National / International News
A surprisingly weak jobs report this morning has investors and economist rethinking our economic recovery. According the the Department of Labor, only 126,000 jobs were created last month — half what economists had expected. More on that. Why Nevada's Supreme Court is facing a funding shortage? The answer might lie in how fast people are driving. Finally, a visit to our national parks and their billion-dollar maintenance costs.
A Georgia jury awarded $150 million to the family of a four-year-old boy killed when the 1999 Grand Cherokee Jeep he was riding in exploded after it was rear-ended by a pickup truck.
The Jeep's fuel tank was in the back, apparently with little protection around it. So, when the Jeep was hit, the fuel tank blew up.
Chrysler has issued a statement saying it was disappointed, and would consider an appeal.
But that could be difficult because the jury based the penalty partly on the value of the boy’s life.
“I think it’ll be an uphill fight for Chrysler," says Carl Tobias, a professor of product liability law at the University of Richmond. "What’s more likely is they may threaten to appeal and then maybe settle at some lower figure than the amount the jury brought in yesterday.”
Tobias also says people who were involved in Jeep accidents may re-evaluate lawsuits against Chrysler, since they’re now more aware of the apparent problems with these rear fuel tanks.
“They may be encouraged to sue where they weren’t before or may learn that their accident was caused by some defect in the vehicle," he says.
But Chrysler says the Georgia jury was prevented from taking into account data that Chrysler says shows that the 1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee does not “pose an unreasonable risk to motor vehicle safety.”
France's aviation safety agency says co-pilot Andreas Lubitz "changed the automatic pilot settings to increase the speed of the airplane in its descent" before last week's deadly crash.
The party and its leading 2016 contenders are finding themselves between a rock and hard place on Indiana's and Arkansas' recently amended laws.
Nevada's Chief Justice says the court is facing a funding shortfall of $700,000. He blamed the deficit on police issuing fewer traffic and parking tickets. Many people in Nevada were unaware that the state's highest court relies on lead-footed drivers to keep it fiscally afloat. Critics say tying court funding to the issuance of tickets could create a quota system in which police officers feel compelled to hand out higher numbers of tickets.
Click the media player above to hear more.
The Easter egg—as in the the hidden message in computer programs or video games—got pretty interesting as the sixth season of the animated series Archer unraveled. The show’s creators plotted an elaborate Easter egg, thanks to lead motion designer Mark Paterson, who hid around 40 clues for an internet journey that superfans slowly but faithfully decrypted.
If you’re wondering how complicated can it really get: the list of clues included a so-called HEX code, which led to a URL, which led to a weird YouTube video and then a craigslist advertisement and it goes on.
This isn’t the first time Archer’s creators tried something like this. They have planted jokes and hidden messages in previous episodes, but they were usually isolated; independent of each other.
“This time I wanted to do something that connected them all together so there was some kind of trail,” said Mark Paterson. “So it would constantly keep it going. They had to go from one to the next and maybe come back to the episode to get the next clue.”
Although he planned most of it ahead of time, he also kept adding to it, deepening the trail and making it more complicated.
“I spent a weekend adding in about 30 to 40 additional steps,” said Paterson.
One of the most complex clues involved a spectrogram, which, Paterson explained, is “a way of encoding or hiding the message within the audio data.”
Basically, it’s something visual that’s in the audio data but you cannot see it in waveform.
“Most audio programs would show you the waveform by default,” said Paterson. “You have to go the extra step to find the spectrogram.”
But who could possibly succeed at this without some help?
“The nice thing about Archer is the fans are ... always looking out for this kind of thing,” said Paterson. “I was banking on them knowing to be looking for stuff. They have previously shown that they have found stuff.”
Bonus: Click below to hear Casey Willis, the show's co-Executive Producer, in conversation with Marketplace Tech host Ben Johnson.
That's how many U.S. jobs were added in March, as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics's jobs report released on Friday. The unemployment rate remained unchanged at 5.5 percent.$64,432
Another bummer from the Bureau of Labor Statistics: average household income dropped for the second year in a row to $64,432. The Washington Post's Wonkblog notes the richest fifth of Americans saw their income rise by 0.9 percent before taxes, while the poorest fifth lost 3.5 percent.$11.5 billion
That's the total costs of deferred maintenance for the National Parks Service. Of that figure, $850 million is attributed to the National Mall and Memorial Parks. Which means monuments like the Jefferson Memorial will have to wait on repairs such as a new ceiling.4 percent
The portion of homes in Cuba with Internet access, one potential hurtle in Airbnb's recent expansion there, Bloomberg reported. There are about 1,000 listings up now, with more surely on the way. Airbnb is one of the first American companies to have a presence in Cuba since the U.S. reestablished diplomatic ties there.1 in 23
The number of wins an arcade claw machine would have to allow to give the owner 50 percent profits. Vox looked into just how rigged those games are, finding that most machines let the owner adjust how often a claw grabs at stuffed animals with their full strength, tightly managing wins and losses.40 clues
That's about how many hidden clues lead motion designer Mark Paterson hid in a single episode of FX's Archer. The Easter egg hunt led viewers on an epic internet journey, which included a so-called HEX code, which led to a URL, which led to a weird YouTube video and then a craigslist advertisement ... the list goes on.