent are still on the job. In Working Late, a series for Morning Edition, NPR profiles older adults who are still in the workforce.

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The Two-Way
3:18 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

GM Denies Asking For $2.1 Million Pay Raise For CEO Dan Akerson

General Motors Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Dan Akerson.
Bill Pugliano Getty Images

General Motors Co. said today that its Chief Executive Dan Akerson will not take a pay raise this year.

Documents filed with the House Committee On Oversight and Government Reform showed that GM was asking the U.S. government to OK a $2.1 million raise for Akerson. The government still owns part of GM and when the automaker took a $49.5 billion bailout, it agreed to have executive pay approved by government.

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All Tech Considered
2:00 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

Is There Room For Smartphones Beyond Android And iOS?

Smartphones based on Ubuntu, a Linux-based operating system, are expected in 2014.
Canonical

Between them, Google Android and Apple's iOS account for more than 90 percent of U.S. smartphone sales, with Windows Phone, BlackBerry and a few smaller players rounding out the mobile market. But the tech world never stands still and other players are making a run for a piece of the growing mobile pie.

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The Salt
12:23 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

How The Food Industry Manipulates Taste Buds With 'Salt Sugar Fat'

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 10:46 am

Dealing Coke to customers called "heavy users." Selling to teens in an attempt to hook them for life. Scientifically tweaking ratios of salt, sugar and fat to optimize consumer bliss.

In his new book, Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Michael Moss goes inside the world of processed and packaged foods.

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It's All Politics
12:08 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

Obama's Sequester Gamble: What If Nobody Notices?

President Obama speaks about the sequester on Feb. 19.
Charles Dharapak AP

President Obama has for weeks warned congressional Republicans and the American public of the dangers facing the nation from the sequester budget cuts.

Failing to reach a deal between the White House and Congress by Friday could lead to some young children being dropped from Head Start, the FBI furloughing agents and fewer food inspectors, according to the president.

If the cuts unleash these and other harms, like longer lines at airports, Congress and voters won't be able to say they weren't warned.

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All Tech Considered
11:47 am
Tue February 26, 2013

Among Oscars Fanfare, Visual Effects Industry Faces Difficult Times

Bill Westenhofer, winner of best visual effects for Life of Pi, said backstage that the business model of the visual effects industry needs to change.
Vince Bucci AP

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 5:37 pm

In a business where effects-laden movies helped Hollywood make a record-setting $10.8 billion last year, many of the studios that create those effects are barely staying afloat.

Visual effects have been a part of the movie industry ever since Georges Melies went on his famous Trip to the Moon in 1902. These days, VFX studios do everything from putting a tiger in a lifeboat on an ocean voyage to choreographing the destruction of a New York City being defended by Earth's mightiest heroes.

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The Two-Way
10:19 am
Tue February 26, 2013

FDIC Says In 2012, Banks Posted Second-Best Earnings On Record

Martin Gruenberg, Acting Chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), testifies during a U.S. House Financial Services Committee hearing on Capitol Hill on June 19, 2012.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Profits for U.S. banks skyrocketed in 2012, a report from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. finds today.

According to Bloomberg, U.S. banks made $141.3 billion in net income last year. That is the "second-best earnings on record." The best year was 2006, when banks reported $145.2 billion in earnings.

The AP explains:

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The Two-Way
8:27 am
Tue February 26, 2013

Home Sales, Consumer Confidence And Bernanke All On Positive Side

Today's economic indicators all point up:

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The Salt
6:09 am
Tue February 26, 2013

Oxfam Gives Big Food Companies Bad Behavior Grades

Oxfam's "report card" evaluates giants of the supermarket aisle on their commitment to social and environmental issues.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 7:42 am

Do failing grades inspire more effort? Oxfam hopes so. The activist group on behalf of the poor has just handed out report cards to 10 of the world's top food companies, grading their commitments to protect the environment and treat people fairly.

Oxfam doesn't grade on the curve, evidently. Every company flunked. But two European-based companies, Nestle and Unilever, were at least better than the others.

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Economy
3:21 am
Tue February 26, 2013

Shipyard Workers Worry About Sequestration Furloughs

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 7:44 am

Military communities are keeping a wary eye on the sequester debate in Washington, D.C. In Maine, employees of the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard have already been dealing with budget cuts. Now they could face furlough days as well. The smaller payroll could send shock waves through the local economy.

Television
3:21 am
Tue February 26, 2013

CBS Continues New TV Formula With 'Golden Boy'

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 7:44 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Real life crime and court scenarios are often plot lines for television shows. And since there aren't enough new hit dramas this season, CBS is staying competitive with its old standbys, crime procedurals, like "The Mentalist" and "NCIS."

TV critic Eric Deggans says the network is also trying something new, with a show that premieres tonight.

ERIC DEGGANS: In some ways, the new drama "Golden Boy" seems like a serious Hail Mary pass for CBS.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW "GOLDEN BOY")

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Business
3:21 am
Tue February 26, 2013

Has The Nook Saved Barnes & Noble From Going The Way Of Borders?

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 7:44 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Barnes & Noble Chairman and chief stockholder, Leonard Riggio, is looking into the possibility of buying the company's retail book business, but not the Nook, the e-book, the company had staked it future on.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

That news comes as the company is set to release its third quarter earnings on Thursday. Barnes & Noble has already signaled the report will be disappointing, especially with the e-reader.

NPR's Lynn Neary reports on the future of the bookstore chain.

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Business
3:21 am
Tue February 26, 2013

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 7:44 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

If you were to open a new brick-and-mortar bookstore, New York City would be a very pricey place to do it. Manhattan boasts some of the world's most valuable land - and, as it turns out - air. And that is our last word in business this morning.

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Business
3:21 am
Tue February 26, 2013

Business News

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 7:44 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with a Fed status update.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is in front of the Senate Banking Committee this morning. It's his semi-annual report to Congress.

And Bernanke is facing questions, as he has for years, about the Fed's bond buying program that's been pumping money into the economy and keeping interest rates low. Some lawmakers fear this policy could eventually cause inflation.

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All Tech Considered
1:25 am
Tue February 26, 2013

Seeking A 'Field Of Dreams' For A Rising Drone Industry

Joe Kummer, president of Propulsive Wing in Elbridge, N.Y., is rooting for having a drone test site in upstate New York. He says it could save him trips to the West Coast to try out new drone prototypes.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 9:18 am

In three years, the federal government is expected to open the skies for the civilian use of drones. But before that, the Federal Aviation Administration will set up six drone test sites around the country. Stiff competition to get one of the sites is anticipated — driven by hopes of attracting thousands of new jobs.

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Business
1:21 am
Tue February 26, 2013

Technology Upends Another Industry: Homebuilding

The recession forced Mid-Atlantic Builders Executive Vice President Stephen Paul to cut the company's staffing. But he says the firm is being efficient with half the original number of employees.
Marie McGrory NPR

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 7:44 am

Years into the economic recovery, hiring remains slow. Many businesses learned to do more with less during the recession, so they don't need to bring on as many people now.

These new efficiencies have led to what economists call "labor displacement," which is taking place around the country. One business in Rockville, Md., is doing the same amount of work with half its original staff.

Two things are noticeably absent from the offices of Mid-Atlantic Builders: people and paper.

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Economy
3:53 pm
Mon February 25, 2013

Too Soon To Blame Payroll Tax For Stagnant Retail Sales?

Wal-Mart is one of several large retailers that say an increase in the payroll tax may hurt U.S. sales in the months ahead.
Daniel Acker Bloomberg via Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 5:23 pm

For Darden Restaurants, the company behind Olive Garden and Red Lobster, its earnings projections out last week were not pretty. Sales will fall, it said, and company CEO Clarence Otis called higher payroll taxes a "headwind."

After a two-year tax break, the payroll tax, which funds Social Security payments, went back up to 6.2 percent on Jan. 1. The 2-percentage-point increase is an extra $80 a month in taxes for someone earning $50,000 a year.

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Business
3:01 pm
Mon February 25, 2013

To Become 'One Yahoo,' Tech Company Bans Telecommuting

Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 5:23 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish, and it's time now for All Tech Considered.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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