National / International News

'Obamacare' will reduce US workforce

BBC - Tue, 2014-02-04 18:57
The Obama health law will cut the number of full-time workers by 2.3 million as some curtail hours to hold on to subsidies, budget analysts say.

Lawmakers Look To Prevent More Target-Sized Data Breaches

NPR News - Tue, 2014-02-04 18:57

Target says it's "deeply sorry" for compromising the data of up to 110 million customers. Appearing before lawmakers Tuesday, company executives backed a faster move to encrypted, chip-enabled cards to prevent future fraud.

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ANZ customers win partial victory

BBC - Tue, 2014-02-04 18:54
Australia's Federal Court says late fees charged by banking giant ANZ to customers were unconscionable and exorbitant.

'Nudge unit' privatisation unveiled

BBC - Tue, 2014-02-04 18:40
A Cabinet Office policy unit aimed at "nudging" people into making better lifestyle choices has been re-launched as a joint venture mutual company selling its services to government.

Colombia army dismissal over spying

BBC - Tue, 2014-02-04 18:12
Colombia's government dismisses the army's head of security following reports that army agents spied on officials negotiating with Farc rebels.

Speedy cyclists are better looking

BBC - Tue, 2014-02-04 17:48
Top performers in the Tour de France were considered better looking in an experiment that shows the power of evolution, say scientists.

'Animal Pompeii' wiped out creatures

BBC - Tue, 2014-02-04 17:47
Scientists believe fossil beds in northern China are packed with the victims of a volcanic explosion much like that that hit the Roman City of Pompeii.

Pain 'dimmer switch' discovered

BBC - Tue, 2014-02-04 17:42
Pain sensitivity is controlled by a genetic "dimmer switch", which can potentially be re-set, a study on twins suggests.

Morgan Stanley pays out $1.25bn

BBC - Tue, 2014-02-04 17:28
Investment bank Morgan Stanley agrees to pay $1.25bn to settle a lawsuit over the sale of mortgage-backed securities.

Jackdaws protect nests 'with eyes'

BBC - Tue, 2014-02-04 17:26
Jackdaws' bright eyes frighten off their competitors, according to scientists.

When flirting makes you more loyal

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-02-04 17:20

It turns out that flirting makes you more loyal -- at least in a business sense.

A professor at Harvard Business School found that exposure to a new brand actually made the customer more committed to their original favorite brand

For example, the researchers asked people who were die hard Coca-Cola drinkers to name some good qualities of Pepsi, and vice versa.

In both cases, doing so made the customers return more fiercely to their preferred soda pop.

Maybe just don't try this on your spouse.

In pictures: Soviet posters of the silent screen

BBC - Tue, 2014-02-04 17:15
Soviet film posters of the 1920s

Young discouraged from skills route

BBC - Tue, 2014-02-04 17:12
Many young people who chose a vocational route over an academic one say they were actively discouraged from following that path, a survey suggests.

Maths teacher boost for colleges

BBC - Tue, 2014-02-04 17:10
Graduates who take up a maths teaching post at a further education college in England are to be given a "golden hello" of £7,500.

Pacific castaway 'mulled suicide'

BBC - Tue, 2014-02-04 16:58
The castaway who says he survived more than a year adrift in the Pacific has said he considered killing himself but was determined to survive.

New strain of 'deadly' bird flu

BBC - Tue, 2014-02-04 16:52
Experts are concerned about the spread of a new strain of bird flu that has already killed one woman in China.

Silk Road 'mastermind' charged

BBC - Tue, 2014-02-04 16:52
The US charges a 29-year-old California man alleged to be the owner of Silk Road, a drug website that brokered $1bn (£613m) in transactions.

NHS fraud rises by 42% in five years

BBC - Tue, 2014-02-04 16:39
A BBC Scotland investigation finds that fraud in the NHS has risen by 42% in the past five years.

Microsoft can still learn from Gates

BBC - Tue, 2014-02-04 16:39
What Microsoft's co-founder can still teach the firm

Satya Nadella and Bill Gates: Microsoft's Batman and Robin?

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-02-04 16:33

Big news out of the world’s biggest software maker today: After a months-long search, Microsoft has officially hired insider Satya Nadella as its new CEO. The 22-year company veteran is its third chief executive.

Our own Ben Johnson of the Marketplace Tech Report has been following the story. He says the announcement isn’t a big surprise – Nadella had worked on Bing and Azure, Microsoft’s successful cloud computing platform.

The question now: What’s next for Microsoft?

Johnson says:

"They’re moving a lot of [their] software onto the cloud -- basically, [making] a way for us to access these kinds of powerful tools, either as a business or as a single consumer, via the internet. Now, there’s another side of this – there’s Xbox, there’s the  Microsoft surface, which not very many people I know have. And then there’s the Windows phone, which is a product of Nokia now, and a space for Microsoft to grow in the hardware area. My guess is that Satya Nadella is going to work on the former more than the latter… what [he] is going to be focused on is big data and innovation in this area of cloud computing."


The other interesting nugget to come out of the CEO announcement is that Bill Gates, the founder of the company, will be leaving his position as chairman and will be something of a special tech adviser to Nadella:

"It is a little bit confusing and a little bit weird that Bill Gates is still around. I think what this tag-team, Bill Gates-Satya Nadella, Batman-and-Robin thing might be about is Bill Gates is sort of getting back involved in the company. He’s going to be working at the company three days a week, instead of dealing with investors. And he’s going be a sort of support to Satya Nadella. He’s going to be the reminder that the person who built this company is still involved in the day to day."

Nadella's got some "I built this" cred of his own, however – his cloud computing department at Microsoft is now is a $19 billion business. 

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