Marketplace - American Public Media

Syndicate content
Updated: 11 min 56 sec ago

Space tourism: Still for the future, New Mexico learns

Fri, 2014-06-27 11:27

Money's everywhere. And then sometimes… suddenly… it's not.

Down in the Southern New Mexico desert four years ago, there was a kind of birthday.

Richard Branson, the billionaire behind Virgin Records, Virgin Mobile, Virgin Atlantic, christened Virgin Galactic and promised tourists a two and a half hour flight to space for $250,000 per trip.

The operation set up shop outside Las Cruces at a place called Spaceport America.

Josh Wheeler wrote about it for Buzzfeed. "It rises up in the middle of the desert, almost from ground level, on the south side, then opens up with this giant three story glass wall with this giant runway, coming out of it on the other side. It's really sort of a beautiful building to find out in the middle of the desert."

Fred Martino, Director of Content at the public radio station KRWG in Las Cruces,  lives near the facility.

"When people heard about this idea, they really were excited about it. And not just from an economic development standpoint," Martino says. "The idea that they would live in the place where space travel would be possible, that was really an exciting idea. So was what the Spaceport could bring with it, in a state where 30 percent of children live in poverty. New Mexico would front the money for the Spaceport. And Virgin would pay rent, and bring big spending space tourists, money and jobs. Plus, a chance to be a part of something kind of magical."

Except, it hasn't happened yet. There have been no Virgin Galactic space flights in 2012. Or 2013. There were construction delays. Haggles with regulators. Insurance problems. Political fights .

"There was some concern at one point about Virgin Galactic's future in New Mexico," Martino says. "And it had to do with the legislation that was being proposed at the state level to give liability protection for the folks who do the launches, build the equipment for the spaceport. And the Spaceport came with a big price tag. More than $200 million… money from the state, the local counties, and their taxpayers. For now, the action at the Spaceport is mostly from Elon Musk's company Space X. And NASA."

Josh Wheeler rode the one bus on the one road that drives to it. "The couple times I visited nothing was happening out there."

Virgin Galactic has said it will stay at Spaceport America. But state officials are no longer counting on those space tourists to make the money back. "They were no longer going to get the economic development that comes from the being cradle of a nascent industry, they had to rely on the promise of a tourist boom," Wheeler says.

For now, those are the people New Mexico is relying on to recoup its money: what they call "terrestrial space tourists," who will ride a bus out to the desert to see the Spaceport, and never get off the ground.

"It's very ironic, that on the one hand you have people that can afford a $250,000 ticket going up into sub-orbital space, and getting those amazing views. And on the other hand, you'll have people that can't afford those tickets, who are expected to just come and watch those people who do have that money, go and have this potentially life changing experience," Wheeler says.

What happens next here? What Virgin Galactic does next will dictate that. Richard Branson told Fusion that he's "90 percent certain" they will launch this year.

We reached out to both Virgin Galactic and Spaceport America, but as of now, we haven't heard back.

Space tourism: Still for the future, New Mexico learns

Fri, 2014-06-27 11:27

Money's everywhere. And then sometimes… suddenly… it's not.

Down in the Southern New Mexico desert four years ago, there was a kind of birthday.

Richard Branson, the billionaire behind Virgin Records, Virgin Mobile, Virgin Atlantic, christened Virgin Galactic and promised tourists a two and a half hour flight to space for $250,000 per trip.

The operation set up shop outside Las Cruces at a place called Spaceport America.

Josh Wheeler wrote about it for Buzzfeed. "It rises up in the middle of the desert, almost from ground level, on the south side, then opens up with this giant three story glass wall with this giant runway, coming out of it on the other side. It's really sort of a beautiful building to find out in the middle of the desert."

Fred Martino, Director of Content at the public radio station KRWG in Las Cruces,  lives near the facility.

"When people heard about this idea, they really were excited about it. And not just from an economic development standpoint," Martino says. "The idea that they would live in the place where space travel would be possible, that was really an exciting idea. So was what the Spaceport could bring with it, in a state where 30 percent of children live in poverty. New Mexico would front the money for the Spaceport. And Virgin would pay rent, and bring big spending space tourists, money and jobs. Plus, a chance to be a part of something kind of magical."

Except, it hasn't happened yet. There have been no Virgin Galactic space flights in 2012. Or 2013. There were construction delays. Haggles with regulators. Insurance problems. Political fights .

"There was some concern at one point about Virgin Galactic's future in New Mexico," Martino says. "And it had to do with the legislation that was being proposed at the state level to give liability protection for the folks who do the launches, build the equipment for the spaceport. And the Spaceport came with a big price tag. More than $200 million… money from the state, the local counties, and their taxpayers. For now, the action at the Spaceport is mostly from Elon Musk's company Space X. And NASA."

Josh Wheeler rode the one bus on the one road that drives to it. "The couple times I visited nothing was happening out there."

Virgin Galactic has said it will stay at Spaceport America. But state officials are no longer counting on those space tourists to make the money back. "They were no longer going to get the economic development that comes from the being cradle of a nascent industry, they had to rely on the promise of a tourist boom," Wheeler says.

For now, those are the people New Mexico is relying on to recoup its money: what they call "terrestrial space tourists," who will ride a bus out to the desert to see the Spaceport, and never get off the ground.

"It's very ironic, that on the one hand you have people that can afford a $250,000 ticket going up into sub-orbital space, and getting those amazing views. And on the other hand, you'll have people that can't afford those tickets, who are expected to just come and watch those people who do have that money, go and have this potentially life changing experience," Wheeler says.

What happens next here? What Virgin Galactic does next will dictate that. Richard Branson told Fusion that he's "90 percent certain" they will launch this year.

We reached out to both Virgin Galactic and Spaceport America, but as of now, we haven't heard back.

Tech IRL: A second life for pay phones

Fri, 2014-06-27 11:21

Ever walk down the street and see a phone booth? Do you even notice it anymore?

There are some city planners and internet companies out there that do.

Cities in the United States and around the world are working on turning those neglected telephones into wi-fi hotspots. Among them: New York City.

Marketplace Tech host Ben Johnson joins Weekend host Lizzie O’Leary to explore tech in real life.

Tech IRL: A second life for pay phones

Fri, 2014-06-27 11:21

Ever walk down the street and see a phone booth? Do you even notice it anymore?

There are some city planners and internet companies out there that do.

Cities in the United States and around the world are working on turning those neglected telephones into wi-fi hotspots. Among them: New York City.

Marketplace Tech host Ben Johnson joins Weekend host Lizzie O’Leary to explore tech in real life.

What can art tell us about the economy?

Fri, 2014-06-27 10:53

It's a busy time of year for art collectors. Art Basel, one of the world’s biggest art shows in Switzerland, wrapped up a week ago. Now, London is in the middle of a few big art sales.

Auction houses like Sotheby's and Christie's are selling impressionist and modern art one week, post-war and contemporary art the next. But no matter what era the art is from, people from all over the world are paying a whole lot of money for these pieces.

"By looking at what types of artists are selling well in any particular part of the world, you actually glean a lot of helpful information about how successful those parts of the world feel," says Kelly Crow, reporter for The Wall Street Journal. "When they feel successful they buy art. It’s a tried and true thing we’ve seen, especially in the last ten years."

Many of these London art bidders are participating by phone. And a lot of those calls are coming from Asia.

"When China wants to spend some serious money, they have it," says Crow. "And they certainly are interested in art more than they were a few years ago."

What can art tell us about the economy?

Fri, 2014-06-27 10:53

It's a busy time of year for art collectors. Art Basel, one of the world’s biggest art shows in Switzerland, wrapped up a week ago. Now, London is in the middle of a few big art sales.

Auction houses like Sotheby's and Christie's are selling impressionist and modern art one week, post-war and contemporary art the next. But no matter what era the art is from, people from all over the world are paying a whole lot of money for these pieces.

"By looking at what types of artists are selling well in any particular part of the world, you actually glean a lot of helpful information about how successful those parts of the world feel," says Kelly Crow, reporter for The Wall Street Journal. "When they feel successful they buy art. It’s a tried and true thing we’ve seen, especially in the last ten years."

Many of these London art bidders are participating by phone. And a lot of those calls are coming from Asia.

"When China wants to spend some serious money, they have it," says Crow. "And they certainly are interested in art more than they were a few years ago."

My money story: Writer Anna Holmes

Fri, 2014-06-27 10:49

Every week, we have someone tell us their story about money. This week, writer and Jezebel creator Anna Holmes tells us how money impacted her life growing up.

It was 2008, and I was sitting in the Brooklyn home office of my longtime accountant, who informed me that I had, for the first time in my 15-year-career, made over $100,000 in a year.

To be exact, one hundred and two thousand, three hundred and fifty-four dollars. And seventy-two cents.

The six-figure mark filled me with pride, but it was short-lived. For one thing, I didn’t have much to show for it, other than a new outfit (or three), and maybe a couple of fancier dinners than I was accustomed to enjoying. For two, it was, I quickly realized somewhat guiltily, the first time I had ever made more money than either of my parents.

I grew up in a lower middle-class household in an affluent college town in Northern California. To say that money was a stressor in the lives of my parents — and in my own life — would be the truth, but not the whole truth.

My younger sister and I never went without. Our parents found the funds to buy us new clothes, new school supplies, take us on camping trips, and, once, when I was 15, send me to visit a friend in Australia. We were never without a roof over our heads. We had a car. We ate well, and, for the most part, we slept well too.

Even so, the financial stresses that my parents endured throughout my childhood felt personal and arbitrarily punitive, what with all the other kids and their trips to Tahoe, in shiny new BMW sedans, and their apparent ignorance of any sort of existence that would complicate their lives or keep them out of the trendiest clothes and away from the most sought-after vacation destinations.

Other kids’ parents, I suspected, did not worry so much about money, did not fret as to whether they’d be able to make the mortgage payment that month, or whether the cherry-red Chevrolet Nova was, as suspected, on its last legs, or how in God’s name they were going to pay for their children’s eventual college educations.

My parents’ financial insecurities made me feel impotent and terrified, and then, as I got older, they made me angry and determined, at which point I vowed that I would avenge some of the bad choices they had made and circumstances they had endured by growing up to become a wealthy adult, thereby ensuring that they would never have to worry about money again.

I would pay off my mom’s house, and buy my father a bungalow in nearby Berkeley, plus the Chevy Suburban he always wanted. They would, through me, obtain a status that they had not been able to attain otherwise, and when people looked at them they would not see a struggling single mom overwhelmed by two difficult adolescent daughters or a soft-spoken, middle-aged African-American male.

They would see two loving, intelligent, passionate, authentic human beings, and maybe, just maybe, my parents would be karmically rewarded for it.

What I didn’t know then was that my parents’ supposed humiliations were also — mostly — my own, and that six-figure salaries did not make up for the profound humiliations or petty jealousies and resentments that come from living in a sexist world, a racist world, or a capitalist world, which is to say, an often unfair world.

What I didn’t know then was that more money — a little or, perhaps, even a lot of it — wouldn’t profoundly change our narratives, wouldn’t bestow upon me or those to whom I was related the respect and rewards I believed were our due, if not our birthright. It would not make my parents any prouder of me, and, as was made perfectly clear as I grew older and the size of my annual salary increased, it certainly wouldn’t allow me to pay off that mortgage or buy that Berkeley bungalow.

The only thing that my making more money than my predecessors symbolized, in fact, was that my parents had not failed but succeeded, triumphed in their efforts give me access to the experiences and educations that might lead to the sort of professional and personal rewards they had only dreamed of.

That, really, was all they had ever wanted to do.

My money story: Writer Anna Holmes

Fri, 2014-06-27 10:49

Every week, we have someone tell us their story about money. This week, writer and Jezebel creator Anna Holmes tells us how money impacted her life growing up.

It was 2008, and I was sitting in the Brooklyn home office of my longtime accountant, who informed me that I had, for the first time in my 15-year-career, made over $100,000 in a year.

To be exact, one hundred and two thousand, three hundred and fifty-four dollars. And seventy-two cents.

The six-figure mark filled me with pride, but it was short-lived. For one thing, I didn’t have much to show for it, other than a new outfit (or three), and maybe a couple of fancier dinners than I was accustomed to enjoying. For two, it was, I quickly realized somewhat guiltily, the first time I had ever made more money than either of my parents.

I grew up in a lower middle-class household in an affluent college town in Northern California. To say that money was a stressor in the lives of my parents — and in my own life — would be the truth, but not the whole truth.

My younger sister and I never went without. Our parents found the funds to buy us new clothes, new school supplies, take us on camping trips, and, once, when I was 15, send me to visit a friend in Australia. We were never without a roof over our heads. We had a car. We ate well, and, for the most part, we slept well too.

Even so, the financial stresses that my parents endured throughout my childhood felt personal and arbitrarily punitive, what with all the other kids and their trips to Tahoe, in shiny new BMW sedans, and their apparent ignorance of any sort of existence that would complicate their lives or keep them out of the trendiest clothes and away from the most sought-after vacation destinations.

Other kids’ parents, I suspected, did not worry so much about money, did not fret as to whether they’d be able to make the mortgage payment that month, or whether the cherry-red Chevrolet Nova was, as suspected, on its last legs, or how in God’s name they were going to pay for their children’s eventual college educations.

My parents’ financial insecurities made me feel impotent and terrified, and then, as I got older, they made me angry and determined, at which point I vowed that I would avenge some of the bad choices they had made and circumstances they had endured by growing up to become a wealthy adult, thereby ensuring that they would never have to worry about money again.

I would pay off my mom’s house, and buy my father a bungalow in nearby Berkeley, plus the Chevy Suburban he always wanted. They would, through me, obtain a status that they had not been able to attain otherwise, and when people looked at them they would not see a struggling single mom overwhelmed by two difficult adolescent daughters or a soft-spoken, middle-aged African-American male.

They would see two loving, intelligent, passionate, authentic human beings, and maybe, just maybe, my parents would be karmically rewarded for it.

What I didn’t know then was that my parents’ supposed humiliations were also — mostly — my own, and that six-figure salaries did not make up for the profound humiliations or petty jealousies and resentments that come from living in a sexist world, a racist world, or a capitalist world, which is to say, an often unfair world.

What I didn’t know then was that more money — a little or, perhaps, even a lot of it — wouldn’t profoundly change our narratives, wouldn’t bestow upon me or those to whom I was related the respect and rewards I believed were our due, if not our birthright. It would not make my parents any prouder of me, and, as was made perfectly clear as I grew older and the size of my annual salary increased, it certainly wouldn’t allow me to pay off that mortgage or buy that Berkeley bungalow.

The only thing that my making more money than my predecessors symbolized, in fact, was that my parents had not failed but succeeded, triumphed in their efforts give me access to the experiences and educations that might lead to the sort of professional and personal rewards they had only dreamed of.

That, really, was all they had ever wanted to do.

'I can't believe I bought that...'

Fri, 2014-06-27 10:42

We've all done it.

It's way past your bedtime. Maybe you find yourself shopping online and then you buy ... THAT THING. You know, the one that makes you say, "I can't believe I bought that."

We've opened up our own museum of regret, and we want you to add yours. Check out our Tumblr at icantbelieveiboughtthat.tumblr.com. While you're there, leave us a story and a picture of the purchase you regret most.

Each week, we'll pick our favorite entry and feature it on our show.

To get the ball rolling, here's mine:

It's a lithograph ... I think? A big canvas print of a panda, holding six shooters, on a rainbow backdrop.

It came from the internet ... and there might have been some wine involved.

That's all I'm sayin'.

'I can't believe I bought that...'

Fri, 2014-06-27 10:42

We've all done it.

It's way past your bedtime. Maybe you find yourself shopping online and then you buy ... THAT THING. You know, the one that makes you say, "I can't believe I bought that."

We've opened up our own museum of regret, and we want you to add yours. Check out our Tumblr at icantbelieveiboughtthat.tumblr.com. While you're there, leave us a story and a picture of the purchase you regret most.

Each week, we'll pick our favorite entry and feature it on our show.

To get the ball rolling, here's mine:

It's a lithograph ... I think? A big canvas print of a panda, holding six shooters, on a rainbow backdrop.

It came from the internet ... and there might have been some wine involved.

That's all I'm sayin'.

Atop the Iron Throne of pirated TV

Fri, 2014-06-27 10:34

Have you been using our handy list of places to pirate this year's World Cup?

Not that we want to encourage you to do anything illegal, but, chances are, you're already well on your way. During the 2010 World Cup alone, millions of people around the world streamed the games through one of 18,000 illegal broadcasts. And that was back in 2010, when Blackberry phones were still hot tech.

FIFA, the governing body behind the World Cup, took the unprecedented move this year of warning several prominent sites not to allow illegal game streams. (Copyright owners usually wait for the law to be broken before taking action.)

But, ultimately, trying to shut down online piracy might be a futile effort by copyright owners. Case in point: Millions and millions of people love to watch "Game of Thrones" -- but only a share of them pay HBO for the privilege of watching one man crush another man's head with his bare hands. And if you're not one of the people using your ex-roommate's girlfriend's mom's boss's HBOGo account, you're one of the millions of people straight up illegally downloading copies of the show.

"Game of Thrones" has sat atop the Iron Throne of illegally downloaded TV shows three years in a row. In fact, TorrentFreak put together this list of the most pirated shows of 2013.

Atop the Iron Throne of pirated TV

Fri, 2014-06-27 10:34

Have you been using our handy list of places to pirate this year's World Cup?

Not that we want to encourage you to do anything illegal, but, chances are, you're already well on your way. During the 2010 World Cup alone, millions of people around the world streamed the games through one of 18,000 illegal broadcasts. And that was back in 2010, when Blackberry phones were still hot tech.

FIFA, the governing body behind the World Cup, took the unprecedented move this year of warning several prominent sites not to allow illegal game streams. (Copyright owners usually wait for the law to be broken before taking action.)

But, ultimately, trying to shut down online piracy might be a futile effort by copyright owners. Case in point: Millions and millions of people love to watch "Game of Thrones" -- but only a share of them pay HBO for the privilege of watching one man crush another man's head with his bare hands. And if you're not one of the people using your ex-roommate's girlfriend's mom's boss's HBOGo account, you're one of the millions of people straight up illegally downloading copies of the show.

"Game of Thrones" has sat atop the Iron Throne of illegally downloaded TV shows three years in a row. In fact, TorrentFreak put together this list of the most pirated shows of 2013.

People love pirating Game of Thrones, games of soccer

Fri, 2014-06-27 10:34

Have you been using our handy list of places to pirate this year's World Cup?

Not that we want to encourage you to do anything illegal, but at this point, illegally streaming or downloading content is the norm. During the 2010 Cup alone, millions of people around the world streamed the games through one of 18,000 illegal broadcasts. And that back in 2010, when the hot new piece of tech to own was the iPhone 4.

FIFA, the governing body behind the World Cup, took the unprecedented move this year of warning several prominent sites not to allow steams of broadcasts of the games. Copyright owners usually wait for the law to be broken before taking action.

But, ultimately, copyright owners trying to shut down online piracy might be a futile effort. Millions and millions of people love to watch "Game of Thrones." Though very few of them are paying HBO for the privilege of watching one man crush another man's head with his bare hands. If you're not one of the people who is using your ex-roommate's girlfriend's mom's boss's HBOGo account, you're one of the millions of people illegally pirating the show.

"Game of Thrones" has sat atop the Iron Throne of Illegally Downloaded TV Shows three years in a row now. Among the other most popular downloads are some of the most buzzed about shows online. TorrentFreak put together this list of the most pirated shows of 2013. It makes it easy to guess what might be on their list this year.

Defining the new middle class

Fri, 2014-06-27 10:29

Do you consider yourself middle class?

(function(d, s, id) {var js,ijs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(d.getElementById(id))return;js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="//embed.scribblelive.com/widgets/embed.js";ijs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, ijs);}(document, 'script', 'scrbbl-js'));

Heather Moore is an 11th grade history teacher and lives in Glendora, California, a suburb of Los Angeles, and is 31 weeks pregnant. Her husband, Michael, is a computer programmer and stay-at-home Dad to 4-year-old April.

They live on about $82,000 a year, just over the median income in Glendora.

Moore considers herself solidly middle class. Why? "I don't even know if I could put my finger on it. We have a very suburban life style. We are not struggling, but we are still concerned about money.

Moore wrote us online about how being in the middle is a balance of needs and wants: " My uncle has this great line that he said, 'As long as you have everything you need and a little of what you want, than that is essentially a good life.' And that's where I feel we are today," Moore says. "We can afford to paint our house, and save up a little for new carpet, but then also pay some out of the budget too."

And, they have no debt beyond their mortgage, too.

"Michael and I have a college education with no debt leftover. That was a tremendous gift that my family was able to give us. That's the gift I want to give my children. That's my priority when it comes to saving is to give them a college education that's debt-free. And if I put off retirement a few years, then so be it. I can't think of a better reason to do it... I also kind of see this generationally and see this as an age thing as well. My grandparents did a lot to help out my parents when me and my brothers were born. And my mom is essentially paying it forward. So she's promised the diaper service for this one when he's born. And the way I'm going to thank my mom is to do this for April. In fact, I wrote her a thank you note, and she said you don't need to do this, just do this for April. And that's how you're going to thank me."

Jason DiPinto, a Navy chaplain in San Diego, Calif., calls himself "borderline middle class."

"When I see that sort of thing, and I do, I travel a lot for my job, around to a lot of different communities. And when I see communities, even sometimes new ones, that look like the community I grew up in, but to me that's like watching a black-and-white television show."

Despite a steady job, benefits, and potential job growth, DiPinto is unsure where to place himself. "I think that when I talk to my friends, and I talk to my peers, I think we were very affected by the last four or five years. And I think what it means for us to be secure is very different than when we grew up."

Defining the new middle class

Fri, 2014-06-27 10:29

Do you consider yourself middle class?

(function(d, s, id) {var js,ijs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(d.getElementById(id))return;js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="//embed.scribblelive.com/widgets/embed.js";ijs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, ijs);}(document, 'script', 'scrbbl-js'));

Heather Moore is an 11th grade history teacher and lives in Glendora, California, a suburb of Los Angeles, and is 31 weeks pregnant. Her husband, Michael, is a computer programmer and stay-at-home Dad to 4-year-old April.

They live on about $82,000 a year, just over the median income in Glendora.

Moore considers herself solidly middle class. Why? "I don't even know if I could put my finger on it. We have a very suburban life style. We are not struggling, but we are still concerned about money.

Moore wrote us online about how being in the middle is a balance of needs and wants: " My uncle has this great line that he said, 'As long as you have everything you need and a little of what you want, than that is essentially a good life.' And that's where I feel we are today," Moore says. "We can afford to paint our house, and save up a little for new carpet, but then also pay some out of the budget too."

And, they have no debt beyond their mortgage, too.

"Michael and I have a college education with no debt leftover. That was a tremendous gift that my family was able to give us. That's the gift I want to give my children. That's my priority when it comes to saving is to give them a college education that's debt-free. And if I put off retirement a few years, then so be it. I can't think of a better reason to do it... I also kind of see this generationally and see this as an age thing as well. My grandparents did a lot to help out my parents when me and my brothers were born. And my mom is essentially paying it forward. So she's promised the diaper service for this one when he's born. And the way I'm going to thank my mom is to do this for April. In fact, I wrote her a thank you note, and she said you don't need to do this, just do this for April. And that's how you're going to thank me."

Jason DiPinto, a Navy chaplain in San Diego, Calif., calls himself "borderline middle class."

"When I see that sort of thing, and I do, I travel a lot for my job, around to a lot of different communities. And when I see communities, even sometimes new ones, that look like the community I grew up in, but to me that's like watching a black-and-white television show."

Despite a steady job, benefits, and potential job growth, DiPinto is unsure where to place himself. "I think that when I talk to my friends, and I talk to my peers, I think we were very affected by the last four or five years. And I think what it means for us to be secure is very different than when we grew up."

Dov Charney, the World Cup and Aereo over Brunch

Fri, 2014-06-27 09:21

As part of the new Marketplace Weekend, Lizzie O'Leary will sit down for a weekly conversation about the topics you want to know more about and the stories you may have missed. In this, the inaugural epsiode, Lizzie sat down at Les Noces Du Figaro in downtown Los Angeles with Andrea Chang of the L.A. Times and Buzzfeed's Ken Bensinger.

The brunch discussion topics included:

1. The Supreme Court's decision on Aereo.

2. Andrea Chang's report on the exit of Dov Charney from American Apparel, the company he founded:

American Apparel founder Dov Charney was an unpredictable executive.

Although heralded as a retail innovator and an advocate for American manufacturing and fair wages, he also faced numerous sexual misconduct accusations.

Over the years, the chief executive -- who on Wednesday was ousted by American Apparel's board of directors because of "alleged misconduct" -- behaved oddly during many interviews with Times reporters. 

During a factory tour several years ago, he refused to answer questions about the company and talked repeatedly about "Sesame Street."

3. Ken Bensinger's report on U.S. soccer and the World Cup, examining the man who helped build soccer in the United States:

In the middle of 1989, suburban soccer dad Chuck Blazer had just lost his job, had no income, and was struggling with debt.

But he did have a few things going for him: He was audacious, with a keen eye for opportunity; he was a splendid salesman; and he knew a vast amount about the world’s most popular sport. Not the fine points of on-field strategy — he’d never actually played the game — but rather the business of American soccer, which was, back then, woeful. Compared to baseball, basketball, and football, soccer was a starving runt. Multiple professional leagues had flopped. TV networks couldn’t even figure out how to fit commercials into the 90-minute, time-out-free games, and they rarely bothered to broadcast the sport. The United States national team hadn’t qualified for a World Cup in nearly 40 years.

A quarter-century later, American soccer has become an athletic and economic powerhouse, due substantially to the contributions of Blazer. He helped win Major League Soccer’s first real TV contract, and just last month the MLS inked a $720 million TV deal. The U.S. national team, which he helped promote, is now a World Cup mainstay, ranked higher than powers such as France and the Netherlands. And more people in America are playing soccer than any team sport save basketball.

Dov Charney, the World Cup and Aereo over Brunch

Fri, 2014-06-27 09:21

As part of the new Marketplace Weekend, Lizzie O'Leary will sit down for a weekly conversation about the topics you want to know more about and the stories you may have missed. In this, the inaugural epsiode, Lizzie sat down at Les Noces Du Figaro in downtown Los Angeles with Andrea Chang of the L.A. Times and Buzzfeed's Ken Bensinger.

The brunch discussion topics included:

1. The Supreme Court's decision on Aereo.

2. Andrea Chang's report on the exit of Dov Charney from American Apparel, the company he founded:

American Apparel founder Dov Charney was an unpredictable executive.

Although heralded as a retail innovator and an advocate for American manufacturing and fair wages, he also faced numerous sexual misconduct accusations.

Over the years, the chief executive -- who on Wednesday was ousted by American Apparel's board of directors because of "alleged misconduct" -- behaved oddly during many interviews with Times reporters. 

During a factory tour several years ago, he refused to answer questions about the company and talked repeatedly about "Sesame Street."

3. Ken Bensinger's report on U.S. soccer and the World Cup, examining the man who helped build soccer in the United States:

In the middle of 1989, suburban soccer dad Chuck Blazer had just lost his job, had no income, and was struggling with debt.

But he did have a few things going for him: He was audacious, with a keen eye for opportunity; he was a splendid salesman; and he knew a vast amount about the world’s most popular sport. Not the fine points of on-field strategy — he’d never actually played the game — but rather the business of American soccer, which was, back then, woeful. Compared to baseball, basketball, and football, soccer was a starving runt. Multiple professional leagues had flopped. TV networks couldn’t even figure out how to fit commercials into the 90-minute, time-out-free games, and they rarely bothered to broadcast the sport. The United States national team hadn’t qualified for a World Cup in nearly 40 years.

A quarter-century later, American soccer has become an athletic and economic powerhouse, due substantially to the contributions of Blazer. He helped win Major League Soccer’s first real TV contract, and just last month the MLS inked a $720 million TV deal. The U.S. national team, which he helped promote, is now a World Cup mainstay, ranked higher than powers such as France and the Netherlands. And more people in America are playing soccer than any team sport save basketball.

If Aereo is dead, what's next in the evolution of TV?

Fri, 2014-06-27 09:18

In a decision this week the Supreme Court effectively pulled the rug out from TV streamer Aereo. The company is small, but the ramifications are big.

Quartz Senior Editor Zach Seward says the decision will impact consumers and could significantly alter the fight to make TV internet-friendly:

But part of the US Copyright Act of 1976 was written explicitly to prevent cable companies from doing that. In its ruling, the court found that Aereo functions like a cable company: “Behind-the-scenes technological differences do not distinguish Aereo’s system from cable systems,” justice Stephen Breyer wrote. As a result, the court found, Aereo’s service constitutes a “public performance” of television for which it needs a copyright license. Aereo had argued that it’s more like an equipment provider: Its customers rent tiny antennas, which are connected to a DVR and attached to a very long cord. But because that cord is actually the internet, the case threatened to implicate other cloud technology, as well.   

“The Court vows that its ruling will not affect cloud-storage providers and cable-television systems,” justice Antonin Scalia wrote in a dissenting opinion, “but it cannot deliver on that promise given the imprecision of its result-driven rule.” He mocked the majority’s finding that Aereo resembles a cable company, saying it would “sow confusion for years to come.”

Underlying the back-and-forth between Scalia and Breyer is a long-running dispute about how to interpret legislative statutes like the Copyright Act. Breyer’s interpretation takes into account that Congress, in 1976, intended to prevent more-or-less exactly what Aereo is now doing. Scalia—along with justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas, who joined him in the dissent—think the only thing that matters is the strict text of the law.

If Aereo is dead, what's next in the evolution of TV?

Fri, 2014-06-27 09:18

In a decision this week the Supreme Court effectively pulled the rug out from TV streamer Aereo. The company is small, but the ramifications are big.

Quartz Senior Editor Zach Seward says the decision will impact consumers and could significantly alter the fight to make TV internet-friendly:

But part of the US Copyright Act of 1976 was written explicitly to prevent cable companies from doing that. In its ruling, the court found that Aereo functions like a cable company: “Behind-the-scenes technological differences do not distinguish Aereo’s system from cable systems,” justice Stephen Breyer wrote. As a result, the court found, Aereo’s service constitutes a “public performance” of television for which it needs a copyright license. Aereo had argued that it’s more like an equipment provider: Its customers rent tiny antennas, which are connected to a DVR and attached to a very long cord. But because that cord is actually the internet, the case threatened to implicate other cloud technology, as well.   

“The Court vows that its ruling will not affect cloud-storage providers and cable-television systems,” justice Antonin Scalia wrote in a dissenting opinion, “but it cannot deliver on that promise given the imprecision of its result-driven rule.” He mocked the majority’s finding that Aereo resembles a cable company, saying it would “sow confusion for years to come.”

Underlying the back-and-forth between Scalia and Breyer is a long-running dispute about how to interpret legislative statutes like the Copyright Act. Breyer’s interpretation takes into account that Congress, in 1976, intended to prevent more-or-less exactly what Aereo is now doing. Scalia—along with justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas, who joined him in the dissent—think the only thing that matters is the strict text of the law.

PODCAST: Bitcoin for sale

Fri, 2014-06-27 03:00

With the the commerce department saying that GDP fell 3% in the first quarter -- the largest revision in three decades -- a look at what investors are saying about the stunning downward revision. Plus, more on the auction of $18 million worth of bitcoin by the U.S. Marshal's office. Also, homeless rates have been steadily going down for a number of years, even through the Great Recession. Part of the credit goes to programs that give shelter to the homeless without any preconditions

ON THE AIR
Echoes
Next Up: @ 02:00 am
BBC World Service

KBBI is Powered by Active Listeners like You

As we celebrate 35 years of broadcasting, we look ahead to technology improvements and the changing landscape of public radio.

Support the voices, music, information, and ideas that add so much to your life.Thank you for supporting your local public radio station.

FOLLOW US

Drupal theme by pixeljets.com ver.1.4