National News

Hacking away in Las Vegas

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-08-04 02:00

This week, thousands of people interested in all sorts of hacking are gathering in Nevada. They're headed to two conferences, Black Hat and Defcon, which are well known to the cybersecurity industry. But a thriving ecosystem of other meet-ups, tear downs, and other tech events are happening in Vegas as well. 

One of the meetings this week is the Password Con, a two day event.

Sophos Cybersecurity expert Chester Wisniewski describes the event as, “kind of all the global minds in security coming together to figure out this authentication problem.”

There is arguably enough happening on that front for there to be a separate conference on passwords alone.

The audience at the conference, according to Wisniewski, is “nerds of every security stripe” — criminal hackers, government spies, security  professionals,  and ethical hackers.

He says privacy and mobile are at the top of mind this year — the hacker side of the community is very interested in maintaining privacy, especially in the face of the continuing to unfold NSA revelations.

 

Grocery chain workers fight for millionaire CEO

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-08-04 02:00

One of the country’s most successful regional grocery chains is holding a job fair on Monday.  Massachusetts-based Market Basket is looking to replace employees who’ve been holding protests and asking customers to boycott its stores.

Two weeks into the rallies, it’s like the aftermath of a snowstorm in New England - dozens of Market Basket stores with slim pickings and few customers.

It's not low wages or high prices the workers are upset about; they just want their old boss back. Ousted CEO Arthur T. Demoulas famously kept prices low and paid a living wage, plus provided good benefits and profit-sharing.  Now, workers and Market Basket customers alike worry the company's new leaders, under "Artie T's" cousin, will change all that.

"This is not a protest against the company, it’s a protest to save the company," says Thomas Kochan, Co-Director of MIT’s Institute for Work and Employment Research. "You have store managers, clerical employees, and warehouse workers all coalescing together to take this action. That's unprecedented."

Market Basket’s new CEOs say they'll welcome those workers back, and the company won't change its "unmatched compensation and benefits." But they warn that employees who keep up the protest could lose pay, and even their jobs.

At the Center for Corporate Citizenship at Boston College, Executive Director Katherine Smith says Market Basket has an obligation to its shareholders. But, she adds, the low cost chain won its edge in part by putting employees ahead of profits.  

"More and more we see companies struggling with the question of not only am I helping to create the world I want to do business in, but also the world I want to live in," she says.

Whichever way Market Basket goes, Smith says CEOs around the country are watching.

 

Africa's Leaders Aim To Change Perception Of The Continent

NPR News - Sun, 2014-08-03 14:46

Scores of African leaders gather in Washington this week at an unprecedented summit organized by President Obama. The goal: Get the U.S. invested in Africa, and shape a new narrative along the way.

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Cleveland Slugger Jim Thome Retires After Signing One-Day Contract

NPR News - Sun, 2014-08-03 12:14

Calling a halt to a career that put him at the No. 7 spot on the all-time home run list, Jim Thome officially retired as a Cleveland Indian Saturday.

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Islamic State Seizes Towns Near Kurdish Area; Dam Seen At Risk

NPR News - Sun, 2014-08-03 10:33

The militants are hoping to cement control of the border area between Iraq, Syria and Turkey. At least 14 Kurdish soldiers were reportedly killed in the fighting this weekend.

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Anything You Can Spit Can Be Used Against You

NPR News - Sun, 2014-08-03 10:33

A lot of rappers glorify crime in their music. Sometimes, lyrics that appear to boast about crimes can lead to arrest. Should violent rap lyrics be used as an admission of guilt?

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Lego Releases Female Scientists Set; May Appease 7-Year-Old Critic

NPR News - Sun, 2014-08-03 08:07

Months after a girl took the company to task for its female toy figures, Lego has released the Research Institute, a play set created by a "real-life geophysicist, Ellen Kooijman," the company says.

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Taste For Rare, Wild Pangolin Is Driving The Mammal To Extinction

NPR News - Sun, 2014-08-03 06:48

The meat of this scaly, ant-eating creature has become a luxury food for some newly-rich Asians. But all eight pangolin species are now threatened by extinction, with two critically endangered.

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Algae Toxins Prompt Toledo To Ban Its Drinking Water

NPR News - Sun, 2014-08-03 06:31

The toxins' presence is blamed on algae from Lake Erie, sparking a water ban that has affected about half a million people since it was first announced this weekend.

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Can Google Build A Typeface To Support Every Written Language?

NPR News - Sun, 2014-08-03 05:31

Google recently announced a font family, Noto, that aims to include all the world's written languages. But it may prove to be an even more ambitious effort than self-driving cars.

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'It's So Terrible': Quake Reportedly Kills Hundreds In Southwest China

NPR News - Sun, 2014-08-03 05:25

A 6.1-magnitude earthquake hit Yunnan Province Sunday afternoon, leveling buildings and rippling roads. Rescue crews are still working to find survivors.

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Afghanistan Officials To Audit Votes From June Election

NPR News - Sun, 2014-08-03 05:18

Election officials in Afghanistan are preparing for an audit of all the votes cast in the June election after the two candidates disagreed on how to determine which votes were fraudulent.

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As Wildfires Burn Through Funds, Washington Seeks New Way To Pay

NPR News - Sun, 2014-08-03 05:18

Wildfires are ravaging the West Coast, burning homes and prompting evacuations. Responding to wildfires has proven costly and now the Obama administration is reevaluating how it pays to fight them.

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Sierra Leone, Struggling With Ebola, Passes On Africa Summit

NPR News - Sun, 2014-08-03 05:18

Umaru Fofana of the BBC World Service in Sierra Leone tells NPR's Arun Rath about the Ebola situation and the Sierra Leonean president's decision to stay home from the U.S.-Africa summit.

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Obama Moves To Overhaul VA With Compromise Measure

NPR News - Sun, 2014-08-03 05:18

Two months after VA Secretary Eric Shinseki resigned, President Obama looks set to sign legislation to overhaul the Department of Veterans Affairs, to the tune of nearly $17 billion.

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What The Week's Primaries Mean For Politics

NPR News - Sun, 2014-08-03 05:18

Another five states hold primaries this coming week, including Tennessee, Kansas and Michigan. NPR's Arun Rath talks to senior Washington correspondent Ron Elving about what's at stake.

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Africa Summit Hopes To Change The Narrative About The Continent

NPR News - Sun, 2014-08-03 05:18

The first ever U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit kicks off at the White House on Monday. Africa correspondent Gregory Warner previews what's on the agenda with NPR's Arun Rath.

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