National News

What will TV be like in 25 years?

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-09-26 12:42

As part of "Screen Wars," our series exploring the future of television, we asked a bunch of the industry's brightest where they see the medium moving in the next 25 years. Here's what they said, some answers have been condensed for clarity.

Starcom President Amanda Richman, already exploring the possibilities of the second screen, focused on interactivity:

"Television will still exist but we'll think of it perhaps more as a screen that certainly has much more interactivity and opportunity for us to choose the shows that we want. Not through a remote control [but] more voice activated like, you've already seen with Xbox and Kinect over the last year. we'll be able to really program our old channels and that will be the biggest change. [TV] will look a lot more like the app world of mobile: choosing how you engage with the shows you want on an interactive screen."

Showtime head David Nevins looked to the future challenges of raising revenue without commercials:

"I don't think the demand is going anywhere. The challenge, the 'How do we get paid for it' challenge comes out of the captive audience [that] has to watch the 30 second ad. That's where some of the challenges are: There are other ways that people are demanding to see [TV], and some of them aren't so conducive to the 30-second ad. But I think people are rapidly figuring it out. I think as long as demand for television doesn't go away, we'll figure out the business model challenges."

Marlene King, showrunner of the very buzzy drama "Pretty Little Liars," said in the future the buzz around a show will keep up all year:

"This is the second golden age of television, I think it's such an exciting time to be in TV ... Netflix releases "House of Cards" or "Orange is the New Black" and it stays relevant — people are talking about it on social media — for about month, and then it kind of goes away until the next one comes out. What's next is finding a way to create a show that you binge-watch, but people keep talking about all year long. [You] find ways to stay out there in the universe. I think that's what people are trying to do, and I think in 25 years maybe there will be those types of shows."

Roy Price, head of Amazon Studios, said he's frustrated at scrolling through hundreds of channels and landing in the middle of a show he wanted to watch:

"My prediction is that everything or anything that you may find inconvenient or annoying about TV now is going to be innovated away ... I think we can do better ... With the exception of sports and live events, even the concept of coming into a show in the middle of the show will soon be part of the past ... It should start when you start, you should be the boss."

Marketplace Tech host Ben Johnson had a few ideas, particularly about all the different places we'll watch TV:

We're going to see the nature of screens change in the home. It's not going to be a television anymore but maybe it will be a wall in your home ... that plays content that you deliver from your mobile device. You tell the wall what to play for you...Another place that I think we're going to be watching a lot of television is in our cars...It's early days right now, but a lot of estimates say that in 25 years we're going to see a lot more self-driving cars on the road. I think we're going to be watching a lot of TV while we are moving in vehicles. Not just as it is now, when you're sitting on a plane, but when you're sitting in a car doing every day things as you're traveling.

After asking all these guests that question for two weeks, Kai Ryssdal's prediction had gone full sci-fi. After all, who could have predicted all the advances in the past 25 years?

I am much more on the 'In 25 years we're all going to have chips in our brain' spectrum, and I'm only being a little bit factious... You heard Roy Price at Amazon say you're not going to have to scroll through menus and all that. I think we're going to be a step beyond that, and I don't know what that is...I think it's going to be much more innate, much more sub conscious, much more intuitive than actually having to decide to watch something. We're almost just going to think it and it's going to be there.

Finally, we asked you all to let us know what you thought TV would be like in the future. Most predicted that the platform won't even exist:

Weekend Brunch: The NFL's future, changing the climate and whither Olive Garden?

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-09-26 12:39

Joe Weisenthal from Business Insider and FT’s Shannon Bond chat about the week’s news. Click play above to hear them break down the NFL in pop culture and the market effects of climate change.

This weekend’s reading list:

New York Times: Roger Goodell Says N.F.L. Will Overhaul Personal Conduct Policy

Daily Beast: Capitalism Is Saving the Climate, You Hippies

Salon: Wall Street won’t save the world: Why “free-market solutions” are a recipe for disaster

Bloomberg Businessweek: A Hedge Fund's 294-Page Recipe for Fixing Olive Garden

Florida's Manatees: Big, Beloved And Bitterly Contested

NPR News - Fri, 2014-09-26 12:11

In one coastal community, some residents are trying to get manatees off the endangered species list. But manatee advocates say the sea cows, threatened by ecotourism, need more protection, not less.

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As The Ebola Outbreak Worsens, A Book About Compassion

NPR News - Fri, 2014-09-26 12:11

This week, the CDC predicted there could be tens of thousands of Ebola cases if the disease is not controlled soon. Author Alaya Dawn Johnson turns to a favorite novel for wisdom amid this epidemic.

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The Ebola Survivor Who Works In An Ebola Ward

NPR News - Fri, 2014-09-26 12:03

When the 23-year-old Sierra Leonean tells patients to follow their doctors' orders and to keep fighting, they really listen.

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Oklahoma Police Ask FBI To Investigate Beheading Incident

NPR News - Fri, 2014-09-26 11:37

A man, who police say recently tried to convert co-workers to Islam, allegedly severed the head of one of his colleagues after he was fired from his job.

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Gilligan's Island At 50: A Goofy Show From A Time Of TV Innocence

NPR News - Fri, 2014-09-26 11:35

As classic sitcom Gilligan's Island celebrates its 50th birthday, NPR TV critic Eric Deggans says it is an example of a show much loved by fans despite widely acknowledged mediocrity.

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Your Wallet: Getting financial aid, and getting out

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-09-26 10:16

This week, we learned that defaults on federal student loans declined in 2013 for the first time in years. 13.7 percent of student borrowers *who were in their third year of repayment defaulted on payments after they started coming due, that’s about a point lower than last year. But defaults are still far above what they were before the recession. Student loans can be scary and emotional… but key to getting an education.

How would you redesign student financial aid?

Here's what students at the University of Southern California had to say.

*CORRECTION: A previous version of this article did not clarify that this applies to borrowers who were in their third year of repayment.

Your Wallet: Getting financial aid, and getting out

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-09-26 10:16

This week, we learned that defaults on federal student loans declined in 2013 for the first time in years. 13.7 percent of student borrowers defaulted on payments after they started coming due, that’s about a point lower than last year. But defaults are still far above what they were before the recession. Student loans can be scary and emotional… but key to getting an education.

How would you redesign student financial aid?

Here's what students at the University of Southern California had to say.

Thai Leader Threatens New Takeover: The TV Soaps

NPR News - Fri, 2014-09-26 09:57

Prime Minister Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha says he's ordered a complete rewrite of Thailand's daily fare of infidelity and violence, and if it's not done right, he's threatened to do the job himself.

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A Concert With Jay-Z (And India's Leader) Aims To End Poverty

NPR News - Fri, 2014-09-26 09:32

The Global Citizen Festival is live in New York (and on TV) on Saturday. The superstar-studded event is designed to encourage concertgoers to care about the issues as well as the celebrities.

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Will .Health Make It More Likely That You'll Get Scammed?

NPR News - Fri, 2014-09-26 08:55

New websites ending in "health," "doctor" and "clinic" will soon start appearing online. But anyone can buy those names. Some public health researchers worry that they'll purvey bogus medical advice.

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The numbers for September 26, 2014

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-09-26 08:20

The news has been dominated this week by U.S.-led airstrikes on ISIS compounds in Syria, and today is no different. After a seven-hour debate, the U.K. parliament voted Friday to take military action against extremist groups in Iraq, the BBC reported. After being recalled by Prime Minister David Cameron, Parliament supported airstrikes beginning as early as Sunday, in a 524-43 vote.

Here's what we're reading — and some other numbers we're watching — Friday:

25 percent

The portion of auto loans made last year that are considered subprime — a number that has jumped in the last five years, and caught the attention of federal regulators. There's a side effect of this new subprime boom: More cars are being outfitted with a device allowing lenders to shut the engine down remotely if the owner misses a payment. These devices have become more and more common, the New York Times reported, and borrowers are raising serious safety concerns.

31,000

That's how many requests the much-hyped, invite-only social networking site Ello was getting every hour on Thursday, BetaBeat reported. Ello has billed itself as a sort of anti-Facebook, pledging to stay ad-free and never sell user data. The site's staff was blindsided by the high traffic and considered temporarily freezing account creation, but resolved to limit new users to about five to ten invites instead. 

50 percent

Half of all mercury found in public water treatment plants comes from discarded dental fillings, the Environmental Protection Agency announced Wednesday. To reduce waste, the EPA is pushing for dentist offices to use special devices that pull bits of mercury from water before it goes down the drain, the National Journal reported.

$6

Surprise album releases are the new endlessly hyped album releases. Thom Yorke just put out a new solo record, "Tomorrow's Modern Boxes," on BitTorrent for $6. That model is meant as an experiment, Pitchfork reported. Yorke's band Radiohead has done stuff like this before, self-releasing new music through a pay-what-you like model, surprise announcements and even an iOS app.

Why We Won't See The Likes Of Eric Holder Again

NPR News - Fri, 2014-09-26 08:11

The drama and conflict of the attorney general's tenure in office unfolded against the interracial tensions that torment our culture.

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Lights, Camera, Drones: Hollywood's Lens Gets A Little Larger

NPR News - Fri, 2014-09-26 07:52

The FAA is granting six movie and TV production companies permission to use drones for filming. The move could pave the way for the unmanned aircraft systems to be used in other commercial ventures.

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And The Million Dollar Hult Prize Goes To A Doc In A Box

NPR News - Fri, 2014-09-26 07:18

The challenge: come up with a plan to improve healthcare in slums. There were 11,000 entries, featuring everything from bees to chewing gum as part of the proposal. And the winner is...

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Show-And-Tell: Show Us Your Angry Face

NPR News - Fri, 2014-09-26 07:13

You know the look. Researchers say it's the same all over the world.

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Fire Grounds Hundreds Of Flights At Chicago Airports

NPR News - Fri, 2014-09-26 07:05

The fire in the basement of the Chicago Air Route Traffic Control Center in Aurora, Ill., caused numerous flight cancellations at O'Hare and Midway.

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Debate Grows Over Employer Health Plans Without Hospital Benefits

NPR News - Fri, 2014-09-26 07:00

A federal calculator that companies use to certify whether their health insurance complies with the Affordable Care Act appears to bless plans without hospital coverage.

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Marriage Rates Are Falling, And For Some Faster Than Others

NPR News - Fri, 2014-09-26 06:44

The share of Americans older than 25 who have never been married keeps getting larger. That cohort is growing much faster for black people, even as many say they want to marry one day.

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