Business & Education

All Tech Considered
5:30 pm
Wed June 12, 2013

Net Giants Try To Quell Users' Jitters About Their Data

Google, like Facebook, Microsoft and other Internet companies, is concerned that data requests from U.S. surveillance agencies could ultimately damage its reputation in the U.S. and overseas.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 12, 2013 6:00 pm

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.

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The Salt
4:57 pm
Wed June 12, 2013

As Drought Turns To Flood, Farmers Get 'Weather Whiplash'

A central Illinois farmer plants corn seed into the evening in Farmingdale, Ill.
Seth Perlman AP

Originally published on Wed June 12, 2013 5:20 pm

As Chris Webber checked the 40 acres of muddy field he wanted to plant on a recent morning, he worried about getting more rain, even as he worried about the lack of it.

"The drought is over at the moment," he says. "But in Missouri, we tend to say that in 10 days or two weeks, we can be in a drought again. That's how fast it can get back to dry."

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Job Cuts at Nuclear Plant
4:22 pm
Wed June 12, 2013

Job Cuts at Bellefonte Nuclear Power Station

Bellefonte Nuclear Power Plant
Credit Wikimedia.org

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.

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The Salt
12:25 pm
Wed June 12, 2013

Court To Monsanto: You Said You Won't Sue, So You Can't

A farmer holds Monsanto's Roundup Ready soybean seeds at his family farm in Bunceton, Mo.
Dan Gill AP

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.

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Shots - Health News
8:48 am
Wed June 12, 2013

Hands-Free Gadgets Don't Mean Risk-Free Driving

A University of Utah volunteer drives through Salt Lake City's Avenues neighborhood as a camera tracks her eye and head movement. Another device records driver reaction time, and a cap fitted with sensors charts brain activity.
AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety

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."

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It's All Politics
8:35 am
Wed June 12, 2013

Rick Perry's War On The Blue States

Texas Gov. Rick Perry meets with Illinois media during his April trip to lure businesses.
M. Spencer Green AP

Gov. Rick Perry's outsized Texas swagger is coming to the heart of blue state America.

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Business
3:41 am
Wed June 12, 2013

Google Acquires Israeli Mapping Service Waze

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 4:53 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And Google has announced it is buying Waze, a community-based traffic and navigation app, for a reported price of just over a billion dollars.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

NPR's Wendy Kaufman reports it may change the way we travel.

WENDY KAUFMAN, BYLINE: Google hopes its latest acquisition will make your morning commute easier, faster and more social.

While other traffic apps are somewhat passive, Waze tracks mobile devices as they travel, and uses that information to help analyze traffic speeds and flow.

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Business
3:41 am
Wed June 12, 2013

Technology Columnist Sheds Light On New Bulbs

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 4:53 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

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.

RICH JAROSLOVSKY: Good morning.

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Business
3:41 am
Wed June 12, 2013

Business News

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 4:53 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with telecom tactics.

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.

Business
3:41 am
Wed June 12, 2013

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 4:53 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

The Salt
3:41 am
Wed June 12, 2013

Why You'll Be Paying More For Beef All This Year

With U.S. cattle herds at their lowest levels since the 1950s and corn feed prices on the rise, beef prices are on the rise.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 4:53 am

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.

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U.S.
1:55 am
Wed June 12, 2013

Immigration Bill May Keep Wage Exemption For Foreign Herders

Antonio Basualdo Solorzano has worked at the Ladder Ranch in south-central Wyoming for eight years. On his wages as a guest worker, he's supported seven children back home in Peru.
Sara Hossaini for NPR

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 4:53 am

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.

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All Tech Considered
3:09 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

Did Sony Already Win Gaming's Next-Gen Console War?

Sony Computer Entertainment President and CEO Andrew House introduces the new PlayStation 4 at an Electronic Entertainment Expo media briefing in Los Angeles on Monday.
Jae C. Hong AP

Originally published on Tue June 11, 2013 6:20 pm

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.

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Law
1:26 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

Pushed Off The Job While Pregnant

Originally published on Tue June 11, 2013 7:20 pm

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.

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Money Coach
11:04 am
Tue June 11, 2013

Interest Rates Up: Could Spell Uncertainty For Home Loans, Retirement

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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