One day after suspending its account because of a hacking, the wire service says it is back on Twitter.
Mesmerizing. Dazzling. Gorgeous. Pick your word. NASA's collection of images taken of the sun over the course of three years is getting rave reviews.
Apple is moving to ease investor anxiety following the Tuesday release of an earnings report that beat analyst expectations, but still marked the tech giant's first year-over-year profit decline in a decade. The company pulled in $9.5 billion in revenue this quarter -- down from $11.5 billion in the same quarter of 2012.
In a sign that it hopes to ease the fears of investors who have seen the company's share price sink by 42 percent in the past six months, Apple will buy back $60 billion worth of stock between now and the end of 2015, and raise quarterly dividends by 15 percent.
But it's the absence, to this point, of a "next big thing" that has industry watchers questioning how Apple plans to continue its profitability streak. The iPad mini, which hit stores in November 2012, was Apple's last product release of note.
"Apple's not done innovating," says Tim Bajarin, president of Creative Strategies. "We know they've got a television project in the works. It wouldn't surprise us to see an iWatch at some point."
Still, Apple hasn't said publicly when it will announce a new product, making it harder to guess what new, hot gadget the company has on the horizon.
Bajarin says Apple also has the option of producing more and cheaper products in order to capture a greater market share or continue making higher-quality, more expensive products that are profitable.
"My gut," Bajarin says, "is that Apple will not do cheap phones. The fact is, there are people who will only buy cheap phones and that may be going to the Androids of the world, and the Samsungs."
Audio Extra: When Apple announced its quarterly profits report it said it's going to borrow money. Borrow? Apple? Adam Lashinsky, senior editor at large for Fortune Magazine, tells us what this means for the company and its shareholders.
A building housing several clothing factories collapsed in Bangladesh earlier today. At least 87 people are dead and many others are thought to be trapped in the rubble.
The BBC's Anbarasan Ethirajan joins Marketplace Morning Report host Jeremy Hobson to share the scene from the street and discuss worker safety in the region.
Earnings season continues on Wall Street with Procter & Gamble, Ford, Boeing, Qualcomm, and Eli Lilly & Co. all reporting today.
David Kelly, chief global strategist with JPMorgan Funds, joins Marketplace Morning Report host Jeremy Hobson to discuss the numbers.
Officials say the eight-story building on the outskirts of the capital, Dhaka, housed several garment factories. More than 85 people are dead, and officials expect the toll to rise.
Opponents of the new law threw bottles, cans and metal bars. Police responded with tear gas. President Francois Hollande has appealed for calm.
Tech has never just been about Silicon Valley, and Philadelphia wants the world to know that.
Philly Tech Week, or as WHYY innovations reporter Zack Seward calls it, a "bonanza of tech," is in full swing this week. Philadelphia is certaintly not the most well known tech scene in the country. But Philly participants hope the gathering will enhance the city's branding and help to build a more stable tech community.
"The heart of it is getting the narrative out there that innovative things are indeed happening in Philadelphia," Seward says.
Attracting venture capital and holding onto it is another issue, as was the case with start-up eyeglass company Warby Parker.
"When they hit it big and got the big money, they ultimately moved to New York," Seward says.
Tech communities around the country have earned a bevy of monikers fro Silicon Alley in New York, to Silicon Prairie in Texas and the Research Triangle in North Carolina. What would you name Philadelphia's budding tech scene?
Also: an unusual job posting on Craigslist; a guided tour of George Saunders' desktop; and charges of nepotism at The New York Times.
There are reports that the suspects planned to head to New York City next. Also, surviving suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is said to have told investigators the plot was put together only recently.
Walmart is losing its image man. Leslie Dach, executive vice president of corporate affairs at Walmart, will be stepping down this summer after seven years on the job.
As the biggest private employer in America, Walmart has the ability to have a significant impact -- good and bad -- in the lives of workers and shoppers in the U.S. and abroad. Dach, who many credit with improving the company's public appearance, sees this as the promise of Walmart. But, he says his work is not just about making the company look good.
"It's made us a stronger business and it's helped us save money," Dach says, noting Walmart's sustainability efforts. "Through that we can save over a billion dollars in our energy bills, and we can return that in lower prices to our customer."
"People are looking for a bad motive, they believe that we do these things simply for public relations," Dach says, adding that expectations have been another issue. "As the company got bigger, it didn't always grasp that people had bigger expectations of it."
To hear more about Dach's work at Walmart, click on the audio player above.
In California, Governor Jerry Brown is pushing a new plan to hold down tuition and raise graduation rates at the state’s public universities. A new proposal would give those universities more state funding if they meet certain targets.
Typically, funding is awarded based on enrollment. The more students universities enroll, the more money they get.
“It’s simply been too easy to enroll students and then not focus enough on how do we get them through?” says Robert Shireman with the education policy group California Competes.
About 60 percent of University of California undergrads finish in four years. At Cal State, where many students attend part-time, just 16 percent graduate in four years.
Governor Brown’s plan would increase funding for those universities over the next four years -- if they keep tuition flat, accept more transfer students from community colleges, and graduate more students more quickly.
About a dozen states already link funding to performance, says Julie Bell, who tracks education finance at the National Conference of State Legislatures. Several more are moving in that direction.
“Intuitively, it sounds reasonable,” Bell says, “but we don’t have hard evidence yet that says, in fact, this will work.”
Legislators will have to sign off on the California plan first. State officials present it to the Assembly later today.
Last week, Kitman spoke with Marketplace after he stopped off at Local Motors, a car company in Arizona that crowd-sources auto design.
On Monday, Kitman checked in from Montgomery, Alabama to discuss the market for classic sports cars.
And today, Kitman joins Marketplace Tech host David Brancaccio as he completes his journey and shares a few of his roadtrip stats. Click on the audio player above to hear more.
Tensions are on the rise this week between China and Japan after Chinese naval ships confronted Japanese fishing boats in the waters surrounding some disputed islands in the East China Sea.
It may sound like a distant squabble, but the ongoing conflict has economic impacts as far away as the U.S.
BBC reporter Rupert Wingfield-Hayes joins Marketplace Morning Report host Jeremy Hobson from Tokyo with the details.
Lorillard -- manufacturer of brands including Newport, Kent, True, Old Gold -- and other big tobacco companies report earnings this week. And while cigarette usage has dropped, profits are expected to be up.
The product big tobacco sells is addictive. For a manufacturer, it doesn’t get better than that. So even though the market for cigarettes is declining, by three to four percent a year, customers keep coming back. But Tom Mullarkey, a senior equity analyst with Morningstar, says tobacco companies are thinking long-term and investing in new products like smokeless tobacco and Snus. Snus are similar to chewing tobacco, except the tobacco comes in a pouch, and there’s no spitting.
“It’s very big in Sweden,” says Mullarkey.
Matthew Hudak, an analyst with Euromonitor International, says sales of Snus in the U.S. are around half a billion dollars a year and growing. But, Hudak says, sales of e-cigarettes are growing even faster.
“What a lot of tobacco companies are already betting on,” he says.
According to Hudak, sales of e-cigarettes have been doubling for the past couple of years. In the meantime Tom Mullarkey says government restrictions make it difficult for new companies to sell tobacco. And a lack of competition means prices and sales are expected to stay high.
The Associated Press Twitter account was hacked on Tuesday when a fake tweet reported a bogus explosion at the White House. Investors were watching and the Dow fell about about one percent before the tweet was retracted. AP's Twitter account is now suspended.
Some experts believe the Twitter attack started with a tainted email sent to an unsuspecting AP employee. The strategy is called spearfishing. According to the media blog Romenesko, who was forwarded the phishing email, here is how it read:
Sent: Tue 4/23/2013 12:12 PM
From: [An AP staffer]
Please read the following article, it’s very important :
[link to fake Washington Post article]
[A different AP staffer]
To protect yourself, users are urged to be alert for suspicious email. But Anup Ghosh, founder of a cybersecurity firm Invincea, says that’s not enough.
"Asking users to distinguish between what's a legitamate email [and] what's a spearfish, no longer works," Ghosh says. "We actually just need better technology to protect our networks from users who click on links, and open attachments."
Two weeks ago, Bloomberg said it is adding Twitter feeds to its popular financial data screens -- and traders may need to tread carefully. To stem the rash of recent high profile hacking incidents, Twitter is reportedly working on additional security protections.
Correction: The original article misspelled the name of cybersecurity firm Invincea. The text has been corrected.
Officials in Bangladesh's capital Dhaka say the building housed several garment factories. At least 70 people were killed and many more are trapped in the rubble.
In the budget debates on Capitol hill, “welfare spending" is a hot topic. But welfare can actually mean a lot of different things. Which brings us to the next installment of Marketplace’s “Safety Net Dictionary.”
Our word for the day is welfare.
Once upon a time, the word welfare simply meant, faring well. That’s how the framers of the U.S. Constitution used it in the preamble. Right after the part about "forming a more perfect union" and before the part about "securing the blessings of liberty", there's a charge to “promote the general welfare.”
And yet, if you go out on to the street and ask people how they feel about the word welfare today, the feelings are, to put it mildly, fairly negative.
“It’s for people who sit on their butt all day and don’t do anything and then say ‘give me your money,’” is how John Frazer, a car service driver from San Diego, put it.
“It’s kind of associated with failure,” added Suncana Laketa, a graduate student from Arizona who said she had received welfare in the past herself.
So, what happened?
“It's full of paradox that a word that means well-being came to refer to one of the most stigmatized, even hated programs,” say historian Linda Gordon of New York University.
Gordon says the word welfare hit a major turning point during the Great Depression, when as part of the Social Security Act of 1935, Congress created the first large scale federal program to offer cash assistance to people who were poor -- specifically, to single women raising children.
Back then, the program was called "Aid to Dependent Children". But even the designers of the program thought that was a mouthful, and the nickname “welfare” was quickly born, because “it was a program aiming at maintaining the welfare of children,” Gordon explains.
At first, Gordon notes, the welfare program wasn't all that controversial. But suspicions quickly set in, partly because of some pretty subjective tests used to judge which women deserved help. Gordon says social workers would do home inspections “and if they saw a bottle of beer that automatically made a woman unfit. If they saw what they considered a luxury item, like a bottle of perfume, that would be evidence” against a woman’s claim.
Another rule that gave welfare and its recipients a bad rap was the way the program originally structured its income and asset caps, leading to Catch-22 situations that discouraged benificiaries from having above-the-board jobs, or savings -- the kinds of things that could help them get off welfare.
And yet, while these sorts of rules affect our stereotypes about welfare today, the program has actually eliminated many of its original pitfalls in the last few decades, says Professor of Social Work Luke Shaefer at the University of Michigan. In the Congressional Welfare Reforms of the 1990s, welfare was rebranded "welfare to work.” It got a new official name -- "Temporary Assistance to Needy Families" -- and new rules to incentivize employment.
Since then, Shafer says the program costs less, and serves fewer families -- just 1.5 percent of the U.S. population. He has calculated that “there are actually more really active postage stamp collectors in the United States than there are cash assistance recipients.”
Oh, and just to keep you on your toes, there’s one more twist to the definition of welfare. Though cash assistance is usually what’s being referred to, sometimes welfare refers to a much greater set of social programs -- things from food stamps to Medicaid to subsidized housing.
Meaning, if you're in a debate over "welfare spending," first make sure everyone's on the same page of the dictionary.
This week's sign the apocalypse is upon us: (And honestly, I don't know how I missed this, but somehow I did.)
It seems just because fast food isn't already convenient enough, you can now get it delivered. I learned today Burger King franchises in Chicago, San Francisco and eventually here in Los Angeles will start delivering Whoppers, et al.
After all, to steal a line from one of our producers here, a microwaved $2 hamburger isn't enough. Now you can get it cold, on your door step.
Under current laws, if a background check shows your name is on the national terror watch list, you can still purchase a gun. Government data show that people on terrorism watch lists were able to buy guns or explosives after a background check more than 1,300 times between 2004 and 2010.