National News

Instagram Is Now Valued At $35 Billion By Citigroup Analyst

NPR News - Fri, 2014-12-19 10:22

Less than three years ago, Facebook purchased Instagram for $1 billion. The photo-sharing service recently said it has more than 300 million users.

» E-Mail This

At Last, I Meet My Microbes

NPR News - Fri, 2014-12-19 10:00

At 31, a woman had the bacteria in her gut catalogued as part of scientific project that aims to characterize the creatures that live inside us and affect our health. Here's what she found out.

» E-Mail This

PODCAST: All eyes (still) on the Fed

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-12-19 09:52

The Federal Reserve seems to be in no rush to raise interest rates, and they're watching oil just as much as the rest of us. Also, how do we frame the cyberattack on Sony? Is it the theft of information, like the attacks Home Depot and Target saw earlier this year, or is it a national security threat? As the FBI points to North Korea, we look at how hackers interpret the goings-on at Sony. Finally, there's no way Russia's oil-dependent economy could have predicted the dropping price of oil, but the country has built in some reserves to tide it over. We take look at that idea.

Shop at your favorite federal agency's gift shop

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-12-19 09:43

You don't have to go to Nordstrom, Target or Macy's to get your holiday shopping done this season. If you live in or near Washington D.C. there's a whole other retail world out there for you to explore: the world of federal agency gift shops. The FBI, CIA, and all the rest have their very own outlets. And they're definitely not your ordinary souvenir shops.

"The FBI had a pair of glow in the dark boxers that were really popular for a while," says Emily Wax-Thibodeaux from the Washington Post. "But they stopped making them, probably not for political reasons, but because of production."

But don’t worry, your tax dollars are not paying for this.

"Proceeds often go to employee associations, gyms, or for outings, morale boosters or they go to charities," says Wax-Thibodeaux.

How to parent in the digital age

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-12-19 09:34

Lizzie O'Leary spoke with famed voice over actor Bill Ratner about his new book "Parenting for the Digital Age."

If you grew up watching "GI Joe" cartoons Ratner voiced "Flint." For years, his voice on television helped market and sell toys to kids. He then created a program called TV Cartoon Scandals--Media Awareness for Children. This brought media awareness to kids in the Los Angeles Unified School District.

In "Parenting for the Digital Age" Ratner shares his own story of controlling media in his house. When his young daughter was glued to the television he decided to take action. He rewired his entertainment system and created a kill switch. This allowed him to turn off the television when he saw fit. Ratner also bans cells phones in his home at certain hours of the day.

When interviewing parents for the book Ratner came across two major concerns. The first issue was time, do kids have enough time to veg out and do other things? The second issue was who are these people creating the programming for children? They are strangers and have no idea what their values are.

Live: Obama's Year-End News Conference

NPR News - Fri, 2014-12-19 09:31

The president is expected to discuss issues ranging from normalization of relations with Cuba to the fight against the self-described Islamic State and his views on the Senate's "torture report."

» E-Mail This

Quiz: Hiding that standardized test behind a cute acronym

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-12-19 08:44
var _polldaddy = [] || _polldaddy; _polldaddy.push( { type: "iframe", auto: "1", domain: "", id: "which-state-administers-paws-exam", placeholder: "pd_1419010748" } ); (function(d,c,j){if(!document.getElementById(j)){var pd=d.createElement(c),s;;pd.src=('https:'==document.location.protocol)?'':'';s=document.getElementsByTagName(c)[0];s.parentNode.insertBefore(pd,s);}}(document,'script','pd-embed'));

Algorithms: the language of love?

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-12-19 08:35

On Marketplace Weekend this week, we looked at algorithms in business, tech, and all areas of our life.

The internet's most intimate algorithms may be found in online dating sites and apps. Sites like OkCupid, Match, eHarmony, Hinge, and Tindr all use different algorithms -- with varying degrees of complications -- to pair users. Match pairs matches by gauging how interested users are in similar people. OkCupid users weight questions that they consider to be most important to them in order to find others that they have a lot in common with. A elaborate series of set questions on eHarmony pairs couples. On Tindr, things are simple...just a picture, and an answer from potential daters: yes, or no? 

Online dating has become much more common and widely accepted in recent years. Attitudes are shifting, and something that was once a secret for many people has become a social activity -- it's not unheard of now to see someone using a dating app in public, at a bar, with friends, to find someone nearby that they may want to go out with. 

Christian Rudder, one of the founders of OkCupid and the author of Dataclysm: Who We Are (When We Think No One's Looking) joined Marketplace Weekend to explain the algorithms on his site, what happens when you tell an algorithm a lie, and how dating algorithms mimic pain old un-technical dating. 

How Peppermint Tricks Us Into Feeling (Deliciously) Cold

NPR News - Fri, 2014-12-19 07:59

We have the chemical menthol to thank for the wonderful mouth-feel of peppermint. Scientists now know that menthol fools the brain by activating receptors involved with sensing cold.

» E-Mail This

FBI Formally Accuses North Korea In Sony Hacking

NPR News - Fri, 2014-12-19 07:53

In a statement, the FBI said it was "deeply concerned" about the "destructive nature of this attack on a private sector entity."

» E-Mail This

Advocacy Groups Tell Lawmakers To Back Off

NPR News - Fri, 2014-12-19 07:38

Three groups from across ideological lines say a congressional investigation into ties between the EPA and the Natural Resources Defense Council seems intended to intimidate.

» E-Mail This

A Nurse's Desperate Plea: Show Me The Ebola Money

NPR News - Fri, 2014-12-19 07:30

Patients escape. Long gloves, chlorine and toilets are in short supply. Despite promises of international aid, the essentials of medical care are still missing at one Sierra Leone treatment center.

» E-Mail This

Education Dept. Issues Framework For New College Rating System

NPR News - Fri, 2014-12-19 06:57

The interim outline indicates that such factors as access, affordability and student outcomes will be key to the system first announced by President Obama in 2013.

» E-Mail This

Some Early Childhood Experiences Shape Adult Life, But Which?

NPR News - Fri, 2014-12-19 06:47

Nature and nurture both matter, and having love and support from parents early on makes make academic and social success as an adult more likely, a study finds. But a child's temperament matters too.

» E-Mail This

FIFA Votes To Release At Least Some Of The World Cup Report

NPR News - Fri, 2014-12-19 06:27

Soccer's governing body also announced that it would not revisit the bidding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, because there were no legal grounds to do so.

» E-Mail This

Your Wallet: Indulgence

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-12-19 06:23

Around the holidays you indulge, or try not to indulge, in many things.

We want to hear your story. How does it affect you financially, or what do you try to keep from yourself?

Send us an email, or reach us on Twitter, @MarketplaceWKND

Thailand Says It Was Unaware Of CIA 'Black Site' On Its Soil

NPR News - Fri, 2014-12-19 05:54

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha says the U.S. never told Thai officials of the existence of a safe house where top al-Qaida operatives were allegedly subjected to torture.

» E-Mail This

Teaching Hospitals Hit Hardest By Medicare Fines For Patient Safety

NPR News - Fri, 2014-12-19 05:50

Medicare will cut payments to hospitals with high rates of patient infections and injuries. Half that nation's academic medical centers will be docked by Medicare for making too many medical mistakes.

» E-Mail This

To Finish Up Year, Obama Will Hold A Press Conference

NPR News - Fri, 2014-12-19 04:32

President Obama has a lot to talk about: From the recent protests in Ferguson to thawing relations with Cuba and Iran. Obama may also be asked about the cyber attack on Sony.

» E-Mail This

Details On The Administration's New College Ratings System

NPR News - Fri, 2014-12-19 03:03

A framework for measuring opportunity --and outcomes.

» E-Mail This