Companies like Google and Facebook are very much caught in the middle of the current debate about national security and privacy. Press reports have said the companies are required to turn over huge amounts of customer data to government agencies like the National Security Agency, but the companies are often barred from saying anything publicly about the requests they receive.
The Tennessee Valley Authority is cutting 530 jobs and trimming millions of dollars in spending on a project to complete an unfinished nuclear plant in Alabama.
A senior vice president, Mike Skaggs, said Wednesday that the utility's budget for the Bellefonte Nuclear Power Station will fall from $182 million to $66 million. That's a reduction of nearly 64 percent.
A total of 530 TVA employees and contractors assigned to the project will lose their jobs. Some of the TVA employees may be reassigned to other roles within the utility.
Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 12:33 pm
A federal appeals court slapped down a quixotic legal campaign against Monsanto's biotech patents this week.
Organic farmers had gone to court to declare those patents invalid. The farmers, according to their lawyers, were "forced to sue preemptively to protect themselves from being accused of patent infringement" if their field became contaminated by Monsanto's genetically modified seed.
Originally published on Wed June 12, 2013 10:49 am
If you've felt smug and safe using built-in, voice-controlled technology for text messages, email and phone calls while driving, forget it. There are some sobering findings about the risk of distraction from the American Automobile Association and the University of Utah.
The proliferation of hands-free technology "is a looming public safety crisis," AAA CEO Robert Darbelnet says. "It's time to consider limiting new and potentially dangerous mental distractions built into cars."
Buying a light bulb it's not as simple as it used to be. You're not just choosing between 100 watts and 75 watts, between three-way and one-way. Now you can choose light bulbs that will save you quite a bit of money and use less power. There are now bulbs that don't get hot, and you can pick a bulb that might last longer than you do.
Technology columnist Rich Jaroslovsky, at Bloomberg News, has been trying out the new bulbs and will enlighten us. Good morning, Rich.
British telecom giant Vodafone has announced it's making a bid to buy Kabel Deutschland - Germany's biggest cable company. The reported offer of over 13 billion dollars marks a major change in strategy for Vodafone. Up until now, it has focused almost entirely on the mobile phone market. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
And today's last word in business is: Big brother and bigger book sales.
The NSA's surveillance scandal has caused a jump in sales of George Orwell's classic dystopian novel "1984." Sales on Amazon.com have risen nearly 6,000 percent since news of the NSA's secret surveillance program broke, which is double plus good for a book first published 64 years ago last week.
And that's the business news on MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
If you've experienced sticker shock shopping for ground beef or steak recently, be prepared for an entire summer of high beef prices.
Multi-year droughts in states that produce most of the country's beef cattle have driven up costs to historic highs. Last year, ranchers culled deep into their herds — some even liquidated all their cattle — which pushed the U.S. cattle herd to its lowest point since the 1950s.
When Patrick and Sharon O'Toole began their ranching business on the Wyoming-Colorado border, they tended the sheep themselves. But eventually, the O'Tooles wanted to settle down and have kids, so they hired foreign ranch hands with H-2A, or guest worker, visas to work on the ranch for $750 a month.
Peruvian shepherds on guest worker visas tend thousands of sheep in Wyoming, but they only make about half of what agricultural workers elsewhere are paid.
OK, so it might be a little presumptuous to call a winner considering that neither Sony's nor Microsoft's new console is on the market quite yet.
On Monday, however, on the first day of the Electronic Entertainment Expo, where the gaming industry tells consumers what to buy this holiday season, Sony dropped the mic to universal applause, as Digital Trends described it.
At a time when most pregnant women work, there are new efforts to keep companies from unfairly targeting employees because of a pregnancy. The allegations of pregnancy discrimination persist and have even risen in recent years despite a decades-old law against it, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.