Business news

Marketplace Tech for Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Jun 24, 2015

Airing on Wednesday, June 24, 2015: First up, we'll talk with Alex Gawley, Product Management Director at Google, about Gmail’s new unsend button. And Molly Wood, Marketplace Senior Tech Correspondent, joins us to talk about Amazon’s Echo release. We'll also speak with Nick Higgins, Director of Outreach Services at Brooklyn Public Library and Luce Maldanado Romero and family, about a program that allows inmates to read to their kids over remote video conference, for the third segment in our “Jailbreak” series.

D Gorenstein

Indiana Jones, he’s not.

“I’m a 5’7” guy from Portland, Oregon, raised in a Jewish family,” says Dr. David Labby, making him perhaps more Woody Allen than Harrison Ford.

But like the daring archaeologist from the movies, Labby is after a rare and elusive prize: He wants to keep chronically ill and poor patients in Portland from landing in the hospital again and again.

Darden's real estate play

Jun 23, 2015
Tracey Samuelson

Eaten at the Olive Garden lately? You probably thought more about the bread sticks than who owns the building — fair enough. However, Darden Restaurants, which owns the Olive Garden, Long Horn Steakhouse and some other chains, announced Tuesday that it’s going to spin off its real estate into something called a REIT — a real estate investment trust — and then lease the properties back.

Good Humor rolling out ice cream trucks for tour

Jun 23, 2015
Kai Ryssdal

Summertime is officially going all digital and social media.

Ad Age reports that Good Humor is bringing back its ice cream trucks.

I know — awesome, right?

Except, well, instead of that classic jingling of ice cream truck bells, you're going to have to follow the truck on Twitter to figure out where it's going to be.

Which just makes me sad, somehow.

Marketplace for Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Jun 23, 2015

Airing on Monday, June 23, 2015: Massachusetts has scrapped the decades-old method of defining low-income students in public schools based on income information submitted on applications for free and reduced-price lunches. The new measure relies on whether families receive benefits like food stamps, and it has “reduced” the number of kids classified as poor. Marketplace looks at this new assessment, its potential impact on school funding and whether it will catch on in other states.

Amy Scott

For years, the federal school meals program has been one of the most powerful forces in education. Not just because it feeds kids, but because the percentage of students who qualify for free and reduced-price meals has been the main way schools measure poverty. That number, in turn, can impact everything from school funding levels to accountability programs. 

Facial Recognition: An Eventuality

Jun 23, 2015
Kai Ryssdal, Alberta Cross and Julian Burrell

Targeted advertising is everywhere these day. Be it your Facebook profile, your browser history or anything else online, all of your data is being collected for one purpose: to sell you more stuff.

Now there’s a new frontier in tracking technology: Facial recognition software. Companies want to be able to track your identity and keep note of the things you regularly consumer a near-constant basis.

Marketplace Tech for Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Jun 23, 2015

Airing on Tuesday, June 23, 2015: First up, we'll talk to Lindsey Turrentine, CNET, about Instacart reclassifying some of its workers as employees. Then, Peter Wayner, author and programmer, joins us to talk about Amazon’s new pay-per-page structure for self-publishers and what it means for writers and readers. And Bernadette Rabuy, Prison Policy Initiative, tells us about video visitation in jails, the second segment in our “Jailbreak” series.

PODCAST: Fees, glorious fees

Jun 23, 2015
David Brancaccio

2015 is the year bonds have been convulsing around the world. More on that. Plus, Fees to check bags, change tickets, cancel flights – airlines now charge their customers a raft of fees for all sorts of things. We take a closer look at the exponential growth of airline fees. Plus, if there is one (unqualified) success story from the Empowerment Zone in Baltimore, it might be a small but vigorous job-training program started by the Chesapeake Biological Laboratory in conjunction with Johns Hopkins.

Airing on Tuesday, June 23, 2015: South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley declared that the Confederate flag should be removed from the statehouse grounds. Now, Wal-Mart is saying its removing all Confederate flag merchandise from its stores. More on that. And Congress gets to work this week figuring what to do with federal education funding for next year. A lot is on the chopping block, including grants for improving math and science education, and school safety, as well as Title I funds for low-income students.

House bill slashes education funding

Jun 23, 2015
Tim Fitzsimons

The House Appropriations Committee released its draft spending bill for Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education departments, and budget watchers noted deep cuts to federal education funding.

It cuts nearly $3.8 billion from mostly education and healthcare. The National Institutes of Health is one area that gets more money.

Job training works in Baltimore

Jun 23, 2015
Noel King and Caitlin Esch

Jamond Turner used to work as a security guard at Johns Hopkins University, where one evening, his rounds took him past a laboratory. Turner was impressed by what he saw and decided to pursue a career in laboratory work.

The decision brought him to the BioTechnical Institute of  Maryland, a nonprofit that trains unemployed and underemployed Baltimore residents tuition-free for entry-level, high-skill jobs in labs.

Buffalo Manufacturing Works ready for growth

Jun 22, 2015
Michael Mroziak/WBFO News

Although its 22,000 square foot facility has been open for only two months, Buffalo Manufacturing Works on Main Street is poised for a big expansion of services as it prepares to begin its second fiscal year next month.

How much do TV theme songwriters earn?

Jun 22, 2015
Caitlin Esch

Listener Cathy Lane wrote in with a question about music: How much do songwriters and performers earn when their music is used as a television theme song? Are they paid for every episode?

It’s a simple question with a complicated answer.

So we went to Gary Portnoy.  He was just 25 years old when he co-wrote the "Cheers" theme song in 1982.

Marketplace for Monday, June 22, 2015

Jun 22, 2015

Airing on Monday, June 22, 2015: Sales of existing homes increased by about 5 percent in May, reaching their highest level since 2009. We look at what’s behind this housing number, and the role of first-time buyers—who accounted for about 30 percent of transactions—in this increase. Next: Instacart is reclassifying part of its workforce as part-timers to get out of the independent contractor issue, which is threatening to drop an anvil on the sharing economy.

Nova Safo

In a move that's the opposite of many others in the on-demand, sharing economy, the online grocery delivery service Instacart is converting some of its independent contractor shoppers, who purchase groceries on behalf of customers, to part-time employees.

The company says it is making the change in Chicago, expanding a pilot program that began in Boston. Andrea Saul, Instacart's vice president of communications, says the program will continue to expand in the coming months. Instacart does business in 16 other cities.

Existing home sales on the rise

Jun 22, 2015
Tracey Samuelson

The pace of existing homes sales increased just more than 5 percent from the month before, according to the National Association of Realtors, but perhaps more interesting is who it thinks is doing the buying: almost a third of buyers in May were first-timers. That's moving closer to the 40 percent that the organization sees as normal for the housing market.

Ben Fein-Smolinski and his girlfriend, both 26, were among those first-timers who leaped into the housing market in May.

Taylor Swift convinces Apple to pay indie artists

Jun 22, 2015
Adam Allington

Taylor Swift’s social media shaming of Apple appears to have prompted the company to make changes to its new music streaming service—Apple Music.

Swift had threatening to withhold her album, "1989,” because of the company’s policy to not pay artists during a three-month trial period.

PODCAST: They're not coming to America

Jun 22, 2015
David Brancaccio

Players in financial markets are betting big money that Greece cuts a deal with its creditors soon. More on that. Plus, we'll have more context on Europe and its debt from Mark Blyth, Professor of Political Economy at Brown University and author of "Austerity: The History of a Dangerous Idea." And a technical glitch in the U.S. Visa system may cause a headache for thousands of visitors to the United States this summer.  We'll talk about the possible impact on recreational travelers, as well as visas for farmworkers from Mexico and visiting students.

Gigi Douban

Those going to the U.S. State Department’s website this week looking for a travel visa will likely get a message saying the department’s having technical difficulties. This is putting potentially tens of thousands of visitors and summer workers on hold.

D Gorenstein

Over the course of his career, Dr. Seth Berkowitz has met with patients much like one of his first – a 300-pound farmer in rural North Carolina with diabetes and heart trouble.

“His own diet was highly processed food, and he knew that was making his health worse,” Berkowitz says. “You’d talk with him and he’d be like, ‘Oh, I know what I need to be doing. It’s just not an affordable thing for me.’”

The FCC takes action to deal with robocalls

Jun 22, 2015
Mark Garrison

The Federal Communications Commission is taking new action to deal with robocalls — recorded phone calls and text messages offering various products and services. Unwanted solicitations are annoying at best and can be fraudulent at worse. The FCC gets hundreds of thousands of angry complaints a year. In its declaratory rulings, the FCC aims to close loopholes and bulk up protection.

Marketplace Tech for Monday, June 22, 2015

Jun 22, 2015

Airing on Monday, June 22, 2015: A technical glitch in the U.S. Visa system may cause a headache for thousands of visitors to the United States this summer. In addition to recreational travelers, visas for farmworkers from Mexico and visiting students could also be affected. More on that. We'll also talk to Will Oremus, senior tech writer for Slate, about Twitter’s Project Lightning. And Eric Markowitz, senior writer for International Business Times, joins us to talk about how new technology gets inside prisons, the first segment in our “Jailbreak” series.

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

A long-time '5 & 10' store in East Aurora is celebrating a milestone. Vidler's turns 85 and will be holding a special celebration Saturday. WBFO'S Eileen Buckley toured Vidler's on Main Street in the village, exploring the many items sold and how a family continues the tradition.

Fatherhood programs pair job training with therapy

Jun 19, 2015
Miles Bryan

If you work in social services in a town like Cheyenne, Wyoming, guys like Michael Peña are a big chunk of your budget.

“I’ve been in and out of prisons and jails,” Peña, 35, says. “Drug possessions, drug charges. It's been a rough one, man.”

Marketplace for Friday, June 19, 2015

Jun 19, 2015

Airing on Friday, June 19, 2015: Apple’s effort to get into the streaming business as a latecomer is creating tension between Apple and the musicians it has long relationships with. The company is playing hardball because the stakes are so high. Next: as part of our series on infrastructure and choke points, "The Weak Link," we bring you the second of two stories on the power grid. We last left you with the Connecticut power grid problem. So how to make it better? Marketplace's Scott Tong reports.

Weekly Wrap:

Jun 19, 2015
Adrienne Hill

Joining Adriene to talk about the week's business and economic news are Linette Lopez of Business Insider and the Wall Street Journal's Sudeep Reddy. The big topics this week: Greece nears default, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen releases a message this week about the possibility of a rate hike and Pope Francis criticizes consumerism. 


Socially anxious? Try some kimchi

Jun 19, 2015
Adrienne Hill

I'm delivering this to you — I'll admit it — with some amount of skepticism.

But it's kind of amazing.

And it's about pickles — one of the world's great foods.

Researchers at William & Mary and the University of Maryland say they've discovered a connection between eating fermented foods, such as pickles and kimchi, and feeling less anxious.

Just think, loading up on sauerkraut could help you ace that job interview. (Maybe.)  

Indpedendent record labels push back against Apple

Jun 19, 2015
Adam Allington

Taylor Swift’s smash album "1989" will not be available on Apple’s new music streaming service when it launches on June 30.

Swift has pulled the album from both Apple Music and Spotify over concerns the streaming services do not provide fair compensation for artists.

The Rise of Women Gamers at E3 2015

Jun 19, 2015
Adrienne Hill

E3 — video games, gamers and traditionally lots and lots of men. But there are signs that the total male domination is changing.

Produced by Preditorial |
Director of Photography and Editor: Anton Seim
Reporter: Adriene Hill

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