National News

Would a Marketplace by any other name smell as sweet?

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-07-17 09:09

Retailers spend a lot of time thinking about what the shopping experience is like for customers, and how that reflects on the store’s brand. They think about the signature decor of the store, they think about lighting and they think about overhead music –and they think about the store’s scent. In fact, scent is something they’ve thought long and hard about.

“If [retailers] don’t connect and make it a comfortable, welcoming place to shop, and to spend their money, consumers will go somewhere else” says Andy Kindfuller, CEO of ScentAir. His company creates signature scents based on what he calls “brand attributes.”

Kindfuller is adamant that these aren’t perfumes. Their scents are dispersed through a space with the company’s equipment. They’ve worked with medical waiting rooms where the goal was to create a calming atmosphere, with a hotel whose lobby now subtly smells like cookies and tea, and a sport stadium that smells, as Kindfuller says, “like victory.”

ScentAir works closely with their client’s marketing team as they devise a scent. When it comes to actually creating the fragrance, Kindfuller says it really does boil down to a team of folks in a room with a whiteboard.

“The perfumers that we use, use up to 10,000 different ingredients... what’s amazing is they can identify those 10,000 just by smell and so we will often create a fragrance that can have several hundred different notes.”

Kindfuller and his team even made a scent for Marketplace. We've been having our staff try them out today.

 

Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal:

 

Marketplace reporter Krissy Clark:

 

Marketplace reporter David Weinberg:

<a href="http://marketplaceapm.polldaddy.com/s/what-does-business-smell-like">View Survey</a>

Would a Marketplace by any other name smell as sweet?

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-07-17 09:09

Retailers spend a lot of time thinking about what the shopping experience is like for customers, and how that reflects on the store’s brand. They think about the signature decor of the store, they think about lighting and they think about overhead music –and they think about the store’s scent. In fact, scent is something they’ve thought long and hard about.

“If [retailers] don’t connect and make it a comfortable, welcoming place to shop, and to spend their money, consumers will go somewhere else” says Andy Kindfuller, CEO of ScentAir. His company creates signature scents based on what he calls “brand attributes.”

Kindfuller is adamant that these aren’t perfumes. Their scents are dispersed through a space with the company’s equipment. They’ve worked with medical waiting rooms where the goal was to create a calming atmosphere, with a hotel whose lobby now subtly smells like cookies and tea, and a sport stadium that smells, as Kindfuller says, “like victory.”

ScentAir works closely with their client’s marketing team as they devise a scent. When it comes to actually creating the fragrance, Kindfuller says it really does boil down to a team of folks in a room with a whiteboard.

“The perfumers that we use, use up to 10,000 different ingredients... what’s amazing is they can identify those 10,000 just by smell and so we will often create a fragrance that can have several hundred different notes.”

Kindfuller and his team even made a scent for Marketplace. We're having our staff try them out today.

 

CEO Of Ignition Switch Maker Says No Responsibility For GM Deaths

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-17 08:31

Rodney O'Neal, CEO of Delphi Automotive, says the ignition switch was redesigned according to GM specifications. GM CEO Mary Barra acknowledged, "It's our responsibility."

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She's Got A Perfect Afro — And A Melodious Vision For African Musicians

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-17 08:02

Meklit Hadero was born in Ethiopia and raised in the U.S. She's a folk-jazz artist who's been likened to Joni Mitchell. And she brings East African musicians together to share their beats.

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Malaysian Jet That Crashed In Ukraine May Have Been Shot Down

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-17 07:55

A U.S. official has told NPR that a Malaysia Airlines jet carrying nearly 300 people was likely shot down by a surface-to-air missile.

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After Thor, Marvel Announces Big Change To Captain America

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-17 07:29

Sam Wilson, aka the Falcon, will carry Cap's shield. He's the second African-American to take on the iconic role. Also this week, Marvel announced that Thor will be female.

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Microsoft: biggest job cuts ever

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-07-17 07:00

Microsoft announced it will be cutting up to 18,000 jobs over the next year; the biggest job cuts in the company’s history. The layoffs are part of a plan to re-align itself after its acquisition of Nokia in April. 

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella broke the news in an all-staff email, saying the layoffs are necessary to streamline the company. 

"We plan to have fewer layers of management, both top down and sideways, to accelerate the flow of information and decision making. This includes flattening organizations and increasing the span of control of people managers," Nadella writes.

The move comes as Microsoft tries to shift more of its business toward cloud and mobile computing, as well as become more efficient.

“People view Microsoft as being sluggish," says Colin Gillis, a senior tech analyst at BGC Financial. "The new management want to change that and change the culture. We’ll see how this works."

Gillis says two thirds of the workers losing their jobs are former Nokia employees who became part of Microsoft after the companies merged. According to the announcement, the layoffs will mostly be complete by the end of this year.  

 

Microsoft: biggest job cuts ever

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-07-17 07:00

Microsoft announced it will be cutting up to 18,000 jobs over the next year; the biggest job cuts in the company’s history. The layoffs are part of a plan to re-align itself after its acquisition of Nokia in April. 

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella broke the news in an all-staff email, saying the layoffs are necessary to streamline the company. 

"We plan to have fewer layers of management, both top down and sideways, to accelerate the flow of information and decision making. This includes flattening organizations and increasing the span of control of people managers," Nadella writes.

The move comes as Microsoft tries to shift more of its business toward cloud and mobile computing, as well as become more efficient.

“People view Microsoft as being sluggish," says Colin Gillis, a senior tech analyst at BGC Financial. "The new management want to change that and change the culture. We’ll see how this works."

Gillis says two thirds of the workers losing their jobs are former Nokia employees who became part of Microsoft after the companies merged. According to the announcement, the layoffs will mostly be complete by the end of this year.  

 

Study Reveals Worse Outcomes For Black And Latino Defendants

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-17 06:44

Researchers who looked at two years of records from the Manhattan district attorney's office found that race was a significant factor in determining how prosecutors resolved cases.

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California Bank Robbery Ends In Violent And Deadly Car Chase

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-17 06:14

"The suspects had massive amounts of ammunition either taped to or strapped to their bodies," says the police chief of Stockton, Calif. Two suspects and one hostage died.

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Australia Repeals An Unpopular Tax On Carbon Emissions

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-17 06:07

The tax was imposed on about 350 of the nation's top polluters under the country's previous center-left government.

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The bad code that hacked its way into the Nasdaq

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-07-17 05:00

A new article in Bloomberg Businessweek explores what looked a few years ago to U.S. officials like a massive cyberattack directed against one of the big American stock exchanges, the Nasdaq market. 

Reporters have been piecing together the hunt -- not for Red October -- but for the origins of dangerous software that was somehow hacked into Nasdaq's computers. The bad code has long since been eradicated.

According to Bloomberg Businessweek reporter Michael Riley, the malware was discovered by the FBI in late 2010, tracked by the National Security Agency, and determined to likely be Russian in origin.  

Click the media player above to hear Bloomberg Businessweek reporter Michael Riley in conversation with Marketplace Morning Report host David Brancaccio.

Ukraine Says Russia Shot Down One Of Its Warplanes

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-17 04:51

It's the second plane in recent days that Kiev says was downed by a missile fired from Russian territory — the strongest accusation to date of Moscow's direct involvement in the separatist conflict.

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Microsoft Will Cut As Many As 18,000 Jobs

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-17 04:32

A large layoff is under way at Microsoft, as the technology company says it will cut 13,000 jobs in the next six months. All but 500 of those layoffs are related to the Nokia phone division.

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Blues Guitarist Johnny Winter Dies At 70

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-17 04:13

Texas blues legend Johnny Winter has died, ending a long and expansive career that included working alongside bluesman Muddy Waters and playing at the Woodstock festival.

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The GOP Now Likes Community Organizing (If It Wins Elections)

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-17 03:09

Yes, Republicans plan to use technology to get out voters in the midterms much like President Obama used it in 2012. But he was Sputnik to their planned moon landing, an official said.

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PODCAST: Microsoft's big firing

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-07-17 03:00

First up, more on the motivation behind Microsoft's announcement that it will layoff as many as 18,000 employees by the end of the year. Plus, a new report from Bloomberg Businessweek looks at malware that was hacked into the Nasdaq computer in 2010, most likely by Russians

PODCAST: Microsoft's big firing

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-07-17 03:00

First up, more on the motivation behind Microsoft's announcement that it will layoff as many as 18,000 employees by the end of the year. Plus, a new report from Bloomberg Businessweek looks at malware that was hacked into the Nasdaq computer in 2010, most likely by Russians

That perfect 'Seinfeld' episode about cable companies

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-07-17 03:00

Even though I got it, I never really got the "Seinfeld" Plaza Cable gag fully until I moved to New York City.

In my first apartment, I remember that even getting the cable installed and trying to start to pay the cable guy real money every month felt like an epic right of passage. That 1996 episode of television -- airing a decade before I even came to the city -- became, like so many "Seinfeld" depictions, a chrystalized experience in an ever-changing city. Watching it now nearly ten more years later, it remains pitch perfect. Just watch this and tell me you can't relate. I dare you. 


The weird 4-hour appointments, the long hold times on the phone, the grumpy dude in the van -- it's all there. Kramer as the everyman is exactly as he should be: Incredulous at a seemingly arbitrary and faceless bureacracy, righteous in his indignation, and happy to "stick it to the man," even when the man is of course a real person with real feelings.

It is actually really elegant how the roles are flipped. The cable guy becomes the powerless person waiting around as his blood is brought slowly to boil. Kramer is what we percieve the cable company to be: Snickering behind a peephole and messing with us while taking advantage because there's really not much we can do about it.

This has been an interesting week for media and cable companies. Rupert Murdoch's $80 billion bid for Time Warner is almost just a rumble behind the awkward sound of that customer service call between an Engagdget editor and a Comcast customer service agent. In a veritable monster mix of smash hits, it's the latest and greatest viral example proving the cable company is pretty much the worst at dealing with its customers.

Comcast is currently on a full court press for its unprecedented merger with Time Warner Cable -- Which, by the way, just sent me the most rediculous letter congratulating me on my newly-reduced-but-still-more-than-I've-been-paying rate. And at the same time from Reddit to The New Yorker, the company is also this week's modern stand-in for Seinfeld's Plaza Cable. 

The fact that the jokes are still relevant is what's really disturbing. In "Seinfeld," the cable guy apologizes through the door, and Kramer, moved, rolls back the deadbolt. They hug. What could be better? A truce between customer and company, a promise to do better, and a regonition of the humanity and hardships on both sides.

I think I prefer the TV show to real life. "Seinfeld," at least, has a happy ending.

Mortars Rock A Shaky 5-Hour Truce Between Hamas And Israel

NPR News - Thu, 2014-07-17 02:51

Israel and Hamas agreed to hold their fire for five hours, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. local time, for humanitarian reasons. But the peace was marred by a mortar attack around noon.

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