National News

The Art of Selling

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2015-04-13 02:00

When museums face budget cuts, should they turn to their art works for income? For that, we consult Blake Gopnik, art critic and contributor to the NY Times. We talk about the valuation of art, opportunity cost of selling, and what this means for the next generation. 

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Apple Watch: Day 1

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2015-04-13 02:00

The much-awaited Apple Watch was finally available for a preview on Friday. Customers could try on the smartwatch in Apple stores in nine countries, including the U.S., China and Japan.

As expected, people made appointments and lined up at Apple’s flagship store in Manhattan—the one on fifth avenue where you walk into a glass cube and down a spiral staircase to reach the store. What was the scene like?

“It was pretty subdued,” said Meg Cramer, producer at Marketplace Tech, who also made an appointment to check out the Apple Watch on the very first day. "There was a line of maybe a dozen people out front waiting to get in. Everyone had made an appointment already.”

What was unexpected was how they were greeted as they walked down the staircase. “This is the weirdest part,” said Cramer. “There were like a 100 apple store employees cheering and clapping.”

The applause continued until the store was full. They were cheering, Cramer suggested, because these customers had been waiting for the Apple Watch for a long time.

“I think if you’re there for the very first appointment on the very first day, you already know more about the Apple Watch than any Apple store employee could tell you,” said Cramer.

Some of the visitors had already pre-ordered the Watch, meaning they had woken up at 3 am to make the appointment just so they could go to the store and try on the smartwatch. Kelvin Hall was one of the lucky few to nab an appointment.

“It definitely does look like something you would wear on your wrist anyway,” said Hall. “I am sure it will take me a little while to get used to using it, but I definitely bought into it with my money as well as my fashion.” 

People might be surprised at how the Appel Watch actually looks, said Cramer, because most similar wearable devices look like “a mix between a watch and a smartphone.”

“The Apple Watch looks cool, it looks fashionable, and I think it looks better than any other smartwatch out there right now,” added Cramer.

But why would someone want to try it on if they had already decided to buy it?    

“It’s just fun to be there,” said Cramer. “I have been following the Apple Watch since the fall, and I am not going to buy one, but I got a little excited holding this piece of technology that one of the most important technology companies in the world has been working on for years and years.”

With A Handshake And More, Obama Shifts U.S.-Latin America Policy

NPR News - Mon, 2015-04-13 01:03

President Obama made history with a handshake of Cuba's Castro at the Summit of the Americas. Beyond that, he tried new engagement with Latin America, moving beyond the drug trade and military action.

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It's the final countdown...to elections

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2015-04-13 01:00
More than 70

That's how many video game companies are headquartered in Atlanta. Eight years ago, there were just six. Thanks to a bill that renewed Georgia's tax credit for video game companies, the state can expect more gamers to relocate to the metro-Atlanta area. More and more gaming conventions are held in Atlanta, in addition to a lot of local talent from technical schools. 

$200 million

That's the revenues Etsy generated in 2014, a jump of about 56 percent from the year before, according to SEC filings. The online retail platform is going pubic this week. To raise cash from this week's IPO, Etsy is reportedly eyeing smaller, individual investors. 

$153 billion

A new report out Monday by the UC Berkeley Labor Center looks at the amount of money state and federal taxpayers spend on public assistance programs for low wage workers between 2009 and 2011 they cost nearly $153 billion per year, more than half of the total spent on public assistance. While the purpose of the social safety net to help low income families get by, the worry is that employers may be building their pay structure around this taxpayer support.  

575

The number of days to the 2016 presidential election. Hillary Clinton officially threw her hat in the ring Sunday, though to many, she's long been considered the inevitable Democratic nominee and even winner. Some measures this out, the Upshot notes, with Clinton polling about 20 points higher than she was at this time in 2008. That said, she's still facing several challenges and, of course, there's a lot of time left.

31.4 million

That's how many subscribers HBO had at the end of last year, according to SNL Kagan. That's a very solid customer base, but it's been overtaken by Netflix and new streaming competitors are popping up each day. The network's bid for cord-cutters, HBO Now, launched Sunday night, and the New York Times profiled chief executive Richard Plepler for the occasion. Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal talked to the head of HBO-owning Time Warner, Jeff Bewkes, about pivoting a huge media conglomerate toward cord-cutters without alienating cable providers.

957,000

That's how many people ordered an Apple Watch in the U.S. when they went on sale Friday, according to projections from e-commerce intelligence firm Slice. Quartz notes the average Watch buyer paid about $504, and 62 percent opted for the cheaper, Sport model. There are a lot of different bands to choose from, but Slice projects a whopping 49 percent of first-day orders were for the black rubber "sport band."

Rubio's Path To The Nomination And 3 Obstacles In His Way

NPR News - Mon, 2015-04-13 00:03

The junior Florida Republican senator is expected to jump into the race for the presidency Monday. He has some strengths but also hurdles to overcome.

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Britain Backs Away From World Stage In Lead-Up To Elections

NPR News - Sun, 2015-04-12 23:50

As the U.K. heads into elections, its role on the world stage is shrinking. Foreign policy is barely an issue for British voters, as the country remains focused almost entirely on domestic issues.

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What We Talk About When We Talk About Gay Marriage

NPR News - Sun, 2015-04-12 23:32

Across the United States, there has been a sea change in public opinion on the issue of same-sex marriage. But that's not the whole story — as NPR's David Greene found on a trip to North Dakota.

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Why Some Doctors Are Hesitant To Screen Smokers For Lung Cancer

NPR News - Sun, 2015-04-12 23:30

Medicare now pays for some long-term smokers to get an annual lung cancer screening test. These scans could save thousands of lives each year, but some doctors still worry risks outweigh benefits.

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In Pennsylvania, Employment Booms Amid Oil And Natural Gas Bust

NPR News - Sun, 2015-04-12 23:29

While oil and natural gas prices are great for the wallet, they're leading to layoffs. NPR visits Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale region, which is still seeing a growth in high-paying natural gas jobs.

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For Some Superstorm Sandy Victims, The Government Wants Its Money Back

NPR News - Sun, 2015-04-12 23:29

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is demanding that more than 3,600 people pay back almost $24 million in disaster grants they were given years ago in error.

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The Hidden Cost Of Mammograms: More Testing And Overtreatment

NPR News - Sun, 2015-04-12 23:27

Each year the U.S. spends billions of dollars on unnecessary tests and treatments that result from inaccurate mammograms, some scientists say. They're calling for more selective screening.

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Video Records White Deputy's Comments After Black Man's Fatal Shooting

NPR News - Sun, 2015-04-12 22:04

The video shows the encounter of a black suspect with a white reserve sheriff's deputy who police said thought he had a stun gun instead of a handgun when he shot the man during an arrest in Oklahoma.

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1 Person Killed At High-Speed Disney World Racing Attraction

NPR News - Sun, 2015-04-12 21:54

The attraction lets racecar fans be drivers or passengers in luxurious cars such as Lamborghinis, Porsches or Ferraris.

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Clinton Announces Presidential Campaign, Hops In A Van To Iowa

NPR News - Sun, 2015-04-12 18:21

The former first lady, protected by Secret Service for 20 years, and the former secretary of state, who logged the most miles traveled ever, is headed to Iowa... in a van she calls her "Scooby" van.

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Discovery Gives New Ending To A Death At The Civil War's Close

NPR News - Sun, 2015-04-12 13:23

Hannah Reynolds, a slave, was the only civilian killed in the Battle of Appomattox Court House during the Civil War. A new discovery suggests, contrary to earlier belief, that she died a free woman.

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Hillary Clinton, Polarizing Or Misunderstood, Jumps Into Race For President

NPR News - Sun, 2015-04-12 11:26

As Clinton launches into her second presidential campaign, she'll be re-introducing herself to voters who largely think they have her figured out.

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It's Official: Hillary Clinton Announces Presidential Run

NPR News - Sun, 2015-04-12 11:11

Clinton, a former secretary of state, U.S. senator from New York and first lady, is the first Democrat to officially announce a presidential run — and she's by far the favorite to win the nomination.

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Stephen Hawking Covers Monty Python's 'Galaxy Song'

NPR News - Sun, 2015-04-12 06:49

The renowned physicist is featured in a soon-to-be-released video of the classic song from the 1983 film The Meaning of Life.

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Once The Cream Of The Crop, Zynga Zigzags To Adapt To Mobile

NPR News - Sun, 2015-04-12 05:21

Zynga's former CEO is back, less than two years after leaving the company he founded. The company had a smash hit with Farmville on Facebook, but has struggled to stay current in new markets.

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Australia To Stop Payments To Families Who Refuse Child Vaccinations

NPR News - Sun, 2015-04-12 05:20

Prime Minister Tony Abbott says that starting in 2016, welfare and other assistance will be cut off to families that take a "conscientious objector" exemption to avoid immunizations.

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