Economy & Business

Simon Says
7:35 am
Sat July 26, 2014

Happy Birthday To Amazon, And Its Data Mining

Amazon celebrates 20 years of selling everything from A to Z...and 20 years of mining customer data.
istockphoto.com

Originally published on Sat July 26, 2014 10:15 pm

Amazon is now 20 years old!

In 1994, Jeff Bezos walked out of the Wall Street hedge fund where he worked after they declined to invest in his idea, and began to sell books out of his garage.

Today, Amazon is a retail and entertainment empire, selling books and shoes, computers, overcoats, band saws, sofa beds, kimchi, canned beans, artwork, wine, grills, generators, drones, kitty litter, pool filter pumps and garden gnomes, etc., etc., and more.

Type in "kitchen sink"- you'll find dozens.

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The Two-Way
3:49 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

Bill Allowing Americans To Unlock Cellphones Passes House, Heads To Obama

Originally published on Fri July 25, 2014 4:49 pm

Approving a bill that has already passed the Senate, the House of Representatives has given its consent to legislation that lets U.S. consumers "unlock" their cellphones, rather than having them remain linked to specific service providers.

President Obama says he will sign the bill into law, applauding Congress today for taking "another step toward giving ordinary Americans more flexibility and choice, so that they can find a cellphone carrier that meets their needs and their budget."

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The Salt
3:45 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

Can Finishing A Big Bowl Of Ramen Make Dreams Come True?

At Yume Wo Katare, eating ramen is treated as a path to personal fulfillment.
Andrea Shea for WBUR

Originally published on Sat July 26, 2014 9:48 am

You can find ramen, the Japanese noodle soup that's meant to be slurped, almost anywhere in the U.S. these days. Ramen shops continue to pop up, and you can find renditions on the menus of restaurants and gastropubs.

But there's a truly funky noodle spot in Cambridge called Yume Wo Katare that serves more than just ramen.

There aren't many restaurants where you get praised by everyone around you for clearing your plate or bowl. But that's exactly what happens at Yume Wo Katare.

"Everyone, he did a good job!"

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The Salt
3:44 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

Key Chain Blood-Alcohol Testing May Make Quantified Drinking Easy

The BACTrack Vio keychain breathalyzer and app on the iPhone at NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C. A public health researcher says tools like this could help people make better decisions about alcohol use.
Meredith Rizzo NPR

Originally published on Fri July 25, 2014 6:36 pm

While testing whether a dash of yeast could keep you from getting drunk, we discovered that it's pretty entertaining — and revealing — to track your blood alcohol while drinking.

Using a device to test blood-alcohol levels, we watched the alcohol in our bodies soar as we drank two beers on empty stomachs. And we noticed there's a place on the curve — about 0.04 or 0.05 BAC — when the buzz is the sweetest.

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Economy & Business
12:36 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

How Low-Income Parents' Decisions Influence their Children's Future

Children of different backgrounds and situations have different futures ahead. A major factor in their futures are found in their parents' decisions.
Credit Gustavo Verissimo, flickr

    

We all know that children who grow up in disadvantaged homes face unique challenges to their well-being and their chances for success later in life. But growing up in low-income circumstances isn’t a blanket predictor of a child’s future; some may do well, some may struggle.

But are there factors that could predict a child’s future situation? Do children of a particular demographic fare better than those of another in the long run? How much depends on a child’s ability to grow and make his own future, and how much is out of his control?

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Planet Money
10:00 am
Fri July 25, 2014

When Do Chefs And Doctors Buy Generic?

Maggie Starbard NPR

Originally published on Fri July 25, 2014 11:41 am

Pharmacists and doctors are more likely than the general public to buy generic medicine, as we reported last year. And chefs are more likely than the general public to buy generic food.

The economists who figured this stuff out recently published a new update (PDF) to their research, which caught our eye.

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Sports
6:13 am
Fri July 25, 2014

At Jaguars' New Stadium, Come For The Football Or The Swimming

Hi, Mom! EverBank Field, home of the Jacksonville Jaguars, recently installed a massive video display. This artist's rendering previews the giant screen, which will be unveiled on Saturday.
Courtesy of the Jacksonville Jaguars

Originally published on Sat July 26, 2014 10:22 am

In Jacksonville, Fla., on Saturday, the Jaguars football team will unveil what it's calling the world's largest video display at a stadium. The team also has added luxury cabanas, where fans can watch the game poolside — improvements that are designed to get the beleaguered team's fans off their couches and into the stadium.

When team officials announced they were adding swimming pools to the stadium, some dismissed it as a gimmick. The Jacksonville Jaguars haven't been to the playoffs since 2007, and the team has been the butt of many a football joke.

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Business
6:09 am
Fri July 25, 2014

PETA Offers To Pay Detroit Residents' Water Bills If They Go Vegan

Originally published on Fri July 25, 2014 7:14 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Business
6:09 am
Fri July 25, 2014

All Of The Major U.S. Airlines Report Strong 2nd-Quarter Earnings

Originally published on Fri July 25, 2014 7:14 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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Planet Money
6:09 am
Fri July 25, 2014

Self-Published Authors Make A Living — And Sometimes A Fortune

The cover of Michael Bunker's self published book Pennsylvania Omnibus.
Michael Bunker

Originally published on Fri July 25, 2014 12:32 pm

Five years ago, printing your own book was stigmatized and was seen as a mark of failure.

"But now," says Dana Beth Weinberg, a sociologist at Queens College who is studying the industry, "the self-published authors walk into the room, and they say, oh, well, 'I made a quarter million dollars last year, or $100,000, or made $10,000.' And it is still more than what some of these authors are making with their very prestigious contracts."

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