National / International News

Hong Kong crowds rally for democracy

BBC - Tue, 2014-07-01 13:47
Tens of thousands of Hong Kong residents hold a pro-democracy rally, days after an unofficial poll on universal suffrage in the territory.

Sarkozy held over influence claims

BBC - Tue, 2014-07-01 13:43
Nicolas Sarkozy is detained for questioning over alleged influence peddling - unprecedented for a former French president - and his lawyer is charged.

Breeding Battle Threatens Key Source Of California Strawberries

NPR News - Tue, 2014-07-01 13:37

The University of California, Davis is the source of most commercial strawberries. Now, the university's strawberry breeders are going into business for themselves, and farmers are worried.

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Panama gangs get one-month amnesty

BBC - Tue, 2014-07-01 13:36
The new President of Panama, Juan Carlos Varela, gives criminal gangs operating in the Central American nation one month to disarm.

People don't conference call during the World Cup

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-07-01 13:33

Today's US-Belgium World Cup game arrived at a most inconvenient time, coming as it did just an hour before deadline here at Marketplace.

20 mins before showroll, is @kairyssdal stressing about the day's script, or the defense in the #USAvsBEL game? pic.twitter.com/W473rkEdaf

— Marketplace (@Marketplace) July 1, 2014

We got the first half in.

But anyway: From the files of Intercall, a conference calling company, this little nugget (which we found on Quartz):

Conference call volume last week during the US-Germany game  was off 11 percent. That's "volume" as in the number of conference calls, not "volume" as in sound.

And to be honest, we were kind of lucky to get the show on the air today.

Fans watch valiant US World Cup exit

BBC - Tue, 2014-07-01 13:29
Workplaces across the US emptied early as millions watched the national team exit the World Cup in a thrilling defeat to Belgium in Salvador.

Wall Street Market Report

BBC - Tue, 2014-07-01 13:28
Wall Street Market Report

Aereo's competitors are itching to take its place

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-07-01 12:55

If you take a look at Aereo's website, there's a letter from the CEO that says the streaming TV company put its operations to a halt. The Supreme Court ruled last Wednesday that Aereo's service was deemed illegal.

That ruling - bad as it was for Aereo - was an opportunity for its competitors. Mark Ely is the founder and CEO of one of them: Simple.TV.

Ely says his company does things differently from Aereo. In his mind, the ruling was about  "where that TV content is fundamentally captured." Aereo captured broadcast TV content from a central facility and streamed it out to their subcribers. Simple.TV?

"We put the capture point in the user's home, and by doing so...really sit it in the same place that your traditional DVRs and place shifting technologies sit. It turns out that where you capture the content - who's doing it - really makes all the difference." 

According to The New York Times, the number of households who subscribe to paid television is down seven percent from last year while the number of households who use internet or other streaming services is up 30 percent from 2013. Ely sees this as an opportunity to increase business, especially since one of his main competitors is on pause.

"What we see is a whole generation of people growing up on Netflix and Hulu and over-the-top streaming services. And see those kinds of traditional networks - ABC, FOX, NBC - and others as having great content but they're not willing to necessarily buy those in a large bundle of other expensive channels that they don't care about."

Listen to our full interview with Mark Ely in the media player above.

Competition in streaming TV spikes as Aereo is halted

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-07-01 12:55

If you take a look at Aereo's website, there's a letter from the CEO that says the streaming TV company put its operation at a halt. The Supreme Court ruled last Wednesday that Aereo's service was deemed illegal. What it came down to is "where that TV content is fundamentally captured," says Mark Ely, the CEO of Simple.TV

Aereo captured broadcast TV content from a central facility and streamed it out to their subcribers. Ely says his company does things differently.

"We put the capture point in the user's home, and by doing so, kinda really sit it in the same place that your traditional DVRs and place shifting technologies sit, and it turns out that where you capture the content -- who's doing it -- really makes all the difference." 

According to The New York Times, the number of households who subscribe to paid television is down seven percent from last year while the number of households who use Internet or other streaming services is up 30 percent from 2013. Mark Ely is aware of this trend and sees the opportunity to increase business, especially since one of his main competitors is on pause.

"What we see is a whole generation of people growing up on Netflix and Hulu and over-the-top streaming services. And see those kinds of traditional networks -- ABC, FOX, NBC -- and others as having great content but they're not willing to necessarily buy those in a large bundle of other expensive channels that they don't care about. So we see ourselves as kind of a supplement to the whole generation that's growing up on internet video."

Israel holds teenagers' funerals

BBC - Tue, 2014-07-01 12:52
Israel holds the funerals of three teenagers who were abducted and murdered while hitch-hiking in the occupied West Bank.

No prosecution over man's death

BBC - Tue, 2014-07-01 12:42
Prosecutors say there is "insufficient evidence" to charge anyone after the death of a West Midlands man detained under the Mental Health Act.

A Misspent Youth Doesn't Doom You To Heart Disease

NPR News - Tue, 2014-07-01 12:38

You don't necessarily have to waste your days regretting the mistakes of your youth. People who drop bad habits by their 40s can slow or even reverse damage done to their arteries, a study finds.

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I want to be number one - Kyrgios

BBC - Tue, 2014-07-01 12:31
Teenager Nick Kyrgios sets his sights on taking Rafael Nadal's world number one ranking after beating him at Wimbledon.

While Militants Gain Ground, Iraqis Search Out Hope In Future

NPR News - Tue, 2014-07-01 12:30

Iraqi human rights advocate Hanaa Edwar joins Melissa Block to offer her perspective on the country's security crisis, its effects on daily life and the hopes Iraqis have for the future.

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Yahoo gives 'Community' an online home

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-07-01 12:15

NBC’s TV show 'Community' was a cult favorite, but largely a ratings loser for the network, meaning it often seemed to be on the brink of being canceled.

That struggle was mirrored in its final episode, as the show's namesake community college faced an uncertain future.

Its main characters are told: “Your school is still bankrupt, it is still unmarketable and it is still on the permanent chopping block of anyone who has any say in its future.”
  Now, despite being canceled by NBC in May, "Community" is getting a second shot at life.   Its sixth season will air – or rather stream – on Yahoo, which will use the show to beef up its original video content.  

“Literally, last year we produced 86 series, none of whom you’ve ever heard about because it was sort of a failed branding exercise,” Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer admitted at TechCrunch’s Disrupt New York event in May.

Mayer hopes that original content, along with the company’s more established search and email services, will help make the site part of consumers’ daily online routines, which would then boost advertising.

In order to draw people to the site, Yahoo needs strong, unique content – different from what Netflix or Hulu is offering, says Sam Craig, a professor at NYU’s Stern School of Business.

“It’s a crowded marketplace out there and unless you have something with an identity, people aren’t going to come to it,” he explains.

"Community" offers a dedicated audience, which – while small by broadcast standards – is passionate about the show and loyal to it, says Max Dawson with the media consulting firm Frank N. Magid Associates.

Another plus – the wealth of the show's existing viewers. 'Community' has very strong support among households making over $150,000.

“It beats out things like The Voice. It beats out mega-ratings success stories, [like] Big Bang Theory, in attracting those rich viewers,” says Dawson. “Thpse are viewers who are the most difficult to attract and the most appealing for sponsors.”

One network’s trash could be a tech company’s treasure.

Would you eat computer food? Because Watson's cooking

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-07-01 12:12

We put a lot of trust in computers. We use them to find dates online, to give us music recommendations, and, of course, the list goes on. But would you trust a computer to make you food? 

Well, not literally. The people at IBM have programmed Watson, the supercomputer that made its debut on Jeopardy, to come up with the most unique and creative food recipes using trillions of ingredients. From Indonesian Rice Chili Con Carne to Austrian Chocolate Burritos, the computer takes a base ingredient, a style of food and some additional suggested flavors and complements to come up with recipes. This process is named "cognitive cooking". 

Florian Pinel is the head engineer at the Cognitive Cooking project. He says most people cook in their comfort zone:

"They always cook the same things... and the computer doesn't have that bias. So it comes up with combinations that do work, because we use a number of theories that tell us that they are likely to work together. But that you wouldn't think of." 

One of those recipes Watson came up with? Bengali Butternut Barbecue Sauce. Yeah...

The team debuted this recipe for SXSW on the IBM Food Truck. While it may not have gone over well at the Marketplace offices, Pinel says the system is there to help people be more creative when it comes to cooking. 

As Recess Settles In, A Reflection On Supreme Court's Big Rulings

NPR News - Tue, 2014-07-01 12:10

Melissa Block talks to NPR's Nina Totenberg and Tom Goldstein of SCOTUSblog about the state of the Supreme Court under Chief Justice John Roberts.

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Iraqi Parliament, And Maliki's Fate, Float In Limbo

NPR News - Tue, 2014-07-01 12:10

Iraq's new parliament met for the first time Tuesday to start the process of forming a new government, which might no longer include Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki as its leader.

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Marchers Take To Streets Of Hong Kong To Protest Eroding Autonomy

NPR News - Tue, 2014-07-01 12:10

Over 100,000 residents of Hong Kong marched to demand greater freedom in choosing their leaders. The protest comes on the 17th anniversary of the return of Hong Kong to Chinese rule.

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Lawmakers Pitch A Gas Tax Hike To Replenish Dwindling Highway Funds

NPR News - Tue, 2014-07-01 12:10

Sens. Chris Murphy and Bob Corker have drawn up a bipartisan proposal to help resolve the Highway Trust Fund's impending financial problems. Their plan would pay for most federal transportation programs with a gasoline tax.

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