Business

Business
3:05 am
Thu March 27, 2014

Wu-Tang Clan Unveils Unique Distribution Model

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 5:56 am

Instead of trying to sell millions of copies of their latest album, the legendary hip-hop artists are just releasing one. They plan to sell it at auction for millions of dollars.

Business
3:05 am
Thu March 27, 2014

Board Rules Athletes At Northwestern University Are Employees

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 5:56 am

The decision still must be approved by the full NLRB board in Washington, D.C. The regional director ruled football players at Northwestern qualify as employees and may therefore unionize.

Business
3:05 am
Thu March 27, 2014

Conn. Lawmakers Pass Minimum Wage Hike Bill

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 5:56 am

Governor Dannel Malloy says he'll sign the measure. Minimum wage workers in the state won't see their check hit $10.10 an hour until 2017.

Paying For College
12:56 am
Thu March 27, 2014

Senator Warns Of A Student Loan Bubble

Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, presents a Senate report on for-profit colleges in 2012. He wants changes to the federal student loan system.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 7:32 am

Each year, the federal government provides more than $150 billion in grants and loans to help students pay for college. And while a bachelor's degree has become increasingly valuable, young people are taking on record levels of debt to earn that degree.

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Business
12:38 am
Thu March 27, 2014

No Sugar High For Wall Street: Candy Crush Maker's IPO Disappoints

A banner for the mobile gaming company King Digital Entertainment is seen outside the New York Stock Exchange during King's initial public offering.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 8:26 am

Candy Crush is played by trying to line up at least three of the same color of candies.

In February, an average of 144 million daily active users got sucked in to the challenge.

Candy Crush is one of more than 180 games made by King Digital Entertainment, and it alone brought in three-quarters of the company's revenue in the last quarter of 2013.

Roger Kay, president of research firm Endpoint Technologies Associates, says to a lot of investors, the game seemed like Farmville, the hit game by Zynga that Zynga can't seem to repeat.

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All Tech Considered
4:56 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

From The Birth Of The iPhone To An Era Of Lawsuits

One of the earliest iPhone prototypes. This system was pieced together to test early versions of the iPhone's software.
Courtesy of Apple

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 6:24 pm

Next week Apple and Samsung are heading back to court. The two technology giants have been locked in an ongoing patent battle for years.

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All Tech Considered
2:56 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

Backlash To Facebook Buying Virtual Reality Firm Comes Swiftly

Attendees wear Oculus Rift HD virtual reality headsets at the Consumer Electronics Show in January.
Robyn Beck AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 9:08 am

When Facebook purchases a company, you can often hear a collective groan go around the Internet — "There goes the neighborhood."

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The Two-Way
1:43 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

Labor Board Rules Northwestern University Players Are Employees

Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter speaks at a January press conference in Chicago.
David Banks Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 4:08 pm

A regional director of the National Labor Relations Board ruled that Northwestern University athletes are employees of the school and are allowed to form a union.

The Associated Press calls the decision "stunning" because it has the potential to completely upend the way college athletics function. The AP adds:

"The Evanston, Ill-based university argued college athletes, as students, don't fit in the same category as factory workers, truck drivers and other unionized workers. The school plans to appeal to labor authorities in Washington, D.C.

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All Tech Considered
11:34 am
Wed March 26, 2014

Getting Your Head Into The Facebook-Oculus Virtual Reality Deal

An attendee wears an Oculus Rift HD virtual reality headset at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
Robyn Beck AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 4:02 pm

Author Howard Rheingold has been thinking about virtual reality tech for decades. He spoke to us on Twitter about Facebook's $2 billion purchase of Oculus VR, the company behind the Oculus Rift headset.

Technology
9:46 am
Wed March 26, 2014

The Changing World Of Tech Requires A Woman's Eye

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 12:09 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Business
4:08 am
Wed March 26, 2014

IRS To Treat Bitcoin As Property, Not Currency

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 5:39 am

The digital currency will be taxed like stocks. The IRS ruling provides some clarity to Bitcoin users and business owners who accept the virtual currency. But it means lots of record keeping.

Energy
3:13 am
Wed March 26, 2014

German Chemical Giant BASF Benefits From Cheap U.S. Natural Gas

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 5:39 am

Thanks to fracking, there is an abundance of natural gas at about a quarter of the European price. This influx of business may be good for the U.S., but it's cause for concern for European leaders.

Business
3:04 am
Wed March 26, 2014

W Hotels Now Offers Social Media Wedding Concierge

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 5:52 am

For just $3,000, the concierge will live tweet your wedding and pester your guests to use a dedicated hashtag throughout the day. And afterwards, you get a collage of the best Instagrams.

Business
3:04 am
Wed March 26, 2014

Houston Ship Channel Partially Reopens After Oil Spill

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 5:39 am

David Greene talks to Mark Holving, captain of the Dutch freighter Avonberg, which was stalled outside the port of Houston. The ship channel was closed after oil spilled from a barge on Saturday.

Business
3:04 am
Wed March 26, 2014

U.S. Box Office Sales Fall Slightly In 2013

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 5:39 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news begins with the incredible shrinking box office.

Americans are not heading to the movies as much as they used to. The Motion Picture Association of America says ticket sales fell off slightly in 2013. To boost audience numbers, theater owners are talking to move the chains and studios about cutting ticket great prices one day a week.

Now, while Americans seem less eager to head to the movies, worldwide box office sales are up by about four percent. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Business
3:04 am
Wed March 26, 2014

Arizona Struggles To Gain Cross-Border Trade With Mexico

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 7:00 am

In 2010, Arizona passed laws aimed at undocumented immigrants. As a result, business relations with Mexico — Arizona's biggest trading partner — began to suffer.

The Salt
1:22 am
Wed March 26, 2014

In Mexico And U.S., Lime Lovers Feel Squeezed By High Prices

A worker unloads a truck full of Mexican limes at a citrus packing plant in La Ruana, in the state of Michoacan, Mexico.
Dario Lopez-Mills AP

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 12:11 pm

Has the price of your margarita cocktail shot up? Guacamole more expensive? Blame it on limes.

About 98 percent of limes consumed in the U.S. come from Mexico. But our neighbors to the south are feeling seriously squeezed by a shortage of the beloved citrus fruit.

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Politics
1:15 am
Wed March 26, 2014

Say Goodbye To The Taxpayer-Funded Political Convention

Ever since the Watergate era, taxpayers have been able to check a box on their federal tax returns and designate a little bit of their tax payment to help finance the presidential campaigns and wean politicians away from big donors.

The public financing program has had its ups and downs. But now President Obama is prepared to sign legislation that, for the first time, takes taxpayer money out of the fund.

First of all, let's pause to reflect on some of the great moments of American political conventions brought to you by presidential matching funds.

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The Two-Way
5:40 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

Facebook Will Acquire Virtual Reality Company For $2 Billion

The Oculus Rift virtual reality goggles make for an immersive experience.
Nan Palmero Flickr

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 6:27 pm

Facebook announced a pretty big purchase on Tuesday: The social media giant said it was acquiring Oculus VR, a company that makes virtual reality goggles, for $2 billion.

The deal includes $400 million in cash and 23.1 million shares of Facebook, which the company values at $1.6 billion.

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Media
2:55 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

Resignation Revives Doubts About Bloomberg China Coverage

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 5:28 pm

Bloomberg News finds itself under unwelcome scrutiny once again, as its parent company's chairman suggests that reporting on the corruption of China ruling elites isn't part of its core mission. A key China editor also revealed this week that he had quit Bloomberg in protest of a decision not to publish a subsequent investigation.

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News
2:16 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

For Advocates And Telephone Companies, NSA Changes Are Welcome News

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 5:28 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

NPR's Steve Henn joins us now to talk about how phone companies are already treating customer data and what that means for how the proposed NSA program might operate. Hi, Steve.

STEVE HENN, BYLINE: Hi.

SIEGEL: And what does this mean that under this proposal the NSA would no longer hold calling records, but would have to go to phone companies to access them?

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The Two-Way
1:00 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

IRS Says It Will Treat Bitcoins As Property, Not Currency

A photo of tokens representing bitcoins.
Rick Bowmer AP

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 1:29 pm

In a new rule released on Tuesday, the Internal Revenue Service says it will treat bitcoin and other virtual currencies as property.

The Wall Street Journal reports this means any profits made on the currency will be taxed at the capital-gains rate and that investors will have to keep extensive records.

The Journal adds:

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Education
3:11 am
Tue March 25, 2014

Maze Of College Costs And Aid Programs Traps Some Families

iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 10:11 am

In the past 20 years, the average burden for a four-year college graduate in the U.S. has gone from about $9,000 to nearly $30,000 today. The percentage of students carrying debt has shot up from less than half to nearly 70 percent these days.

At a large public high school in Freemont, Calif., southeast of San Francisco, Alyssa Tucker and Thao Le sit on a metal table. Both come from families with modest incomes.

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Business
3:06 am
Tue March 25, 2014

Chevron Pizza 'Scandal' Leaves Small Town Divided

Joann Herrington holds up the gift certificate to Bobtown Pizza that she and her husband received from Chevron three days after a natural gas well exploded up the hill from their home in Mount Morris, Pa.
Katie Colaneri WHYY

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 3:05 pm

More than 12,000 people from the Netherlands to San Francisco have signed a petition demanding that Chevron apologize for insulting Bobtown, Pa., after the energy giant responded to an explosion of one of its natural gas wells by giving nearby residents coupons for free pizza.

The explosion killed a young worker.

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Business
3:06 am
Tue March 25, 2014

Disney To Buy YouTube Video Supplier Maker Studios

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 5:33 am

Maker is the leading network for YouTube content creation. The Walt Disney Company will acquire it for $500 million.

Business
3:06 am
Tue March 25, 2014

China's E-Commerce Giant Alibaba To Offer U.S.-Listed IPO

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 5:33 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

The Chinese tech company Alibaba let's you buy and sell online - think Amazon or eBay. Now the Internet commerce giant will have something else in common with those U.S. companies. Alibaba plans to go public in New York later this year.

And as NPR's Steve Henn reports, this could be the biggest initial public offering ever.

STEVE HENN, BYLINE: Just how big is Alibaba? It's huge.

KATHLEEN SMITH: It could be one of the top 20 most valuable companies that are trading in U.S. markets.

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Business
3:06 am
Tue March 25, 2014

Jury Convicts 5 Ex-Madoff Employees Of Securities Fraud

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 5:33 am

A federal court jury in New York found 5 of Bernard Madoff's former employees guilty of fraud. They were accused of enriching themselves by helping the imprisoned financier carry out a Ponzi scheme.

Remembering The Exxon Valdez Oil Spill
1:20 am
Tue March 25, 2014

Why Oil Drilling Is Both Safer And Riskier Since Exxon Valdez

The Ohmsett research facility, which researches oil spill response, was closed just before the Exxon Valdez accident. It was reopened as part of the measures included in the Oil Pollution Act of 1990.
Jeff Brady NPR

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 12:59 pm

A lot has changed for the energy industry since the Exxon Valdez hit a reef in 1989 and began spilling oil into Alaska's Prince William Sound. The outcry over images of oil-soaked wildlife and a once-pristine shoreline dirtied by crude ushered in greater scrutiny of oil operations and increased interest in research on how to clean up oil spills.

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Health Care
1:18 am
Tue March 25, 2014

Hobby Lobby Contraceptive Case Goes Before Supreme Court

Hobby Lobby President Steve Green says the company should not have to provide insurance coverage for IUDs and morning-after pills for its 13,000 employees.
Tony Gutierrez AP

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 8:23 am

The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments Tuesday in the latest challenge to the Obama health care overhaul.

This time the issue is whether for-profit corporations, citing religious objections, may refuse to provide some, or potentially all, contraceptive services in health plans offered to employees. It is a case that touches lots of hot-button issues.

In enacting the ACA, Congress required large employers to provide basic preventive care for employees. That turned out to include all 20 contraceptive methods approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

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The Two-Way
3:26 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

Putin's Out Of The Club For Now: G-8 Is Back To Being The G-7

President Obama and other leaders met in The Hague. Clockwise from bottom left: European Union Council President Herman Van Rompuy, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, French President Francois Hollande, British Prime Minister David Cameron, Obama, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and EU President Jose Manuel Barroso.
Sean Gallup Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 8:02 am

Russia's 20 years of having a seat at the table when leaders of the world's most powerful industrialized nations meet came to at least a temporary end.

President Obama and his counterparts from six other major nations announced in The Hague that because of Russia's actions in Crimea, "we will suspend our participation in the G-8."

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