Business and Economy

NPR Story
4:04 am
Tue March 11, 2014

Ice And Snow Forced Airlines To Cancel Thousands Of Flights

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 9:28 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

So far this winter, lots of snow and ice has forced major U.S. airlines to cancel more than 74,000 flights. At an aviation conference in New York yesterday, top executives of some of the nation's biggest airlines spoke about how those cancellations are affecting business.

NPR's Jim Zarroli reports.

JIM ZARROLI, BYLINE: American Airlines said it cancelled 28,000 flights in January and February. Almost as many flights were grounded by United Continental. At Southwest 6,500 flights were cancelled.

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Business
2:02 am
Tue March 11, 2014

Customer Surveys Are Here To Stay. Suggestions For Improvement?

Washington Post advice columnist Judith Martin compares surveys to an insecure friend: " 'Are you sure you like me? Really? Do you like me?' And after a while you want to say, 'No! Go away!' "
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 3:58 pm

Call the cable company, and an automated voice wants to ask you about the experience. Buy a taco at a fast-food chain, and the receipt says there's a chance to win $500 if you answer a few questions.

Customer surveys seem to be everywhere — something Judith Martin addressed in her Miss Manners column in January: "They are violating the first rule of business: Don't annoy the customer."

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The Two-Way
5:36 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

Seattle Moves To Curb Uber, Other Ride-Share Services

Seattle's government has given early approval to caps on ride-share companies such as Uber. Here, Peter Faris, whose company's drivers use Uber to find customers, holds a smartphone with the ride-sharing company's app in Washington, D.C.
Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

Uber, Lyft, and similar companies that pair people who pay for a car ride with drivers who operate outside the traditional taxi system are facing new limits in Seattle, where the City Council's Taxi Committee recently voted to cap the number of "ride-share" drivers.

The full council had been scheduled to vote on a limit of 150 drivers per ride-share company today; the vote, which has sparked intense interest in the city, has been postponed until next Monday.

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The Two-Way
5:00 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

Colorado Collected $2.1 Million In January Taxes On Recreational Pot

Marijuana is stored in bins for trimming and packaging in preparation to be sold retail at 3D Cannabis Center, in Denver.
Brennan Linsley AP

Originally published on Mon March 10, 2014 5:38 pm

For the first time since it legalized recreational marijuana, Colorado is releasing revenue figures: The state made $3.5 million in taxes and fees in January.

As KUSA-TV reports, $2.1 million of that came from the sale of recreational pot and $1.4 million came from medical marijuana.

KUSA adds:

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The Salt
4:50 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

What Pepsi Can Teach Us About Soft (Drink) Power In Russia

Pepsi was the first American consumer product to be manufactured and sold in the former Soviet Union. In 1991, Russians could buy the soda for 20 kopeks, about 10 cents.
Peter Dejong AP

Originally published on Mon March 10, 2014 8:09 pm

The United States has threatened economic sanctions against Moscow, but America is light on financial leverage in Russia: The country represents less than 1 percent of U.S. trade, and few major U.S. companies have significant investments there.

But one company with a long history in Russia is Pepsi.

So how did the American soft drink giant get its foot in the door to build a major market in Russia?

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All Tech Considered
4:14 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

SXSW: Software, Apps Still Rule But A Hardware Resurgence Is On

A set of littleBits comes with more than 40 different types of electronic pieces that connect with magnets.
NPR

Originally published on Mon March 10, 2014 6:59 pm

The task of building your very own toy, or robot, or radio can seem daunting for someone without much background in engineering. But a set of color-coded electronic bits that can be magnetically snapped together called littleBits is aiming to make creating your own electronics easy for everyone. It's like Legos, if only Legos could be connected into circuits that light up, move or make music.

"Circuits in seconds," promises the outside of the box.

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Children's Health
3:22 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

Casinos, Sites Of Excess, Might Actually Help Families Slim Down

Originally published on Mon March 10, 2014 6:59 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

When you think about casinos, you probably think about excess: smoke-filled rooms, too much alcohol, and endless buffets filled with piles of high-fat and high sugar foods.

But as NPR's Patti Neighmond reports, a new study suggests casinos may actually have a health benefit for children who live in nearby communities.

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Politics
3:22 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

Hedge Fund Turns To Lobbying To Back Up Its Billion-Dollar Bet

Originally published on Mon March 10, 2014 6:59 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Short selling a stock - betting that it will go down instead of up - is common on Wall Street. But what about placing a bet against a company and then trying to get the government to do things that would drive down the company's share price?

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Your Money
3:22 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

Groups Use Cash Prizes To Encourage Saving

Maya Gaines, of the Baltimore CASH Campaign, tries to encourage people to put aside some of their tax refunds into savings. She rings bells, cheers and dances every time someone decides to do that.
Pam Fessler NPR

Originally published on Mon April 28, 2014 1:16 pm

When it comes to getting ahead in the world, a lack of savings can be a big hurdle, especially for low-income families. Most don't have enough money set aside for emergencies, let alone for college or a house. Some people think the answer is to make savings more fun, like the lottery, with the chance to win big prizes.

It's called prize-linked savings, something that's been available in Great Britain for decades. Now, it's starting to catch on in the United States.

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The Salt
11:50 am
Mon March 10, 2014

The Upside Of All This Cold? A Boom In Ice Cider

The icy winter is just what's needed for tasty ice cider.
Herb Swanson for NPR

Originally published on Mon March 10, 2014 10:41 pm

If there's anything most of us are tired of this winter, it's bone-chilling cold.
It's enough to drive you to drink.

Literally. Because frigid weather is just what some enterprising artisans need to make a dessert wine that has been showing up on trendy tables and menus. Ice cider was invented in Quebec in the 1990s.

This time of year, it's fermenting on the other side of the border as well, as a few snowy states try to tap into the locavore market and turn perishables into profits.

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