Business

All Tech Considered
12:27 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

Trouble Ahead? Searching For Google's Future

Google co-founder and CEO Larry Page says the company will place more focus on its key projects.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 24, 2015 4:07 pm

It is hard to imagine a world without the ubiquity of Google, and the tech giant is working hard to keep it that way. Google has perfected the art of search advertising on desktop and laptop, and it controls the widely used Android mobile OS, as well as YouTube and Nest. But is the company nimble enough to capitalize on the next best thing in tech?

Some tech industry observers aren't sure.

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The Two-Way
12:21 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

Obama Vetoes Keystone XL Pipeline Bill

Originally published on Tue February 24, 2015 2:40 pm

Updated at 4:04 p.m. ET

The White House has notified the Senate that President Obama has, as promised, vetoed congressional legislation to approve the Keystone XL pipeline project.

"Through this bill, the United States Congress attempts to circumvent longstanding and proven processes for determining whether or not building and operating a cross-border pipeline serves the national interest," Obama said in the notification to the Senate.

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The Two-Way
9:47 am
Tue February 24, 2015

Eurozone Approves Greek Overhaul Plan

Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the head of the Eurogroup (right) sits next to Roberto Gualtieri, the chairman of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs, during a meeting Tuesday at the European Parliament in Brussels. The European Union's executive branch said the list of Greek reform measures for final approval of the extended rescue loans is sufficiently comprehensive to be a valid starting point.
Geert Vanden Wijngaert AP

European finance ministers have approved Greece's proposed economic reforms and agreed to extend financial assistance to the country by four months.

In a statement, the Eurogroup said it would begin "national procedures" – including parliamentary votes in some member states – to give the deal a final approval.

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Law
4:19 am
Tue February 24, 2015

At Supreme Court, Fashion Collides With Religion In Headscarf Case

Originally published on Tue February 24, 2015 4:56 pm

Fashion collides with religion at the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday. On one side is the retailer Abercrombie & Fitch Stores Inc., and on the other, a teenage job applicant who was highly rated for hiring but then discarded because she wore a Muslim headscarf.

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Business
3:13 am
Tue February 24, 2015

Pacific Northwest Businesses Hurt By West Coast Ports Disruption

Originally published on Tue February 24, 2015 5:48 am

Copyright 2015 Oregon Public Broadcasting. To see more, visit http://www.opb.org.

The Salt
1:51 am
Tue February 24, 2015

Army Corps Project Pits Farmland Against Flood Threat

A truck drives on top of a levee that protects a soybean field in New Madrid County, Mo., when the Mississippi River floods.
Kristofor Husted KBIA

Originally published on Tue February 24, 2015 11:26 am

For years, some small towns and farmers along the Mississippi River have been battling each other over a flood project set up by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

On the western shore, farmers in southeast Missouri need the project to protect their valuable farmland. But small river towns on the eastern side of the river say the project protects those influential farmers at the cost of their small communities. As a last-ditch effort, the opposition to the project is asking the Environmental Protection Agency to kill the project all together.

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Business
1:50 am
Tue February 24, 2015

Analysts Fear A Prolonged Drop In Oil Prices Will Hurt Oklahoma's Banks

Drilling rigs dot the landscape near Calumet, Okla., in April 2013. Oklahoma's economy blossomed during the domestic fracking boom, but as the price of crude oil drops, that could change.
Sue Ogrocki AP

Originally published on Tue February 24, 2015 12:39 pm

In Oklahoma, a state that largely rode out the recession on a gusher of new-found oil, things may be about to change.

Now it costs more to produce most of Oklahoma's oil than it's worth on the world market. That's triggering a sharp economic reversal, one that some say has the makings of a prolonged downturn.

"Over the last five years, the stars really aligned," says Roy Williams, president of the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce. "The community's investment in itself just blossomed, the energy industry blossomed."

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Business
1:46 am
Tue February 24, 2015

How Do You Market To Millennials?

NPR recently asked Southern California millennials to share their thoughts on branding and advertising. One attendee got the word from his mother.
Courtesy of one participant

Originally published on Tue February 24, 2015 8:48 am

For the last few months, NPR has been looking into millennials, as part of our series called New Boom. This group, some 80 million strong, spends over $1 trillion a year by some estimates. So, we wondered: How should brands and advertisers go about reaching millennials if they're so powerful, but also so different, than generations before them?

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U.S.
1:42 am
Tue February 24, 2015

Washington State County Unsure If It Can Take Wave Of North Dakota Crude

Quinault Indian Nation President Fawn Sharp stands on the docks as tribal crabbers unload their catch. The tribe has vowed to fight the oil train-to-ship terminals proposed for Grays Harbor.
Ashley Ahearn KUOW

Originally published on Tue February 24, 2015 12:42 pm

Oil companies in North Dakota are looking for the fastest and cheapest way to get their product to refineries, and they've set their sights on moving more of their product by rail to the Northwest.

There are six new oil terminals proposed for Washington state. Half of them could be built in the small communities around Grays Harbor, a bay on the Pacific coast about 50 miles north of the mouth of the Columbia River.

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The Salt
3:48 pm
Mon February 23, 2015

Acidifying Waters Are Endangering Your Oysters And Mussels

Crew members pull an oyster dredge in Tangier Sound of the Chesapeake Bay near Deal Island, Md., in 2013. A study found that the Chesapeake Bay shellfishery is a "hot zone" for ocean acidification.
Patrick Semansky AP

Bad news for bivalves comes this week from scientists studying ocean acidification.

Ocean water in parts of the world is changing. Its chemistry is very slowly becoming more acidic, like lemon juice, and less alkaline, a la baking soda.

The change so far is small — you wouldn't notice if you swam in the ocean or even drank it (not recommended, in any case). But numerous scientific studies show that it could get worse. One reason is that as humans produce more carbon dioxide, a lot is absorbed into the oceans. That makes the water more acidic.

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Your Money
3:31 pm
Mon February 23, 2015

Reining In Financial Advisers May Help — But Americans Still Aren't Saving

Originally published on Mon February 23, 2015 4:45 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

All Tech Considered
3:31 pm
Mon February 23, 2015

Now You Can Sign Up To Keep Drones Away From Your Property

A staff member from DJI Technology Co. demonstrates a drone in Shenzhen, in southern China's Guangdong province. A new website lets people request that drones stay away from their property.
Kin Cheung AP

Originally published on Tue February 24, 2015 10:12 am

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Business
2:38 pm
Mon February 23, 2015

New Consumer Protections Hold Financial Advisors To Stricter Standards

Originally published on Mon February 23, 2015 4:48 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

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The Salt
11:48 am
Mon February 23, 2015

Freight Farms: How Boston Gets Local Greens, Even When Buried In Snow

Freight Farms are shipping containers modified to grow stacks of hydroponic plants and vegetables — anywhere, 365 days a year.
Courtesy of Freight Farms

The United States imports more than $100 billion of food every year from farms across the globe, often in the big metal shipping containers you see on cargo ships. Now, entrepreneurs are using those shipping containers to grow local produce.

"Freight Farms" are shipping containers modified to grow stacks of hydroponic plants and vegetables. It's a new way for small-scale farmers to grow crops year-round in a computer-controlled environment, even in the middle of the city.

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The Two-Way
10:21 am
Mon February 23, 2015

Obama Wants Rules That Force Brokers To Put Clients' Interests First

Originally published on Mon February 23, 2015 1:03 pm

President Obama wants to change the way brokers and investment advisers offer financial advice, saying the current system leads to high fees that erode returns on investments.

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Planet Money
9:53 am
Mon February 23, 2015

50 Years Of Shrinking Union Membership, In One Map

Quoctrung Bui/NPR

Fifty years ago, nearly a third of U.S. workers belonged to a union. Today, it's one in 10. But the decline has not been the same for every state. Here is a map showing how union membership has changed across the country.

A few notes on the map:

  • In 1964, the Midwest was full of manufacturing jobs and had the highest concentration of union workers in America. That has changed dramatically — both because the share of jobs in manufacturing has fallen, and because fewer of the manufacturing jobs that remain are held by union workers.
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Shots - Health News
8:40 am
Mon February 23, 2015

Administration Bars Health Plans That Won't Cover Hospital Care

Is health insurance that doesn't cover hospital care worth having?
iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon February 23, 2015 9:01 am

The Obama administration has blocked health plans without hospital benefits that many large employers argued fulfilled their obligations under the Affordable Care Act.

Companies with millions of workers, mainly in lower-wage industries such as staffing, retailing, restaurants and hotels that hadn't offered health coverage previously, had been flocking toward such insurance for 2015.

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The Two-Way
8:34 am
Mon February 23, 2015

Honda's President Resigns, After A Troubled Year For Carmaker

Originally published on Mon February 23, 2015 9:32 am

Honda Motor Co., which has struggled with an air bag safety recall and a sales slump, will get a new chief executive this year. Takanobu Ito, who has led Honda since 2009, will leave in June, giving way to Takahiro Hachigo, an executive who began his career as an engineer.

Ito, who has worked at Honda since the late 1970s, will reportedly remain with the company both as an advisor and as a board member. Announcing the move Monday, Honda did not connect Ito's move to the carmaker's recent problems, which range from safety issues to lackluster sales.

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Business
4:24 am
Mon February 23, 2015

Runway Collections Inspired By Vibes From '60s And '70s

Originally published on Mon February 23, 2015 1:36 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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Business
4:17 am
Mon February 23, 2015

White House Moves To Protect Investors From Bad Retirement Advice

Originally published on Mon February 23, 2015 3:51 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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NPR Story
3:02 am
Mon February 23, 2015

New Hospital Buildings Define Future Of Health Care

Originally published on Mon February 23, 2015 9:25 am

Copyright 2015 KERA Unlimited. To see more, visit http://www.kera.org/.

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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Code Switch
6:03 am
Sun February 22, 2015

Pot Policy Splits Native Americans Over Whether Business Is Worth It

David McNew Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 23, 2015 10:23 am

When it comes to marijuana laws, the Justice Department is now treating American Indian tribes the way it treats states that have legalized pot.

The move, announced in December, has inadvertently sparked interest in the marijuana business. While many see dollar signs, others worry about contributing to the impact substance abuse has already had on Indian Country.

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Business
3:10 pm
Sat February 21, 2015

FAA's Proposed Drone Rules Ground Many Commercial Aspirations

Originally published on Mon February 23, 2015 2:47 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

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All Tech Considered
3:10 pm
Sat February 21, 2015

Adobe Photoshop: 'Democratizing' Photo Editing For 25 Years

"Jennifer In Paradise," a photo of Jennifer Walters in Bora Bora in August 1988, was the first color image to ever be Photoshopped. John Knoll used the image of his then-girlfriend (now wife) to demo Photoshop to potential users.
John Knoll

Originally published on Sat February 21, 2015 7:48 pm

This week, the photo editing software Adobe Photoshop turned 25 years old. The program is an industry juggernaut — so famous that the word "Photoshop" has come to be synonymous with image manipulation.

But when the software started, says co-creator Thomas Knoll, it was a personal project. He and his brother John started working on the program in the late 1980s.

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Around the Nation
2:09 pm
Sat February 21, 2015

After Tentative Port Deal, Container Ships Still Line The Horizon

More than $1 billion worth of cargo passes through the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach every day. Labor disputes have stalled operations for weeks now, and ships have been anchored for days.
Daniel Hajek NPR

Originally published on Sat February 21, 2015 6:13 pm

Shipping companies and dock workers reached a tentative deal Friday night after labor disputes jammed the movement of cargo in and out of ports up and down the West Coast.

From a bluff in San Pedro that overlooks the massive ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, you can still see the silhouettes of giant ships that line the horizon.

This is the backlog of container ships anchored out on the ocean.

Down at Pierpoint Landing in Long Beach, captain Kevin Nguyen is at the helm of a Harbor Breeze tour cruise.

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The Two-Way
1:12 pm
Sat February 21, 2015

WATCH: Shipping Around The World In 1:40

Fleetmon.com video of global shipping traffic.
Fleetmon.com

Originally published on Mon February 23, 2015 11:27 am

Given a deal to end to a nine-month slowdown at West Coast ports announced on Friday, we thought now might be the time to promote this new-to-us video from FleetMon.com that gives us a strong representation of just how busy are the world's shipping lanes.

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Technology
6:03 am
Sat February 21, 2015

Apple Must 'Think Different' On Cars, Or Join Ranks Of Failed New Brands

Sears — the Apple of its day for disruption and innovation — sold its own car from 1908 to 1912, before ceding the market to Ford and others. According to one expert, there hasn't been a successful new entrant into the industry in nearly a century. That track record could present a challenge to Apple, which is rumored to be thinking about launching its own line of electric cars.
searsmotorbuggy.com

Originally published on Mon February 23, 2015 8:04 pm

Is Apple about to change our lives again?

The company's stock has been on the rise this week, partly because of a rumor that Apple wants launch a line of cars, and do it by 2020.

Wall Street and Silicon Valley are excited, but people in the car business? Not so much.

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The Two-Way
7:51 pm
Fri February 20, 2015

West Coast Ports, Dockworkers Reach Tentative Deal

A cargo container ship operated by Yang Ming Marine Transport Corp. sits docked Friday at the Port of Tacoma. Negotiators for the two sides in the labor dispute that has snarled international trade at U.S. West Coast seaports reached a settlement late Friday.
Ted S. Warren AP

Originally published on Fri February 20, 2015 9:23 pm

West Coast ports and the labor unions that service them reached a tentative agreement Friday night, NPR's Kirk Siegler reports, potentially ending a nine-month standoff that had snarled the movement of cargo.

Most of the big aspects of a deal — wages, benefits, even maintenance contracts — have been settled for weeks, Kirk says, but some sticking points remained.

"This week the high drama seemed to be over something somewhat minor ... who has the power to hire and fire an arbitration during separate, smaller disputes," he says.

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Planet Money
3:06 pm
Fri February 20, 2015

Bakers And The Birth Of The Minimum Wage

Originally published on Fri February 20, 2015 8:43 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

On January 1, 20 states raise their minimum wage and several states have additional increases planned in the coming months. Yesterday, we learned that Walmart will raise its base pay to $9 an hour this April.

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

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The Salt
1:11 pm
Fri February 20, 2015

Have Big-Box Superstores Helped To Make Us Fat?

A woman pushes a cart at a Costco store in Hackensack, N.J., in 2013. Big-box stores are effective delivery devices for fattening foods, economists argue in a new study.
Ron Antonelli Bloomberg via Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 23, 2015 12:21 pm

The humorist Bill Bryson once wrote that "the purpose of the modern American suburb is to make sure that no citizen is ever more than 500 yards from a food product featuring melted cheese."

That's an exaggeration, but health officials have long worried that our environment of plentiful, cheap and easily accessible calories is contributing to obesity.

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