NPR Business

Planet Money
5:21 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Evaluating The Benefits And Costs Of Patents

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 11:09 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The electric car company Tesla recently took the unusual step of effectively giving up all its patents. That means any competitor is now free to take the company's ideas and run with them. David Kestenbaum with our Planet Money team looked at why Tesla did it and what the world might be like if we got rid of patents altogether.

DAVID KESTENBAUM, BYLINE: Back in 2007, I road in an early Tesla prototype with the guy who is now the company's CEO, Elon Musk.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED BROADCAST)

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Politics
5:20 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Proposal To Allow State Tolls On Interstates Hits Roadblocks

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 2:42 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Let's talk a little more now about the effort to refill the federal highway trust fund, which is expected to run out of cash later this summer. A short-term fix passed the house earlier this week, and the Senate is said to consider a similar measure - that's the short term. Then there's the question of the longer-term. One possible solution from the White House would let states collect tolls on interstate highways. They've been prohibited from doing that for decades. Here's NPR's Brian Naylor.

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U.S.
6:59 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Lotteries Take In Billions, Often Attract The Poor

A customer holds his Mega Millions lottery ticket at Tobacco Plus in Muncie, Ind. Researchers say lotteries often draw low-income gamblers who are on welfare.
Darron Cummings AP

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 10:13 pm

Santo Domingo Liquors in Lawrence, Mass., has two cash registers. But sometimes only the lottery register has a line.

Elizabeth Correia, eight months pregnant, is running that register with her mother — her family owns the store.

"We do this seven days a week. Seven days a week. My mom, sometimes she'll do it open to closing," Correia says.

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The Two-Way
5:46 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

U.S. Sanctions Major Russian Banks And Energy Companies

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk visits forces stationed near the small city of Izyum on Wednesday.
Sergey Bobok AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 8:18 am

President Obama outlined a new package of sanctions against Russian firms and individuals on Wednesday.

"These sanctions are significant but also targeted," Obama said. "Russia will see that its actions in Ukraine have consequences."

The administration targeted large banks, as well as energy and defense firms. The sanctions stopped short of covering entire sectors of the Russian economy.

Obama said they were designed to inflict pain on Russia without harming U.S. companies or the nation's allies.

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All Tech Considered
4:45 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Visa Makes Big Move To Boost Consumer Spending Online

Visa Checkout will store customers' credit card numbers and billing addresses once without their having to re-enter the information each time they shop online.
Visa

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 11:28 am

Here's an experience many of us have had: You're shopping on your smartphone. You click on the shoes or books you want. But then, when you get to the shopping cart, you abandon ship.

Visa says that's a big problem for retailers. On Wednesday, the credit card company announced it's rolling out a brand new system designed to get us to spend more money online.

One Password, Many Tokens

Visa is actually trying to fix two problems with one swipe.

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Media
4:19 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Time Warner Rebuffs Rupert Murdoch's Big-Dollar Bid For Media Giant

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 8:02 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. There are few media companies bigger than 21st Century Fox and Time Warner. And today came reports of a possible merger that would create a huge new empire. If Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox bought Time Warner, all of these media brands could have the same owner. (SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "THE SIMPSONS")

UNIDENTIFIED SINGER: (Singing) The Simpsons...

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED BROADCAST)

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All Tech Considered
2:32 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Don't Fire The Comcast Guy, Says Caller Who Tried To Cancel

We don't know the fate of the Comcast service rep at the center of a viral call recording.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 5:12 pm

Ryan Block, whose hilariously tedious customer service experience with Comcast struck a chord with millions, says the customer service rep who harangued him should not be fired.

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Goats and Soda
11:45 am
Wed July 16, 2014

Move Over Hong Kong: The World's Priciest Cities Are In Angola And Chad

Photos of Luanda, Angola, tell a tale of two cities: sprawling poor neighborhoods and a glitzy waterfront.
Saul Loeb/Getty Images; Michael Gottschalk/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 1:23 pm

Ask someone to guess the world's two most expensive cities and it's a safe bet that the capitals of Chad and Angola — two of Africa's more impoverished nations — won't leap to mind. Geneva, perhaps, the home of Rolex watches, or one of those moneyed Asian capitals — Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore or Tokyo — or maybe, if you're thinking Nordically, somewhere in Scandinavia, somewhere like, say, Oslo, where a beer in a pub can famously set you back $15.

But Luanda? N'djamena?

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Business
10:32 am
Wed July 16, 2014

Murdoch Says His Bid For Rival Time Warner Was Rejected

Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox confirmed that it made an offer to buy the owner of HBO, Warner Bros., TBS and CNN but got shot down.

The Two-Way
8:54 am
Wed July 16, 2014

Murdoch Confirms A Spurned Bid For Time Warner

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 10:43 am

Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox says it sought to buy Time Warner last month, confirming reports of a deal that would have reshaped America's media landscape. The offered price, which Time Warner rejected, was reportedly $80 billion.

The deal would have put HBO, CNN and other Time Warner properties under the same corporate umbrella as Fox News, a situation that The New York Times said would have forced the sale of CNN.

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