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All sorts of health information is now a few taps away on your smartphone, from how many steps you take — to how well you sleep at night. But what if you could use your phone and a computer to test your vision? A company is doing just that — and eye care professionals are upset. Some states have even banned it.

On today's show, we'll talk about Hewlett Packard's decision to sell its technology services division; Costco's switch from American Express to Visa as its exclusive credit card provider; and a startup that links Syrian refugees looking for work with students learning Arabic.


A startup sparks conversations with Syrian refugees

May 25, 2016
Reema Khrais

About once a week, Kelsey Norman plops into a chair at her kitchen table in Los Angeles, fires up Skype and dials Asalah Razzouk, a refugee living in the mountains of Lebanon.

A Syrian TV show echoes in the background as the two catch up. They chat about the weather, weekend plans and the trash piling up in Lebanon—all in Arabic. Razzouk listens carefully to Norman’s pronunciation and grammar, ready to give feedback.

Kim Adams

Panama has been flying hundreds of Cuban migrants to Mexico, dropping them off close to the U.S. border so they can cross into America. The flights, expected to finish this month, are part of a deal with the Mexican government to relieve a backlog of migrants.

Panama is the latest of several Central American countries to close its border to Cuban immigrants trying to make it to the U.S., where they get special status upon crossing the border.

Bruce Johnson

statistical analysis from ProPublica out this week details how a sentencing algorithm that's being used in the administration of justice appears to be biased along racial lines. Julia Angwin is a senior reporter for ProPublica and worked on this.  

Andy Uhler

On June 20, Costco will make the switch from American Express to Visa as its exclusive credit card provider. It's a relatively painless process for the consumer, as new cards will come in the mail. But, David Schick, retail analyst at Consumer Edge Research, said there’s bound to be a slight disruption in sales just because of confusion.

“Anytime customers are used to doing something one way for a long time and that changes, that will have an impact to the short and even into the medium term," he said.

Marketplace Tech for Wednesday, May 25, 2016

May 25, 2016

On today's show, we'll talk about Pebble's foray into Kickstarter; a startup that pairs Syrian refugees with people around the world who want to speak Arabic; and Twitter's changes to its 140-character limit. 

New salary survey still finds few women in CEO ranks

May 25, 2016
D Gorenstein

Overall,  CEOs on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index earned a median $10.8 million — 4.5 percent more than last year’s median rate, and an increase more than double the rate of inflation. That’s according to a new survey released Wednesday from the Associated Press.

The survey also found female executives earned a median income of nearly $18 million, compared to $10.5 million for men.


On today's show, we'll talk about the two new deals that are bringing old-school car companies together with ride-sharing services; the dearth of women who are CEOs; and the large number of Cubans heading for America. 

It was the tasting that revolutionized the wine world.

Forty years ago today, the crème de la crème of the French wine establishment sat in judgment for a blind tasting that pitted some of the finest wines in France against unknown California bottles. Only one journalist bothered to show up — the outcome was considered a foregone conclusion.

"Obviously, the French wines were going to win," says George Taber, who was then a correspondent for Time magazine in Paris. He says everyone thought "it's going to be a nonstory."

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For the first time in more than 130 years, Americans ages 18-34 are more likely to live with their parents than in any other living situation, according to a new analysis by the Pew Research Center.

In the wake of a spectacular $81 million heist involving Bangladesh's central bank, the top official for the messaging system used to move billions of dollars every day throughout the global banking system says he's going on the offensive against cybercriminals.

Gottfried Leibbrandt, chief executive of the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT), announced the plan today in Brussels.

Monsanto has rejected a $62 billion takeover bid from Bayer as "incomplete and financially inadequate," but left the door open to further negotiations with the German chemical and pharmaceutical giant.