Business & Education

All Tech Considered
1:58 am
Wed January 1, 2014

Banks Try To Save Big With 'ATMs Of The Future'

An ATM at a Chase lobby in New York is part of what company executives are touting as a "branch of the future" — a place where machines distribute exact change and count cash so tellers don't have to.
Mary Altaffer AP

Originally published on Wed January 1, 2014 10:42 am

There's a drive-thru ATM in Charlotte, N.C., that looks pretty standard, but it has an extra function: a button that says "speak with teller."

The face of a woman wearing a headset sitting in front of a plain blue background flashes onto the ATM screen. "Good afternoon," she says. "Welcome to Bank of America. My name is Carolina. How are you today?"

She's one of a cadre of Bank of America employees in Florida and Delaware call centers, where they remotely control ATMs across the country. I ask for $26.

"Just a $1, a $5 and $20," I say.

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The Two-Way
7:10 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

Target Says Some Of Its Gift Cards 'Not Properly Activated'

Target says a small percentage of the gift cards it sold won't work properly — more bad news following on the heels of a security breach affecting some 40 million credit and debit cards.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

It's not been a very good holiday season for Target.

First, it was the pre-Christmas announcement that 40 million credit and debit card accounts used for purchases at the retail chain had been hacked, even though the company later said the "strongly encrypted PIN data" that were breached shouldn't be at risk.

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The Salt
5:07 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

Here's How Young Farmers Looking For Land Are Getting Creative

Chris and Sara Guerre are among a growing number of farmers who have made the choice to rent land to farm instead of buy because of increasing property values.
Zac Visco for NPR

Originally published on Tue December 31, 2013 7:02 pm

Across the country, there's a wave of interest in local food. And a new generation of young farmers is trying to grow it.

Many of these farmers — many of whom didn't grow up on farms — would like to stay close to cities. After all, that's where the demand for local food is.

The problem is, that's where land is most expensive. So young farmers looking for affordable land are forced to get creative.

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The Two-Way
4:30 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

Out Like A Bull: 2013 Was A Banner Year For Wall Street

Philips Lighting North America CEO and President Bruno Biasiotta rings the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange in New York, on Tuesday.
Seth Wenig AP

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 12:17 pm

U.S. stocks in 2013 posted their best showing since 1997, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average closing up 26.5 percent, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index up 29.6 percent and the Nasdaq up 38 percent.

NPR's Jim Zarroli says Wall Street's stellar performance was set against the backdrop of a U.S. economy that continued to limp along.

Brad McMillan, the chief financial officer at Commonwealth Financial Network, tells NPR "The stock market surprised everybody."

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Business
4:00 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

Boeing Soars Despite A Turbulent 2013

A Boeing 737 takes off from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Arlington, Va. Demand remains high for 737s and 777s, helping the company weather problems with its 787 earlier this year.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 31, 2013 5:56 pm

On the very first Monday of 2013, Boeing got some bad news: There was a catastrophic battery fire on a 787 parked at Boston's Logan International Airport. Less than two weeks later, a second battery meltdown on another 787 prompted an emergency landing in Japan.

Government regulators responded quickly. The Federal Aviation Administration ordered the entire fleet of 787s grounded indefinitely.

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Economy
3:55 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

2013 Was A Tremendous Year...At Least For The Stock Market

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 10:20 am

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

2013 was a so-so time for the U.S. economy, but it was a banner year for the stock market. Investors poured money into stocks, driving up prices to record highs. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished the year up 26 percent. The S&P 500 did even better. NPR's Jim Zarroli looks at how the market defied expectations.

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Around the Nation
3:46 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

The Online Education Revolution Drifts Off Course

Students at the Oakland Military Institute took several courses offered by San Jose State and the online course provider Udacity this year. The university is now scaling back its relationship with Udacity.
Laura A. Oda MCT/Landov

Originally published on Tue December 31, 2013 6:23 pm

One year ago, many were pointing to the growth of massive open online courses, or MOOCs, as the most important trend in higher education. Many saw the rapid expansion of MOOCs as a higher education revolution that would help address two long-vexing problems: access for underserved students and cost.

In theory, students saddled by rising debt and unable to tap into the best schools would be able to take free classes from rock star professors at elite schools via Udacity, edX, Coursera and other MOOC platforms.

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NPR Story
3:13 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

Cabbing Home From That New Year's Party? Expect To Pay A Premium

Originally published on Tue December 31, 2013 5:56 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

It's the last night of the year, a big night for party-hopping and, of course, some bubbly. And that also means it's the biggest night of the year for cab companies. The surge in demand starts right after the clock strikes 12 and quickly outstrips supply. That mismatch can send prices soaring, depending on who's doing the driving. NPR's Yuki Noguchi reports several ride services have come up with some solutions to try to manage the crunch.

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Business & Education
7:53 am
Tue December 31, 2013

Amtrak to suspend service in Alabama

Amtrak

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Amtrak says passenger train service throughout a portion of the Southeast will be disrupted because of rail line maintenance.

Amtrak says trains that typically run from New York to New Orleans will not operate between Atlanta and New Orleans on several days in January and February.

Amtrak says the southbound train, which starts in New York City, will go only as far as Atlanta during the maintenance days.

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Business
5:04 am
Tue December 31, 2013

Local Brewery Has Starbucks Frothing Over Stout's Name

Originally published on Tue December 31, 2013 6:44 am

The giant coffee chain sent a cease-and-desist letter to the owner of Exit 6 Pub and Brewery in Missouri. Starbucks told the pub to stop referring to one of its dark, frothy beers as "the frappicino." Starbucks noted it sounds a lot like its trademarked frozen coffee drink.

Business
4:04 am
Tue December 31, 2013

Electricity Use Drops In U.S. For 3rd Year In A Row

Originally published on Tue December 31, 2013 6:44 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with backing off the power.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

GREENE: Though our lives are more gadget filled than ever, home electricity use fell in the United States for the third year in a row. It's now at its lowest level since 2001.

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Around the Nation
4:04 am
Tue December 31, 2013

Connecticut Plagued By Soaring Foreclosure Rate

Originally published on Tue December 31, 2013 6:44 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

OK. We're seeing more signs of recovery in the housing market. Last month, foreclosure filings dropped to their lowest levels since the housing crisis hit in 2007. And overall home prices are up nationwide. But recovery is not the narrative everywhere. In some states like Connecticut, foreclosures in 2013 have been up significantly over the year before.

Reporter Kaomi Goetz of member station WSHU has the story.

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Business
4:04 am
Tue December 31, 2013

Commercial Drone Testing Sites Chosen By FAA

Originally published on Tue December 31, 2013 6:44 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And if you start hearing a buzzing noise in your community in the next few months, here's a possible reason why. You live in one of the six states chosen yesterday for testing unmanned drone aircrafts. Among the states selected by the Federal Aviation Administration is New York.

Ryan Delaney of member station WRVO in upstate New York reports that the potential for job creation and investment was behind that state's decision to submit a bid.

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The Two-Way
4:58 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

The Other 'F Word': Brewer Responds To Starbucks Over Beer Name

After being told that one of his products infringed on a Starbucks trademark, brewpub owner Jeff Britton wrote the coffee company a check.
Exit 6 Brewery

Originally published on Mon December 30, 2013 6:51 pm

In general, getting a cease-and-desist letter from a big corporation isn't the mark of a good day. But after a brewery owner got a letter from a law firm representing Starbucks, he saw a chance to draw distinctions between the businesses — and to be funny.

The coffee company's bone of contention, Missouri brewer Jeff Britton was told in a Dec. 9 letter, was the use of the name "Frappicino" to describe a stout served at Exit 6 Brewery, a brewpub in a tidy strip mall in Cottleville, northwest of St. Louis.

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All Tech Considered
4:09 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

$0 Profits Couldn't Hold Back This Year's Tech Darlings

Twitter made its debut on the New York Stock Exchange in November. Both the social media giant and the relative newcomer Snapchat are valued in the billions, but neither company has yet turned a profit.
Emmanuel Dunand AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 30, 2013 5:30 pm

Zero. That's the total amount of revenue created by Snapchat in 2013. It's the total profit collected by Twitter. And it's roughly how much Apple's stock price has increased between early last December and now.

Which makes you wonder: With all these zeros piling up, how are so many people in Silicon Valley making so much money from technology?

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