National / International News

VIDEO: 'Inch by inch' search of mudslide area

BBC - Thu, 2014-03-27 16:00
Snohomish County Fire Battalion Chief Steve Mason explains the efforts that are going on to try and find victims of the mudslide in Oso, Washington state.

Would data geeks make better football managers?

BBC - Thu, 2014-03-27 15:59
Would data geeks make better football managers?

US mudslide toll expected to leap

BBC - Thu, 2014-03-27 15:55
Fatalities from last week's Washington state mudslide will rise "substantially" in the next two days, authorities say, with 90 people still missing.

VIDEO: Who can afford a £25m London home?

BBC - Thu, 2014-03-27 15:49
House prices in London and the south east have been boosted by cash buyers from abroad.

The gay Chinese man suing the government

BBC - Thu, 2014-03-27 15:17
The gay Chinese man suing the government

Why climate change is bad news for India tea producers

BBC - Thu, 2014-03-27 15:12
Why climate change is bad news for your cuppa

The Pope And The President: Common Ground But A Clear Divide

NPR News - Thu, 2014-03-27 15:01

President Obama, once the world leader whose vow of "hope" and "change" excited millions, seemed eclipsed in that department Thursday by Pope Francis.

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O'Sullivan loses to Yu in Preston

BBC - Thu, 2014-03-27 14:54
Ronnie O'Sullivan suffers his first loss of 2014 against China's Yu Delu in the Players' Championship Grand Final in Preston.

'Vivian Maier' Brings Nanny-Photographer's Life Into Focus

NPR News - Thu, 2014-03-27 14:52

In 2007, filmmaker John Maloof bought thousands of undeveloped negatives at an auction. Now, he and Charlie Siskel present Finding Vivian Maier, a film about the reclusive woman behind the photos.

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VIDEO: 'Milestone' in fight against polio

BBC - Thu, 2014-03-27 14:47
The World Health Organization has declared its South East Asia region polio-free, so 80% of the world is now officially free of the disease.

Bolivia clashes over anti-drugs base

BBC - Thu, 2014-03-27 14:38
Dozens of people in Bolivia clash with police in a protest against the construction of a military anti-drugs base in a coca-growing area.

Women And Wealth: Local To Global Money Lessons

NPR News - Thu, 2014-03-27 14:31

In the weeks leading up to Tax Day on April 15, NPR will explore the topic of women and wealth. The stories and conversations will cover working, investing and sharing lessons about money.

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Twitter to list which music is most tweeted about

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-03-27 14:27

Twitter is trying to get back in the music game after it's music app was pulled from the iTunes app store, which was a failure, by most accounts.

Now, Twitter and Billboard are going to release something called the "Billboard Twitter Real-Time Charts."

Continuously updated lists of the music that's being Tweeted in the United States. Which I get.

But also...why?

Twitter to list which music is most tweeted about

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-03-27 14:27

Twitter is trying to get back in the music game after it's music app was pulled from the iTunes app store, which was a failure, by most accounts.

Now, Twitter and Billboard are going to release something called the "Billboard Twitter Real-Time Charts."

Continuously updated lists of the music that's being Tweeted in the United States. Which I get.

But also...why?

Farage stands by EU 'blood' claim

BBC - Thu, 2014-03-27 14:15
UKIP leader Nigel Farage stands by his attack on the EU's actions in Ukraine after criticism from Nick Clegg.

As Obamacare Deadline Nears, Louisiana Gets Special Attention

NPR News - Thu, 2014-03-27 14:10

With enrollment numbers lagging, residents getting bombarded with anti-ACA ads and a close Senate race serving as a backdrop, the state was the focus of a White House conference call Thursday.

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Microsoft's move to openness

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-03-27 14:08

As of today, iPad users can download a version of Microsoft Office. This is something the company resisted for years, as it maintained a “closed system.” If you wanted to use Microsoft Office on a tablet, you needed a Microsoft tablet.

According to Colin Gillis, with BGC Financial, Microsoft’s reversal speaks to a broader trend. “It’s always going to be a battle between closed and open systems, but certainly in terms of market share, open systems win,” he says.

 

Report: Brookstone headed for bankrupcy

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-03-27 13:59

Bad news today for those who like to kill time in airports browsing in a Brookstone store: There's word via the Wall Street Journal that the company -- purveyor of massage chairs, memory foam slippers and robotic pets -- is getting ready to file for bankruptcy protection.

If you haven't been in a Brookstone in a while, here's what you're missing: Indoor/outdoor wireless speakers, remote control stunt helicopters and of course, a line of massage chairs.

The deluxe bluetooth-body scanning model goes for $4,600.

"That's just it; not a lot of people need the novelty stuff," says electrical engineer Curt Stanfield.

I found Stanfield at the mall in Towson, Maryland, checking out a $60 remote control car on his lunch break.

"I think, you know, especially if the economy's down or people are trying to be wise with their money, they're not going to be shopping in a place like Brookstone," he says, "I mean, it's a neat place. There's nifty things, but it's not a place I'm going to be taking my money."

Brookstone didn't get back to us for comment. But the Journal blames sagging sales and heavy debt for the bankruptcy filing.

Rajiv Lal teaches retailing at Harvard Business School, and says many stores are fighting the same battle; becoming essentially showrooms for Amazon. People try something out and then look online.

"Many times they would find something comparable at much lower prices, especially on the internet," says Lal, "And that's what becomes so difficult for stores like Brookstone to be able to close a sale."

Lal is working on a book called "Will Your Retail Store Survive?"

Spencer's apparently thinks Brookstone will. The Journal reports the company has no plans to close stores or cut staff and Spencer's has a history of reinvention.

According to Forbes, the catalog business that started in the 60s now makes about half its revenue from Spirit Halloween and its pop-up costume stores.

Here's a look at some of the most novel . . . novelties that Brookstone offered:

Sphero 2.0 App-Controlled Wireless Robotic Ball

$129.99

It’s a ball. That’s also a robot. That you control with your phone.

Kinetic Sand

$14.99

Sand at the beach too messy? Here’s sand that soft, stretchy, and slightly strange to the touch.

Video Camera Pen

$79.99

This pen takes HD video and holds an hour and a half of memory. No word on whether it was inspired by James Bond’s pen in Octopussy.

Quad Watch Winder

$199.99

How many watches do you need to wind at the same time? If the answer is four, then you’re the target market for the Quad Watch Winder.

OSIM uDivine S Massage Chair

$3,399.00

Brookstone is famous for selling massage chairs, and this one features something called 3D massage.

Towel Warmer

$89.99

If cold towels were somehow a problem for you, well, they won’t be a problem anymore when you have a device that warms towels.

Virtual Keyboard

$119.99

The virtual keyboard projects a laser keyboard onto any surface you’d like, meaning you won’t have to worry about phone keypads being too small for your fingers anymore.

No VR headset needed: This week's Silicon Tally

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-03-27 13:47

It's time for Silicon Tally. How well have you kept up with the week in tech news?

This week's guest is Jessica Lawrence, Executive Director of NY Tech Meetup.

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MP in dock to deny sex allegations

BBC - Thu, 2014-03-27 13:42
Former deputy speaker Nigel Evans enters the witness box at his trial and tells a jury he did not rape or sexually assault anyone.

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