National / International News

For More Local Turkeys To Hit Holiday Tables, You Need An Abattoir

NPR News - Tue, 2014-11-25 14:15

Like many small farmers, Kate Stillman faced a big hurdle to getting her local birds to your dinner plate: no place to process them. So she took on big debt, and a little sexism, to build her own.

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Vodafone gave too much data to police

BBC - Tue, 2014-11-25 14:02
Vodafone sent the phone data of more than 1,000 News UK workers to police after being asked for the details of just one journalist, the Met Police says.

Ebola Is Changing Course In Liberia. Will The U.S. Military Adapt?

NPR News - Tue, 2014-11-25 13:59

The U.S. had planned to build 17 treatment units across Liberia, one in each county's major town. Now that more cases are appearing in remote areas, the Army may need to rethink its strategy.

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Armed jewel robbers in Paris chase

BBC - Tue, 2014-11-25 13:43
Two armed robbers who held up a jewellery shop and took a hostage hand themselves in to police following a chase across Paris.

VIDEO: Angelina Jolie on directing Unbroken

BBC - Tue, 2014-11-25 13:27
Oscar winning actress Angelina Jolie has attended the premiere in London of her new film, Unbroken.

At Vandalized Ferguson Businesses, Anger And Tears

NPR News - Tue, 2014-11-25 13:05

In Ferguson, Mo., some residents spent Tuesday cleaning up looted and vandalized businesses near the police station — some for the second time since the August shooting sparked public outcry.

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At Vandalized Ferguson Businesses, Anger And Tears

NPR News - Tue, 2014-11-25 13:05

In Ferguson, Mo., some residents spent Tuesday cleaning up looted and vandalized businesses near the police station — some for the second time since the August shooting sparked public outcry.

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Social networks head to the office

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-11-25 13:01

Facebook is said to be testing an alternate version of its social network called “Facebook at Work,” targeted to people at their jobs, complete with file sharing and company-specific instant messaging, according to a report by the Financial Times. Business Insider notes that Facebook has already been using the service for its own employees. 

The idea of providing business-friendly social networking and collaborative tools is not new, but it has gathered urgency as employees increasingly adapt their own mobile devices, apps and social networking habits into the workplace. “Workforces have become much more virtualized,” says David Seimer, a managing partner at the tech venture capital firm Wavemaker, who has investments in enterprise technologies. “Having just a network drive or whatnot, used to be considered kind of collaboration, and now you need a lot better tools.” 

With a lack of such tools, a lot of employees have been using consumer-oriented networks, such as texting apps and cloud-based shared drives. That brings security pitfalls in open online communications, says Kabrina Chang, who researches business law and ethics at Boston University. 

“People posting on Facebook or saying on some sort of social media platform things as seemingly innocuous as my boss is at a meeting in Switzerland … doesn’t seem very meaningful … but to competitors … that actually might be an indication of something cooking,” Chang says, adding that the SEC might pay extra scrutiny to such communications.

With the need to re-secure enterprise networks, there are hundreds of companies now seeing new opportunities -- from start-ups to Internet giants.

“Part of this is a big land-grab. These vendors are really struggling with each other to sort of capture your content,” says Trevor Hellebuyck, Chief Technology Officer at Metalogix Software, which helps companies with Microsoft cloud computing. Helleybuck says it is important to capture businesses initially, as they are transitioning to cloud-based systems, because switching between systems later would be onerous. 

He also says the number of players are actually few, when considering which companies have multiple tools in one platform and thus may be most attractive for enterprise customers. “Enterprise social, file sync and share, team-based collab … there’s really only a couple players that have that out there. And it's Microsoft. It’s Google. It’s potentially IBM,” says Hellebuyck.

In fact, IBM added another player to the competition this past summer, when it signed an enterprise deal with one of the biggest players of them all: Apple.

Five children die in US house fire

BBC - Tue, 2014-11-25 13:00
Five children have died after a fire destroyed a mobile home in a small town in southern Texas, local media report.

Community Activists Question Timing Of Grand Jury Announcement

NPR News - Tue, 2014-11-25 12:49

Some of those who attended planning meetings with local officials blamed police and the county attorney's office for fueling the unrest by making the finding public at night and with little warning.

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Manchester City 3-2 Bayern Munich

BBC - Tue, 2014-11-25 12:42
Sergio Aguero boosts Manchester City's Champions League hopes with two late goals to beat Bayern Munich 3-2.

Messi breaks Champions League record

BBC - Tue, 2014-11-25 12:34
Barcelona's Lionel Messi becomes the Champions League's all-time top scorer by scoring against Apoel Nicosia.

Bureaucratic Hoops Make D.C. Affordable Housing Units Hard To Sell

NPR News - Tue, 2014-11-25 12:28

This problem exists nationwide, but in the nation's capital, there are more requirements and restrictions. For example, D.C. limits the maximum resale price and makes homeowners wait before they sell.

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In Pakistan, A Self-Styled Teacher Holds Class for 150 In A Cowshed

NPR News - Tue, 2014-11-25 12:28

In a remote village, poor children are on the front line of an education battle. The village's only educated person aims to teach them — and shame teachers who are paid but don't show up for work.

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Missouri Governor Adds 'Significantly' To National Guard In Ferguson

NPR News - Tue, 2014-11-25 12:27

"The violence we saw in the areas of Ferguson last night cannot be repeated," Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon said Tuesday. He said there will be a total of 2,200 National Guardsmen in the region tonight.

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Administration Warns Employers: Don't Dump Sick Workers From Plans

NPR News - Tue, 2014-11-25 12:16

Brokers and consultants have told large employers they could save money by shifting workers with expensive health conditions into insurance marketplace exchanges. Now that has been deemed illegal.

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The Psychic Effects Of Seeing Police Everywhere In Ferguson

NPR News - Tue, 2014-11-25 12:12

A heavy police presence intended to protect Ferguson following a chaotic night of unrest is making some locals even more anxious.

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Business group attacks £25m pay deal

BBC - Tue, 2014-11-25 12:08
A pay package proposed for the new head of gas giant BG Group is branded "excessive and inflammatory" by the Institute of Directors.

Is Digital Learning More Cost-Effective? Maybe Not

NPR News - Tue, 2014-11-25 12:03

Digital learning initiatives are spreading to schools across the country, but new research raises doubts about how well they work.

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Encyclopaedia Britannica takes stock of a new strategy

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-11-25 11:54

As 2014 comes to a close, the almost 250-year-old Encyclopaedia Britannica is taking measure of a 2-year experiment that saw the end of its printed volumes of books and the three-fold audience growth of its Internet-based encyclopedia. 


Britannica announced the end of its books in 2012, after a 96 percent fall in the number of books sold from its publishing peak in 1990. The private company, which says it makes a vast majority of its income from educational products for K-12 schools, also began transitioning some of its online encyclopedia content outside of its paywall.


Britannica is aiming for its online encyclopedia to make up as much as 50 percent of its business within three to five years. 


"If you were to find Britannica in the past, you would actually click on the link of Britannica and you would find that... instead of giving you the answer, [the site] was asking you for a credit card number,” says Jorge Cauz, president of Britannica. 


Offering content for free has reduced that obstacle. As much as half of Britannica’s online encyclopedia content now rests outside its paywall, so that online users can find it more easily.


The result: Viewership has tripled. Britannica's site racked up 102 million visitors from January to November this year, compared to 33.5 million visitors for the same period in 2012, according to figures supplied by the company. 


In October, the company achieved a first – more than 1 million page views – and has since replicated that feat, according to Tom Panelas, Britannica's director of communications.The company has also seen an increase in the number of paid subscriptions, Cauz says.


The bigger audience means Britannica can generate more revenue from digital advertising, which is Cauz’s goal. 


"The capacity for advertising dollars of our database, it’s about $4.5 to $5.5 billion,” says Cauz, referring to the amount of ad revenue they have calculated that other websites are making with content similar to Britannica’s. 


Cauz says Britannica’s product – professionally written and edited – stands out in a marketplace where one of its main competitors is Wikipedia, the vast online encyclopedia that relies on user-generated and -edited content. 


But Britannica has been adapting some of its content for online audiences, too, with shorter articles, online quizzes and listicles.


John Cunningham, Britannica’s reader’s editor (a kind of ombudsman), says there’s been a cultural shift at the institution. They are paying more attention to what people are searching for online. He gives the example of the Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 disappearance last spring.


"We have a lot of coverage of the geography of the region, and people were coming and wanting to find out: OK, where is Malaysia, where is the Indian Ocean, where is that point that they’re talking about on the news?” Cunningham  says. 


The goal is to become a destination for popular Internet search topics by offering relevant, curated content. 


Britannica wants to build its audience up, because of the tough economics of digital advertising. An online display ad costs an average of just $10.87 for every thousand times it is viewed, according to eMarketer.


That means Britannica still has a long way to go to reach Cauz’s goal of capturing some of the billions in ad revenue from reference-related searches.