Business

The Two-Way
8:53 am
Fri February 28, 2014

Economy Grew Less Than Thought As 2013 Came To A Close

Originally published on Fri February 28, 2014 10:32 am

The U.S. economy grew at a 2.4 percent annual rate in fourth-quarter 2013, the Bureau of Economic Analysis said Friday, as it significantly cut its estimate of how much gross domestic product grew during the last three months of the year.

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Economy
5:21 am
Fri February 28, 2014

CBO Assesses Affordable Care Act's Economic Effects

Originally published on Fri February 28, 2014 7:27 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

On a Friday, this is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm David Greene.

The Affordable Care Act will change the way millions of Americans think about their jobs. That's essentially what the Congressional Budget Office has said in its assessment of the law's effect on the economy. They think the law will give some people the option to retire early and others the flexibility to work less.

As NPR's John Ydstie reports, this is already happening.

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All Tech Considered
3:30 am
Fri February 28, 2014

A Smartphone That Tries To Slip You Off The Grid

The Blackphone, an Android software-based mobile, encrypts texts, voice calls and video chats.
Albert Gea Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Mon March 3, 2014 10:24 am

Mike Janke used to be a Navy SEAL sniper. These days he's taking on the government and corporate America. He's the founder of Blackphone, an Android-based smartphone with privacy as its main selling point.

It's not NSA-proof — in that everything is hackable if you try hard enough. But Janke says it's taking on the entire mobile economy that lets law enforcement and companies in way too easily.

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The Two-Way
6:12 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

Yellen Acknowledges Weaker Economic Data; Markets Rally

Federal Reserve Board Chair Janet Yellen gestures as she testifies during a Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee hearing while delivering the Federal Reserves semiannual Monetary Policy Report on Capitol Hill Thursday.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Citing "softness" in the U.S. economy, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen told a Senate panel today that the Fed will try to determine if the results are a new trend or are related to this winter's intense cold and storms. Analysts are seeing her comments as signaling a potential shift in the "tapering" of the Fed's stimulus program.

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Around the Nation
5:46 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

Telework: Not Just For Moms And Millennials

New research finds that 3 out of 4 remote workers are men.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri February 28, 2014 12:37 pm

Many people may think of a "remote worker" as a harried mom in her bathrobe or a 20-something at a coffee shop. But that image doesn't actually reflect who is working outside the office, according to a new study.

"A remote worker, someone who does most of their work outside of their employer's location, is not a woman, is not a parent and is not a Gen-Y millennial," says Cali Williams Yost, a workplace flexibility strategist and CEO of the Flex+Strategy Group.

A Remote-Working Gender Gap

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Business
4:07 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

Wipe Off That Mustache, Milk's Got A New Slogan

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 7:57 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

If a food label doesn't move you to make a certain food choice, maybe a good marketing campaign can. For the dairy industry, the last couple of decades has meant lots of milk mustaches on celebrities from Britney Spears to Susan Sarandon, Harrison Ford to Shaquille O'Neal. The ad showing off the milk-framed pouts and smiles, also feature two words: got milk? Well, the slogan and the milk mustaches are drying up.

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All Tech Considered
2:55 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

'Rent It Out': Portlandia Spoofs The Sharing Economy

In one episode of Portlandia, Carrie Brownstein and Fred Armisen started a grass-roots campaign to prevent the Olympics from ever coming to Portland.
IFC

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 5:16 pm

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The Two-Way
11:36 am
Thu February 27, 2014

Any Way It's Measured, Tesla's $5B 'Gigafactory' Is Huge

Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 1:31 pm

Just how big a deal is the "gigafactory" that Tesla Motors says it's going to build to make batteries for its electric cars?

-- It's projected to cost $5 billion between now and the year 2020. Tesla expects to invest about $2 billion. Partners — who it's rumored could include Apple and Panasonic — would invest the rest.

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Planet Money
11:02 am
Thu February 27, 2014

The Price Of A Pizza In 237 U.S. Neighborhoods

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Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 2:44 pm

Yesterday, we crunched thousands of pizza prices from around the country, and argued that you should always buy a bigger pizza. (And in a separate post, we presented the case against buying a bigger pizza.)

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The Two-Way
8:54 am
Thu February 27, 2014

Jobless Claims Jump Up, Orders For Durable Goods Fall Off

Thursday's economic news isn't great:

-- There were 348,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance filed last week, up 14,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration says.

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Business
5:59 am
Thu February 27, 2014

Sriracha-Maker Given More Time To Contain Spicy Fumes

Sriracha chili sauce bottles are produced at the Huy Fong Foods factory in Irwindale, Calif.
Nick Ut AP

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 2:40 pm

The saga over the darling of the condiment world, Sriracha, continues.

The popular hot sauce in the rooster bottle is made by Huy Fong Foods in the Los Angeles suburb of Irwindale. The city has had to balance its need for business success against complaints from some residents about spicy fumes from the plant.

Wednesday night, after a contentious hearing, Irwindale's city council decided to give Huy Fong a bit more time to figure out how to contain those fumes.

The Sauce America's Hot For

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Business
4:20 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Swiss Bank Finds Itself Under American Scrutiny

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 12:08 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Top executives at one of Switzerland's biggest banks said today they're sincerely trying to prevent tax evasion by U.S. citizens. They also said conflicting laws in the two countries make it almost impossible to do that. The chief executive of Credit Suisse appeared before the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, which has been looking into the use of secret Swiss bank accounts by Americans.

Here's NPR's Jim Zarroli.

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All Tech Considered
12:50 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

If You've Ignored Bitcoin Up Until Now, This One's For You

No, these aren't real bitcoins (just Bitcoin buttons). Fans of the virtual currency see several real benefits, including the elimination of fees for transferring money.
Frank Jordans AP

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 4:05 pm

One of Bitcoin's largest trading exchanges shut down Tuesday, and you probably couldn't care less.

So what if rumors are circulating that millions of dollars' worth of Bitcoin are stolen? If you don't understand Bitcoin in the first place, it's hard to figure out why this matters. So we're using this as an opportunity to go back to the basics: what this b-word means, where it came from and why it just might matter.

The Birth Of Bitcoin

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Planet Money
11:22 am
Wed February 26, 2014

74,476 Reasons You Should Always Get The Bigger Pizza

Somebody check the cheese.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 5:28 pm

One day last year, an engineer and I went to a pizza place for lunch. The engineer told me he wasn't very hungry, but he said he was going to get the 12-inch medium instead of the 8-inch small — because the medium was more than twice as big as the small, and it cost only a little bit more. This sort of blew my mind.

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Planet Money
10:59 am
Wed February 26, 2014

One Reason To Get Whatever Size Pizza You Want

Guillaume Meyer AFP/Getty Images

My Planet Money colleague Quoctrung Bui argues that you should always buy a larger pizza. Using a fancy infographic, he shows that often for just a small amount of money, you can get a lot more pizza.

The only problem with his argument: negative marginal returns on pizza.

That's just a geeky way of saying that, at some point, more pizza is actually worse than less pizza.

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Books News & Features
7:16 am
Wed February 26, 2014

When It Comes To Women's Writing, How Do Publications Stack Up?

For the fourth year in a row, VIDA has tallied up the gender breakdown in prominent literary journals — counting both reviewers and authors.
Peter Mautsch iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 10:21 am

If it seems like male authors get more attention, there are hard numbers to back that up: The VIDA count.

VIDA is a women's literary organization, and the "count" is the result of eight months spent tracking gender disparity in leading publications. VIDA tallies the gender of authors whose books are being reviewed as well as the gender of those doing the reviewing.

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Economy
4:19 pm
Tue February 25, 2014

Massive Digital Heist Allegedly Hits Bitcoin Market

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 4:09 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

The digital currency bitcoin has hit a major hurdle. A leading exchange for bitcoin has halted all transactions and has frozen customer accounts. This exchange is called Mt. Gox. And earlier today, it temporarily disappeared from the Internet. The happened amidst reports that Mt. Gox was hit by an alleged theft that could amount to about six percent of all the bitcoins in circulation.

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Money Coach
11:45 am
Tue February 25, 2014

Understanding How Employers May Change Your Retirement Fund

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 12:45 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Now we turn from government finance to personal finance. As fewer and fewer American workers receive traditional pension benefits, many are looking to 401(k)s to support them after they leave the workforce. The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that 88 million Americans now have these accounts. But now some employers are changing the way those accounts are handled, and that could force workers to reassess how to prepare for retirement.

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Governing
11:45 am
Tue February 25, 2014

Who's Paying For Detroit's Recovery Plan?

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 12:45 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. We've been following circumstances in Detroit for some time now as the city tries to figure out how to deal with its massive and mounting financial problems. Now there is a new plan to restructure the city's 18 billion dollars of debt, and this plan may have a lot to do with shaping the Detroit of the future. Detroit Free Press columnist Rochelle Riley is back with us to tell us more. Welcome back, Rochelle. Thanks so much for joining us once again.

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The Two-Way
10:24 am
Tue February 25, 2014

Book News: Bernanke Writing A Book On The Fed And The Great Recession

Ben Bernanke is seen leaving his Washington, D.C., office on Jan. 31, his last day as chairman of the Federal Reserve.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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The Two-Way
10:07 am
Tue February 25, 2014

After 'Best Year Since 2005,' Housing Sector Likely To Slow

A home for sale earlier this month in San Francisco.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Home prices across 20 of the nation's major metropolitan areas rose 13.4 percent in 2013 from the year before, according to the latest S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index report.

Overall, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices economist David Blitzer, the index "ended its best year since 2005" — well before the burst of the housing bubble in 2007-08.

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The Two-Way
7:06 am
Tue February 25, 2014

Bitcoin Exchange Mt. Gox Goes Dark After Theft Report

Kolin Burges, a self-styled cryptocurrency trader and former software engineer, was among a small number of protesters outside the Tokyo offices of bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox on Tuesday.
Toru Hanai Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 4:10 pm

"The website of major bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox was offline Tuesday amid reports it suffered a debilitating theft, a new setback for efforts to gain legitimacy for the virtual currency," The Associated Press reports.

Also Tuesday, all the posts had been erased from the Mt. Gox Twitter account.

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Education
3:32 am
Tue February 25, 2014

The Business Of Frats: Shifting Liability For Trauma And Injury

Students walk past the Phi Kappa Theta fraternity house at San Diego State University after news that a student had died there on April 20, 2012.
Sandy Huffaker Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 3:55 pm

For those of you keeping track of the headlines detailing sexual assault and hazing at frat houses, it may come as no surprise that fraternities have a dark side. Caitlin Flanagan, a writer at The Atlantic, spent a year investigating Greek houses and discovered that "the dark power of fraternities" is not just a power over pledges and partygoers but one held over universities as well.

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Business
4:00 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

Netflix Pays Comcast To Ensure Its Videos Stream Smoothly

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 8:02 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Netflix is hoping that a deal it has struck with Comcast will mollify some of its unhappy customers. The company announced yesterday that it will pay to connect Comcast's broadband network more directly. That means Netflix customers should get faster, smoother access to programs like "House of Cards." The deal could serve as a model to help the company resolve disputes with other big Internet service providers.

NPR's Jim Zarroli reports.

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Planet Money
10:17 am
Mon February 24, 2014

Four Decades Of Taxes And Spending, In 2 Graphs

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Originally published on Tue March 4, 2014 10:45 am

In 1974, federal taxes were equal to about a sixth of the U.S. economy. In 2013, after decades of heated debate, federal taxes were equal to ... about a sixth of the economy.

In the early '70s, federal spending was about a fifth of the economy. The same was true in 2013.

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Business
5:05 am
Mon February 24, 2014

Apps That Allow You To Post Anonymously Gain Popularity

Originally published on Wed April 30, 2014 12:40 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

All right. Let's take a few minutes to think about social networking and identity. Do you remember when on the Internet, anonymity was the norm? Well, Facebook changed all that by forcing users to use their real names.

Now, with our reputations on the line, we often think long and hard about what to post or not post online.

NPR's Kevin Leahy tells us about a new market for social apps that let you share, like and chat without ever revealing who you are.

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Around the Nation
5:05 am
Mon February 24, 2014

Pentagon Officials To Outline Defense Budget Priorities

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 7:34 am

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel will outline budget priorities during a news conference on Monday. A key question for the Pentagon: How to curb growth of military pay and benefits?

All Tech Considered
1:02 pm
Sun February 23, 2014

A Father Plays Call Of Duty With His Son, Watched By Thousands

Jason Munkel and his father stream their Call of Duty games online every night. In the past year, they've gained more than 120,000 followers.
Twitch/Activision

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 3:59 pm

Jason Munkel and his father Bill are 39 years apart in age, but since last year, they've been sitting down together to play Call of Duty: Ghosts almost every night.

They also broadcast their gameplay to more than 120,000 followers, who watch the father-son duo pursue and shoot enemies on the screen, and talk to them during the game. Sometimes they do this for six to seven hours a day, and their audience has grown dramatically in just one year, though not all watch every day.

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The New And The Next
5:00 pm
Sat February 22, 2014

Making The Coffee Shop Your Office, Without The Guilt

iStockphoto

Originally published on Sat February 22, 2014 7:18 pm

The online magazine Ozy covers people, places and trends on the horizon. Co-founder Carlos Watson joins All Things Considered regularly to tell us about the site's latest feature stories.

This week, Watson talks with host Arun Rath about pay-as-you-go coffee shops popping up around the world that offer a place to work "without any kind of moral shame" or pressure to spend money on coffee and snacks.

They also discuss how the rise of the bioscience sector in Cleveland is revitalizing the city's economy.

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Economy
4:21 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

Meeting Minutes Show Human Side To Fiscal Crisis

Originally published on Fri February 21, 2014 7:53 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The Federal Reserve today released transcripts of its meetings in 2008, back when the financial crisis was unfolding. The documents show Fed policymakers struggling to understand and respond to failing Wall Street banks and the global financial system in turmoil. NPR's John Ydstie has been reading through the transcripts and joins us now. Hey there, John.

JOHN YDSTIE, BYLINE: Hi, Audie.

CORNISH: So we've had these minutes, at least, right, from most of these meetings for years. What do we learn from the transcripts?

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