Business & Education

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When A Game Show Contestant Almost Won Too Much Money

25 minutes ago
Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The federal government released its first overall hospital quality rating on Wednesday, slapping average or below average scores on many of the nation's best-known hospitals while awarding top scores to many unheralded ones.

The Federal Reserve has voted to keep interest rates where they are, but noted that "near-term risks" to the economy have diminished, a sign that a hike is on the horizon.

As was widely expected, the Federal Open Market Committee decided to keep the target for the federal funds rate at a quarter to a half percent. However, a statement released Wednesday afternoon sounded decidedly more optimistic about the economic outlook.

Episode 714: Can a Game Show Lose?

14 hours ago

Imagine you're a contestant on the hit game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? You're on the final question for one million dollars. You think you might know the answer, but you're not certain. The spotlights are beating down on you, the dramatic music is playing, your hands are shaking with adrenaline. In this situation, you are not the only one freaking out. The show's producers are backstage sweating bullets over what you're going to do. It's their job to set up the rules just right, so that there's drama, tension, and the promise of a massive payout...

Last month's vote by the United Kingdom to leave the European Union has left a lot of unanswered questions. One is what will happen to the 2.5 million EU residents who now work in the U.K. Many employers say sending them home would be a disaster for the British economy.

Go into any store or restaurant in Greater London and the chances are good the people working there are from the EU. They teach in Britain's schools, pick its crops and build its houses. They're prominent in finance and medicine.

Trevor Burbank is single, 27 years old, and has been house hunting in Nashville for the last year.

"My rent's going up in August, so I have to figure out what I'm doing," he says.

The last time Burbank looked for a place was five years ago. He decided to use his down payment to start a business instead.

"There was a house that I really liked that was going for $60,000, and I saw the house being sold in the past few months for just shy of $300,000," Burbank says.

The baristas have spoken, and Starbucks is listening: The company says it's loosening its dress code for in-store employees. Yes, the green aprons remain, but you may begin noticing more personal flair underneath.

A company announcement invites baristas "to shine as individuals while continuing to present a clean, neat and professional appearance."

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

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A new White House report on student loan debt reveals that how people repay student loans has changed dramatically in a short time.

The auto industry is watching to see whether Tesla, which has its roots in the tech world of Silicon Valley, can pull off its goal of mass producing cars.

The goal hit a road bump in May when Tesla had its first fatality in a vehicle using Autopilot, a feature it offers that allows the car to do a lot of the driving.

It's supposed to be an assist. Before you engage it, it warns you not to take your hands off the wheel.

Verizon is buying Yahoo for $4.8 billion, acquiring its "core Internet assets" — search, email, finance, news, sports, Tumblr, Flickr — in essence writing the final chapter of one of the longest-running Internet companies.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

A 12-year-old boy named Strazh hangs from the monkey bars, staring at the ground. The other kids in the park in San Francisco aren't interested in him. And he's not interested in them.

"I just like to play by myself," he says.

Strazh has autism. Today is a good day. But on most others, Strazh has meltdowns. Something frustrates him and he can't control his emotions.

"I sometimes end up screaming," he says. "And I end up yelling and screaming."

Continuing its push into Web content and advertising, Verizon is buying Yahoo Inc. for about $4.83 billion in cash, the two companies confirmed Monday morning, ending a purchase process that began months ago.

The deal comes more than a year after Verizon paid $4.4 billion to acquire AOL, in a deal that was viewed as hinging on AOL's ad software and mobile video content.

Why can't kids today just work their way through college the way earlier generations did?

The answer to that question isn't psychology. It's math. A summer job just doesn't have the purchasing power it used to, especially when you compare it with the cost of college.

What Verizon Will Get When It Buys Yahoo

Jul 25, 2016
Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.

Yahoo has found a buyer for its core Internet business: the nation's largest telecom provider, Verizon Communications. The two companies are set to announce a $4.8-billion deal on Monday, according to Bloomberg.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

When you play a game, you have to learn some rules, right? Well, same goes for designing a game. And here's one rule: No idea is too wacky.

Take a game called Unexploded Cow, for instance.

"That's a game where you've discovered two problems with a common solution," says the game's co-creator, James Ernest. "There's mad cows in England and unexploded bombs in the French countryside, and you're going to bring them together and solve everybody's problems by blowing up a bunch of cows. "

Packing your child's lunch calls for a whole different level of preparation in Japan. There, moms often shape ordinary lunch ingredients like ham or rice into cute little pandas, Pokemon or even famous people's faces. It's called character bento, and there's considerable pressure to produce these cute food creations.

Tomomi Maruo has been teaching how to make character bentos, or "kyaraben" for short — at her home for the past 13 years.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.

Summertime means college graduates are on the lookout for work and housing. For those eyeing big city life the trick to paying reasonable rent might mean downsizing — really downsizing.

In coastal cities, where space is scarce and demand is through the roof, there is a new housing trend developing: micro apartments.

Think dorm life, but a little more grown up. Small studio apartments, kitchenettes and beds that fold into the wall to make space.

At Green House Data in Cheyenne, Wyo., energy efficiency is an obsession.

When someone enters one of the company's secured data vaults, they're asked to pause in the entryway and stomp their shoes on a clear rubber mat with a sticky, glue-like finish.

"Dust is a huge concern of ours," says Art Salazar, the director of operations.

That's because dust makes electronics run hotter, which then means using more electricity to cool them down. For data centers, the goal is to use as little electricity as possible, because it's typically companies' biggest expense.

Episode 576: When Women Stopped Coding

Jul 22, 2016

Note: This episode originally aired in October, 2014.

Mark Zuckerberg. Bill Gates. Steve Jobs. Most of the big names in technology are men.

But a lot of computing pioneers, the ones who programmed the first digital computers, were women. And for decades, the number of women in computer science was growing.

But in 1984, something changed. The number of women in computer science flattened, and then plunged.

Facebook just announced the first full-scale test flight of its unmanned, high-altitude airplane, Aquila. The plane isn't finished yet — the 90-minute test flight assessed only its takeoff and low-altitude flying capabilities — but its ultimate goal is to provide wireless Internet to the ground as it flies.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg shared a video of the test flight.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The news that sexual harassment allegations have cost Roger Ailes his job threatens to obscure Ailes' singular career and his almost unrivaled influence in the public sphere.

But no contemporary figure has done more to shape the intersection of American media and politics than Ailes, who, until Thursday, had been the Fox News chief since its very first day on the air in 1996.

In his long career, Ailes advised a succession of Republican presidents on how to gain power and maintain it — both on their payrolls and off the books.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

In an apparent first, a Republican convention speaker on Thursday took the stage during the final, most high-profile night, just minutes before the nominee himself, and uttered these words: "I am proud to be gay."

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