Try to get Siri to confirm the news and she only gives you a runaround. But voice actor Susan Bennett has stepped forward to tell CNN that she's "classic" Siri on Apple's U.S. iPhones and iPads.
The first Friday of every month is when the monthly jobs report gets released -- but not this Friday. That's because among those told to stay home with this partial government shutdown are the labor statisticians who normally would have crunched the numbers.
Chris Low, chief economist at FTN Financial, joins Marketplace Morning Report host David Brancaccio to discuss what economists are predicting in lieu of the formal report.
The storied tree near Charleston, with an expansive canopy and massive, gnarled branches that sweep the ground, attracts thousands of visitors each year. Local conservationists are rushing to raise enough money to buy the land around the centuries-old live oak to protect it from development.
Twitter has gone public with its plans to go public. We can now take a look at the S-1 form the social media company filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Twitter hopes to raise a billion dollars.
So far, the government shutdown has not affected the SEC. With some cash left over, the regulator says it’s still "open and operational." But if the shutdown drags on, things could change.
"As long as the SEC is back at their desks in three weeks, Twitter will be fine," Len Blum says. He is managing partner at Westwood Capital, LLC.
Twitter filed its IPO confidentially a few weeks ago, so the SEC had a chance to review it before the shutdown started. A bigger variable, potentially, is the debt ceiling debate.
"You know, what Washington is doing or not doing these days has an effect on the market," Blum says.
Twitter will begin what’s called a 'road show.' Executives will talk to potential investors and underwriters will get a sense of what the company’s stock price should be.
"You know, if you wait for the congress to stop being dysfunctional, you’re never going to go public," Tim Pollock says. He is the Farrell Professor of Entrepreneurship in the Management and Organization Department at Penn State University Smeal College of Business.
After the road show, and once Twitter gets the SEC's approval, the shutdown may be over. Then, Twitter will have some flexibility to decide when its stock will go on sale.
A small boat packed with about 500 people trying to get from Africa to Europe lost power, caught fire and then sank on Thursday. At least 155 people were rescued. The search continues, but rescuers hold out little hope for finding many more survivors.
President Obama's Asia trip became a shutdown casualty... the Republican establishment is unhappy with the Tea Party movement whose members probably couldn't care less... the shutdown is causing real damage to the private sector.
$1.2 billion. 601,000. $9,200. 500,000: Can you guess what these numbers mean?
Click on the audio player above to play along.
We get a lot of questions after every show from baby boomers asking for advice on managing their investments as they approach retirement age, and this week was no different. So we asked our friend Louis Barajas, a personal finance expert in Los Angeles, to help us answer a few.
Our first question this week came from Leanne, a semi-retired breeder of rare dogs in Rosehill, Kansas. She's concerned about allocation and diversity in her retirement portfolio. Leanne has all of her money, a little more than $115,000, invested in stock funds, and she's concerned about what could happen if there's another stock market crash or recession.
"I was wondering if I should pull it out of there and put it in bonds," Leanne asks. "My fund really took a hit in 2008 -- I lost almost half the value -- and now it's back up to where it was."
Barajas says Leanne's issue is one that many investors are facing now that the stock market has rebounded.
"A lot of people out there have finally gotten their portfolios back," he says. "Having more money, we always have to go back to the basics, which are: What is our goal? What is our timeframe? And what's the risk tolerance that we're willing to take?"
Barajas says that Leanne's inclination to diversify is right. Keeping all of your money in equity means that if equities go down, your entire portfolio will go down. If you want to get an idea of just how much your portfolio could be impacted by a dip in the market, Barajas suggests visiting a fee-only or hourly-rate financial advisor for what's called a Monte Carlo simulation. An analysis of hundreds of thousands of variations measured by standard deviation, a Monte Carlo simulation lets you see what risk you're carrying with your current portfolio.
But Barajas also says Leanne shouldn't just blindly invest in bonds for the sake of diversifying her portfolio. "You have to understand it's like eating fruits and vegetables," he says. "Bonds may be fruits, but there are different types of bonds -- there's short-term bonds, long-term bonds, municipal bonds, corporate bonds. And it's like having bananas, apples, and pears -- if you're only eating apples every single day, and not varying the fruits that you're eating, you may lack some vitamins. The same thing with your portfolio."
Leanne says that she doesn't plan on tapping into the account for about eight years, and hopes to make the money last for about five to ten years after that. Barajas says that long term plan should leave her in good shape for continuing to invest in stocks, even if the economy stumbles again.
"If we do go into a small recession or the market goes down again, always look at it as a great opportunity to buy in when there's a sale on stocks," advises Barajas. "And, especially if you're thinking eight to ten to fifteen years out, it's really important to not get so scared and stay within your original goal, which, in your case, is retirement."
To hear more advice, click the audio player above. This week, we also have questions about setting up a posthumous charitable foundation from a single man in his 60s; how to know whether your investment advisor is giving you the most bang for your buck; and whether or not there is any financial advantage in getting married for a boomer couple.
Though there's no end in sight to the standoff, there are reports that Republican lawmakers are looking for a new way to strike a deal.
Every industry has buzzwords. Some of Silicon Valley’s most recognizable include disruption, innovation, and monetization. Big words with sometimes slippery definitions.
One word that has been a perennial favorite in Silicon Valley is meritocracy. It comes up often when tech entrepreneurs describe the culture of their industry. Today, meritocracy suggests a grand set of ideals: that talent trumps all else; that with a great idea and hard work, anyone can succeed no matter where they came from.
But when the word first popped up in Silicon Valley in the 1970s, it was used in a much more narrow and "very specific way," says Leslie Berlin, a historian for the Silicon Valley Archives at Stanford.
Back then, she says, meritocracy was mostly used to describe a corporate management style.
"It was used in contrast to what was seen as the more rigid, east coast model," says Berlin. "Unlike older, more stultified companies, where what you earned was directly related to your job title and maybe how many employees you managed and how long you had been at the company, this new model would recognize the contributions of the people who made the biggest difference."
In this new model, rewards were -- at least, ideally -- doled out "regardless of what someone's title was, whether they managed someone, or how long they had been at a company," Berlin says.
It was a management style championed by Robert Noyce, one of the inventors of the microchip. He was a man with a libertarian bent who earned the nickname "Mayor of Silicon Valley." Early in Noyce’s career, he had been frustrated at companies with rigid, top down management structures, so when he started his own company, Intel, in 1968 he tried for something different.
"There is a new management style evolving, looking at human worth rather than the usual autocratic organization of the company," he said in an interview reflecting on that time. "It's much less autocratic, much more democratic."
At Intel and soon, many other tech companies, employees were offered stock options that could increase in number and value the more someone contributed. Bosses often sat in cubicles alongside their workers. And there were the all important Friday "beer bashes," says Berlin. Everyone, from the workers on the manufacturing line to the CEO would show up, she says.
"You know, you stand around and sip a beer and talk to people. It was great," remembers Len Yates, who developed software in the early 1980s at Tandem, a company based in Cupertino that was famous for its beer bashes.
"People would throw out new ideas there, bash around new concepts," he says. Before Tandem, Yates had worked at IBM in Texas. Compared to his old job, Yates says in Silicon Valley "people were much less concerned with status" and much more concerned about "getting the work done -- and watching their stock options grow."
Stock options and beer bashes are still very much part of Silicon Valley today, though they have evolved. For starters, now that most hi-tech hardware is made overseas, there aren’t many folks from the manufacturing line at the parties. Meanwhile, the idea of meritocracy has morphed from a management style to a much bigger, and more contested concept that encompasses ambitious "anyone-with-talent-can-make-it" claims.
Talent and hard work often do trump social status and pedigree in Silicon Valley today, says Berlin. But, she cautions, "I don’t think the tech industry is a magical place, that there aren’t networks and there aren’t connections and there aren’t helpful people to know."
This final note today, in which we learn exactly how important ticker symbols really are.
We told you yesterday that Twitter's gonna trade under the symbol TWTR. Which makes sense.
TWTR, however, is not the same as TWTRQ, which is the ticker symbol for a defunct consumer electronics company called Tweeter Home Entertainment. (Q gets tacked on there when a company files for bankruptcy.)
So, why am I telling you that? Because today 5 million shares of TWTRQ changed hands. It closed up 684 percent, at just over a nickel a share.
Law enforcement authorities say the woman was Miriam Carey, a dental hygienist from Stamford, Conn. The car they say she was driving rammed a security barrier at the White House, then took off toward the U.S. Capitol. There, police killed the driver.
It’s a busy Wednesday morning at the private Lowell School in Washington. Teacher Sarah Smith is herding rambunctious seventh graders into their seats for the first class of the day: Humanities. Part of the curriculum: government.
I’m a special guest this morning, here to get the seventh grade perspective on the shutdown. These kids have a front row seat for the shutdown show. When I ask who knows somebody who works for the government, hands shoot up.
One student says, "My dad works for EPA."
"My aunt works in the Senate," another shouts.
These students are paying attention. So when I ask them what their advice for Congress is, they’re ready.
"I don’t know whether this would work but maybe if the government had a certain amount of money for each thing they would want to buy," says Naomi Steinglass. "So they would have a section of money for schools and a section for healthcare."
I tell her that believe it or not, that’s how the government is supposed to work, explaining that Congress didn’t pass the budget bills this year. And the government shut down. I ask the kids for more ideas. Ari Katz has something to say. He’s the one whose aunt works in the Senate.
"I think Congress should allow the government an allowance," he says. And when the money runs out, he says, the spending stops. Heads nod in agreement. These kids know how allowances work. It’s sort of like a balanced budget amendment.
Isabel Albores raises her hand. She’s the daughter of the EPA employee. She takes that balanced budget idea one step further.
"The government should start setting aside like five percent of the money they get from taxes, so that they can start paying off the debt," she says.
With that last little bit of earnest wisdom, class is over. And the kids get back to their world. Of allowances, limits and raising their hands to speak.
Ireland is voting on a potentially money-saving proposal on Friday to abolish the upper house of the country's parliament.
The chamber in question has relatively weak power, says Austin Hughes, chief economist at KBC Bank. The amount of money that would be saved is quite limited -- about 10-20 million euros a year -- and Hughes says the savings would just cause a small dent in the country's deficit.
"In the context of a government deficit that this year is around 12 billion euros, arguments about 20 million euros seem very, very unimportant."
Austin Hughes, chief economist at KBC Bank, joins Marketplace Morning Report host David Brancaccio to discuss.
Twitter has made public its papers for an S-1 Initial Public Offering.
It is not 140 characters long, though the company did send out a tweet before releasing its plans to the SEC.
We've got new details on the inner workings of the social network known for brevity. For one, Twitter wants to raise a cool billion dollars -- at least -- when it opens its doors to Wall Street. A nice big number considering the fact that like so many tech companies, Twitter isn't profitable yet.
The IPO documents were made public on the Securities and Exchange Commission web site on Thursday, and in the documents we learned that the company intends to trade under the ticket symbol "TWTR". But, in one of the most closely watched decisions, Twitter declined to select an exchange: Either the Nasdaq or the NYSE.
There's been talk for months about whether the popular micro-blogging site would go public. But Twitter's filing was a bit unconventional.
The company filed for an initial public offering of stock with the help of a provision in the JOBS Act.
Click here to listen to more about Twitter's news.
President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner have had five years of fights and negotiations to learn how to work together. But today, their relationship is as sour as it's ever been. While closer ties might not solve the shutdown, the mutual suspicion and mistrust isn't helping.
President Obama says he won't negotiate with Republicans over the debt ceiling, but he's happy to talk once the government is open and the full faith and credit of the United States is assured. Experts in negotiation weigh in about the tactics and the strategy being used during the budget impasse.
Dawn and Don Burke never intended to turn their home into a rat sanctuary. But after Dawn brought home a rat from a pet store, it wasn't long until the couple began taking in abandoned rats. The rodents' cage doors stay wide open, giving them plenty of space to run around.
We're in Partial Government Shutdown: Day 4. West Point cadets are now being taught by fill-in officers because civilian faculty members are on furlough. Some FEMA and National Hurricane Center workers, meanwhile, have been 'un-furloughed' to deal with Tropical Storm Karen in the Gulf of Mexico.
The furlough of roughly 800,000 federal workers -- those deemed non-essential -- is beginning to affect the real economy of consumer spending and income. Sam’s Club says its sales are off in some markets. And manufacturers like United Technologies and Boeing, which depend on government workers to do inspection and certification work as well as depending directly on government contracts, are warning of layoffs if the shutdown continues.
The shutdown is costing approximately $155 million per day in lost wages, or 0.3 percent of GDP on an annualized basis, according to Capital Economics. But the shutdown won’t really start to bite until half-empty paychecks hit workers’ bank accounts around October 15th. The payday scheduled for the end of October will be barren for federal workers.
EPA inspector Natasha Greaves in Seattle has already delayed a home remodel, and she’s holding off on travel reservations for the Christmas holidays. Greaves is 42, married, and helps to support an elderly parent.
“Over time, it will become much worse,” says Greaves, “just not knowing. Are you going to be able to do the things that you’ve done, to support folks, to pay all your bills?”
Rutgers University public policy professor Carl Van Horn at the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development says a mass federal furlough is better than a mass layoff, where workers aren’t sure they’ll ever be called back.
“The past history has been that workers that were furloughed eventually get paid anyway,” says Van Horn. “But the more cautious ones will not be sure that that will happen again.”
After government shutdowns in the 1990s, federal workers got back pay. But that may not be in the playbook this time around.
"Runner Runner" stars Justin Timberlake as a grad student caught up in Ben Affleck’s nefarious online poker operation. How nefarious? At one point, Affleck shoves Timberlake into a pool of hungry crocodiles.
The Association’s director, Geoff Freeman, says that even though online gambling is illegal in the U.S., it’s a $3 billion industry.
"It’s here," Freeman says. "The question is, are we going to regulate it and create the right framework for this, or are we going to allow the black market to thrive."
But Freeman’s true opponents aren’t handsome, crocodile-owning thugs, says Richard McGowan, a professor at Boston College’s Carroll School of Management.
The opponents are actually -- wait for it -- state governments. "If I’m a state governor or a state treasurer, I am not amused by the thought of federal regulation here," says McGowan.
Because in that case, the feds would collect taxes and fees, and the states would face more competition for their own gambling franchises -- lotteries.