National / International News

The sweet smell of King Digital's Candy Crush success

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-03-25 12:54
Wednesday, March 26, 2014 - 04:00 King Digital Entertainment

Screenshot of Candy Crush Saga logo from King Digital Entertainment PLC, on February 19, 2014. 

Look up from your phones, everybody.

The maker of the highly addictive puzzle game Candy Crush Saga goes public Wednesday. King Digital Entertainment racked up $1.8 billion in sales last year, largely using a "freemium" business model -- when you download a game for free, but spend on extras inside the game.

Analysts say King Digital's success comes from marrying good data analytics – understanding when casual gamers spend and why – with good game development.

 

 

Marketplace Morning Report for Wednesday, March 26, 2014How to game Candy Crushby Kate DavidsonPodcast Title: The sweet smell of King Digital's Candy Crush successStory Type: News StorySyndication: SlackerSoundcloudStitcherSwellPMPApp Respond: No

Murray through to face Djokovic

BBC - Tue, 2014-03-25 12:52
Andy Murray will face Novak Djokovic in the Sony Open quarter-finals after the Briton beats Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

Traffic and unemployment are making you sick

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-03-25 12:52
Wednesday, March 26, 2014 - 03:52 Matthew Stockman/ALLSPORT

Rush hour traffic in downtown Atlanta, Georgia. (2 Apr 1996)

Commuting can make you sick.  

A new report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation examines health in the U.S. county by county, looking at less obvious causes of illness, including joblessness and traffic. 

“You might ask, what does that have to do with my health,” says Michelle Larkin,  assistant vice president of  the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. “But think about it. When we’re in the car taking long commutes we’re probably in a heightened state of stress.”


Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

And stress can lead to problems like heart disease. Turns out unemployment is unhealthy, too, because without a paycheck you can't buy good food, and may not be able to see the doctor when you’re sick.

It all adds up.  The premature death rate in the least healthy counties is twice the rate of the healthy ones.   Same thing for children living in poverty, and teen births.  

Marketplace Morning Report for Wednesday, March 26, 2014by Nancy Marshall-GenzerPodcast Title: Traffic and unemployment are making you sickStory Type: News StorySyndication: SlackerSoundcloudStitcherSwellPMPApp Respond: No

Bat-eating ban to curb Ebola virus

BBC - Tue, 2014-03-25 12:50
Guinea bans the sale and consumption of bats to prevent the spread of the deadly Ebola virus as the number of victims rises to 62.

Biden Visits N.H. To Talk About Jobs ... But Not His Own

NPR News - Tue, 2014-03-25 12:50

The vice president traveled to the state with the nation's first presidential primary Tuesday. He swears it was to check out New Hampshire's workforce development programs.

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The IRS labels bitcoin an asset

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-03-25 12:33
Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - 15:30 George Frey/Getty Images

A pile of Bitcoins are shown here after Software engineer Mike Caldwell minted them in his shop on April 26, 2013 in Sandy, Utah.

The Internal Revenue Service ruled today that Bitcoin would be treated like an asset for tax purposes. Here to explain what that really means is our New York editor, Paddy Hirsch, author of "Man vs Markets."

What just happened?
As soon as bitcoin started to appreciate in value, the IRS decided it wanted a piece of the action. It needed to decide quickly, if wanted to collect taxes from bitcoin gains this tax season!

The question was, whether to tax it as a currency, or a commodity, or an asset. In other words, is bitcoin like a change-purse full of Euros (currency), or is it like a bar of gold (commodity), or it is like a load of company stock (asset).

Today it decided that bitcoin will be treated as an asset, so any money you make from mining or selling bitcoin will be treated as though you earned or sold shares.

What does that mean?
It means if you mine bitcoin, you’ll have to declare it as taxable income with a value equal to the worth of the Bitcoin on the day it was mined. Also, if you spend bitcoin, you may end up paying taxes on the value of the appreciation.

What does that really mean?
Say you have a dollar’s worth of bitcoin. Overnight bitcoin doubles in value – which isn’t outside the bounds of possibility, after all! Your local pub is offering a promotional IPA for two bucks. If the barkeep accepts your bitcoin for that beer, you will have to declare the capital gain on that dollar’s worth of bitcoin – which has, of course doubled in value.

So you get a beer, but you also get a tax bill.

But what if my bitcoin loses value?
Well then you can subtract that loss from your capital gains and your income.  Which is pretty cool.

Does this make bitcoin more accessible or more acceptable?
It makes it more acceptable to the IRS, certainly. But it doesn’t make things much different for the average person.  In fact, because the IRS has decided it’s not a currency, Bitcoin accounts aren’t likely to see the kind of regulatory protections that bank accounts receive, like FDIC insurance. But it is a sign that regulation is moving quickly to embrace Bitcoin … which is good for Bitcoin.

Marketplace for Tuesday, March 25, 2014Interview with Paddy HirschPodcast Title: The IRS labels bitcoin an assetSyndication: Flipboard BusinessSlackerSoundcloudStitcherBusiness InsiderSwellPMPApp Respond: No

The IRS labels bitcoin an asset

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-03-25 12:30

The Internal Revenue Service ruled today that Bitcoin would be treated like an asset for tax purposes. Here to explain what that really means is our New York editor, Paddy Hirsch, author of "Man vs Markets."

What just happened?
As soon as bitcoin started to appreciate in value, the IRS decided it wanted a piece of the action. It needed to decide quickly, if wanted to collect taxes from bitcoin gains this tax season!

The question was, whether to tax it as a currency, or a commodity, or an asset. In other words, is bitcoin like a change-purse full of Euros (currency), or is it like a bar of gold (commodity), or it is like a load of company stock (asset).

Today it decided that bitcoin will be treated as an asset, so any money you make from mining or selling bitcoin will be treated as though you earned or sold shares.

What does that mean?
It means if you mine bitcoin, you’ll have to declare it as taxable income with a value equal to the worth of the Bitcoin on the day it was mined. Also, if you spend bitcoin, you may end up paying taxes on the value of the appreciation.

What does that really mean?
Say you have a dollar’s worth of bitcoin. Overnight bitcoin doubles in value – which isn’t outside the bounds of possibility, after all! Your local pub is offering a promotional IPA for two bucks. If the barkeep accepts your bitcoin for that beer, you will have to declare the capital gain on that dollar’s worth of bitcoin – which has, of course doubled in value.

So you get a beer, but you also get a tax bill.

But what if my bitcoin loses value?
Well then you can subtract that loss from your capital gains and your income.  Which is pretty cool.

Does this make bitcoin more accessible or more acceptable?
It makes it more acceptable to the IRS, certainly. But it doesn’t make things much different for the average person.  In fact, because the IRS has decided it’s not a currency, Bitcoin accounts aren’t likely to see the kind of regulatory protections that bank accounts receive, like FDIC insurance. But it is a sign that regulation is moving quickly to embrace Bitcoin … which is good for Bitcoin.

Senate Slugfest Highlights Hawaii's Changing Political Landscape

NPR News - Tue, 2014-03-25 12:27

The contentious Democratic primary for the seat once held by the late longtime Sen. Daniel Inouye has placed age, gender and ethnicity at center stage.

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Men 'held illegal migrants hostage'

BBC - Tue, 2014-03-25 12:22
Five men are charged with holding 115 suspected illegal immigrants hostage in a squalid Texas "stash" house, days after the captives were freed.

The problem with "Golden Parachutes"

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-03-25 12:09

Time Warner CEO Robert Marcus will get $80 million once his company’s sale to Comcast is finished.  Marcus was on the job for just six weeks, which makes this one of the most “golden” of “golden parachutes.”

Nancy Koehn is with the Harvard Business School. She said Golden Parachutes have been around for at least a generation of CEO compensation and they are important for keeping CEOs in the fold when changes of control happen.

Koehn said the idea of “Golden Parachutes” is up for debate.

“Data does not support that if you pay someone like Robert Marcus more than a million dollars a day, that necessarily Comcast and Time Warner shareholders are going be better off, than if you paid him something that most reasonable people including compensation experts and other CEOs would recognize as some kind reward for what he’s doing; helping shepherd the sale of the company."

Koehn said the $80 million Marcus is receiving reflects the overall bar in corporate America being raised in corporate America for the senior levels or corporations.

Fire destroys Guatemala City market

BBC - Tue, 2014-03-25 12:07
A fire in Guatemala City destroys most of the main market, wiping out more than 1,000 stalls.

VIDEO: Underwater wind farm bombs detonated

BBC - Tue, 2014-03-25 12:05
A major operation to detonate three unexploded World War Two bombs at the site of a new off shore wind farm is under way.

Lowry collection sells for £15m

BBC - Tue, 2014-03-25 12:04
A collection of paintings by LS Lowry, owned by a Cambridgeshire businessman, sells for £15m at auction.

VIDEO: West Africa on Ebola high alert

BBC - Tue, 2014-03-25 12:03
Sierra Leone has become the latest country to be put on alert over a potential outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus.

In Ranchers Vs. Weeds, Climate Change Gives Weeds An Edge

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

Invasive weeds are already a big headache for ranchers, who spend thousands of dollars to get rid of them. New research shows that a changing climate is likely to help many of these weeds thrive.

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'Sous Chef' Reveals The High-Adrenaline Dance Behind Your Dinner

NPR News - Tue, 2014-03-25 12:00

In his new memoir, sous chef Michael Gibney spends 24 hours on the line, capturing the rhythm of a New York restaurant kitchen — from quiet morning prep work to dinner hour in full swing.

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At Nuclear Summit, Ukraine Questions Dominate The Day

NPR News - Tue, 2014-03-25 12:00

President Obama is holding a series of bilateral meetings with world leaders in The Hague. Although the event is focused on nuclear disarmament, international attention is dominated by events in Ukraine.

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Facing Ebola Outbreak, Officials Must Contain Both Virus And Panic

NPR News - Tue, 2014-03-25 12:00

Health workers in the West African nation of Guinea are working to control an outbreak of the Ebola virus. The disease has sickened 86 people and killed 59, according to the World Health Organization.

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Justices Divide By Gender In Hobby Lobby Contraception Case

NPR News - Tue, 2014-03-25 12:00

The company, citing religion, argued before the Supreme Court that it shouldn't have to provide contraception coverage in its health plan. The coverage is mandated by the Affordable Care Act.

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After Oil Spill, Ships Start Moving — But Cleanup Has Just Begun

NPR News - Tue, 2014-03-25 12:00

After a vast oil spill in the waters off Houston, authorities are reopening the shipping channel, hoping to ease the wait on those using it. Dave Fehling of Houston Public Media explains the cleanup.

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