National / International News

VIDEO: Cotillard comes to 1920s Manhattan

BBC - Wed, 2014-05-28 15:03
Marion Cotillard speaks to Talking Movies' Tom Brook about her role in the new film The Immigrant.

VIDEO: Looking back at Maya Angelou's life

BBC - Wed, 2014-05-28 14:37
US author, poet and civil rights activist Maya Angelou has died at the age of 86.

Bin cleaner bets £2 for £1.3m win

BBC - Wed, 2014-05-28 14:34
A wheelie bin cleaner from Nottinghamshire is one of Britain's biggest betting-shop winners after scooping more than £1.3m on a £2 bet.

VIDEO: 'Police did nothing to stop stoning'

BBC - Wed, 2014-05-28 14:22
The husband of a Pakistani woman stoned to death in broad daylight outside a Lahore court says police stood by and did nothing to stop the attack.

Georgia Looks To Reopen Some Closed Hospitals As ERs

NPR News - Wed, 2014-05-28 14:21

Financial problems have led many hospitals to shut down completely. Georgia is issuing licenses to rural hospitals that would allow them to become nothing more than free-standing emergency rooms.

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Robinson backs Islam row pastor

BBC - Wed, 2014-05-28 14:20
Northern Ireland's first minister comes under fire after defending a pastor who made controversial comments about Muslims.

In College Lacrosse, Two Brothers Flirt With Making History

NPR News - Wed, 2014-05-28 14:15

Miles and Lyle Thompson are finalists for the Tewaaraton Award, college lacrosse's highest honor. Either would be the first Native to win it — an irony for a sport created by Natives.

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Apple confirms it will buy Beats for $3 billion

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-05-28 14:00

Apple on Wednesday confirmed the previously-reported acquisition of Beats Electronics for $3 billion. The deal will make Dr. Dre even wealthier.

And the $3 billion price tag for the headphone and streaming music company is also the equivalent of...

10,001,666

Beats Studio headphones.

103,448,275

 Apple ear buds.

300,300,300

Copies of Dr. Dre's "The Chronic" available on iTunes.

Apple confirms it will buy Beats for $3 billion

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-05-28 14:00

Apple on Wednesday confirmed the previously-reported acquisition of Beats Electronics for $3 billion. The deal will make Dr. Dre even wealthier.

And the $3 billion price tag for the headphone and streaming music company is also the equivalent of...

10,001,666

Beats Studio headphones.

103,448,275

 Apple ear buds.

300,300,300

Copies of Dr. Dre's "The Chronic" available on iTunes.

Froch v Groves: 12 ways to hype a fight

BBC - Wed, 2014-05-28 13:57
With two days to go before Froch-Groves II, Ben Dirs looks at the long and often inglorious history of boxing hype.

Solving Detroit's blight, one scary poster at a time

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-05-28 13:46
Wednesday, May 28, 2014 - 14:43 Andrew Burton/Getty Images

A dramatic example of an abandoned home in Detroit.

Good news has been in short supply in Detroit, of late.

There’s the bankruptcy, of course. And then there is the blight. Which, according to a new federal report, is going to cost hundreds of millions of dollars more to clean up than anyone thought. Its a huge challenge, but you don’t need to tell that to Erica Gerson.

“It’s 330 pages, that is a lot of digesting,” said Gerson, Chair of the Detroit’s Land Bank Authority, which is in charge of dealing with the broken down properties the city owns. “One of the problems here is there are houses that having been sitting empty for three to five years and they are not getting any better. So we have to get our hands on them faster.”

Gerson says sometimes a direct approach is the best way to deal with neglectful landlords.

“I have a staff of attorneys who go out and put big posters on [abandoned] houses that say ‘Call this number within 72 hours or your property will be seized by the Detroit Land Bank.' That tends to get the landlord’s attention.”

Gerson says that, yes, the task before her can seem daunting. But she doesn’t have to look far for signs that the city is getting better.

“Yesterday people saw a man who they thought was scrapping--tearing down the gutters on a beautiful old house that seemed abandoned. When the police got there, instead of arresting the man, they started laughing...turned out that it was one of the houses we had postered. And [the man] was putting up brand new gutters. A lady in the neighborhood said she hadn't seen anyone do that in 20 years.  That’s what keeps you going.”

Marketplace for Wednesday May 28, 2014Interview by Kai RyssdalPodcast Title Solving Detroit's blight, one scary poster at a timeStory Type InterviewSyndication SlackerSoundcloudStitcherSwellPMPApp Respond No

America's Strength Extends Beyond Its Military, Obama Says

NPR News - Wed, 2014-05-28 13:44

"We don't face an existential crisis," the president told NPR in an exclusive interview. He said the U.S. is blessed with a growing economy and no prospect of war with another nation-state.

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CAR rebels kill many in church

BBC - Wed, 2014-05-28 13:38
At least 11 people have been killed and dozens injured in an attack on a church in the Central African Republic.

A Cholera Vaccine Halts New Cases In A Guinea Epidemic

NPR News - Wed, 2014-05-28 13:35

The study is the first to test an oral vaccine in the middle of an outbreak — in Guinea in 2012. And it offered a remarkable degree of protection against this deadly disease.

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Apple Buys Dr. Dre's Beats Electronics For $3 Billion

NPR News - Wed, 2014-05-28 13:34

Apple's acquisition of the audio equipment and subscription streaming music service co-founded by Dre and record-producer Jimmy Iovine is the computer-maker's largest-ever such purchase.

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VIDEO: Soyuz rocket sends crew to ISS

BBC - Wed, 2014-05-28 13:25
A Russian Soyuz rocket carrying a three-man crew to the International Space Station has launched in Kazakhstan.

Data brokers set the price tag on your head

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-05-28 13:25

Big data is the topic at issue in a report issued by the Federal Trade Commission this week.

To be more specific, the FTC took a deep dive into the business of data brokers. Data brokers collect information on us, create profiles using that data and sell those profiles to marketers and other entities. The facts the FTC collected were pretty mind boggling—one data broker it looked at had 3,000 pieces of data on nearly every U.S. consumer; another had more than 1 billion transactions in its data bases. 

Data brokers gather up or buy bits of information about us: public records, online purchases, social media posts, trips to the drug store.

"There’s thousands and thousands of data elements on each consumer," says Jessica Rich, Director of the Bureau for Consumer Protection at the Federal Trade Commission. She says data brokers use the information to slot us into categories, which they sell to marketers. "The level of specificity and detail are mind-boggling. They have 'Urban Scramble', which is a category referring to low income and minority consumers; they have 'Thrifty Elders'; they have 'Diabetes Interest'; 'Bible Lifestyle'... 'Biker Lifestyle'."

This information is used in all kinds of ways--to show us ads for things we're likely to be interested in and to set insurance premiums and interest rates. Good luck getting life insurance if you fall into the 'Biker Lifestyle' category," says Rich.

"More and more, the stories that are told about us are told through numbers and the collection of data about us," says Joseph Turow, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg School for Communication and author of "The Daily You: How the New Advertising Industry Is Defining Your Identity and Your Worth""Some of those stories help people--some prevent fraud, but, like the FTC report says, a lot of them may be dangerous for us and for the kinds of opportunities we have in life." 

The FTC report calls on Congress to require data brokers to be transparent and allow consumers to see the data that's been collected on them. They're also supposed to have the ability to opt out of having that data sold and used for marketing.

"At the end of the day, The FTC makes some pretty good points," says Russell Glass, CEO of Bizo, a data-profiling company that specializes in business professionals. It sells those profiles to more than 1,000 clients, including American Express and UPS. Bizo gets its information from about 2,000 sources, and it shares its revenue with them. Glass says a little regulation in the industry would be a good thing.

"Nobody really knows what the rules are," says Glass. "There’s this self-regulation that some people follow and some people don’t. Some degree of smart regulation, I think that would be a net positive for the industry. Right now a lot of this is the monster under the bed syndrome. Right? Where everything seems really scary in the dark."

Bizo lets the 190 million businesspeople it profiles see the data it’s collected on them and gives them the choice of opting up. Glass says fewer than 1 percent of the people who look at their profiles opt out. He says the rest want the convenience and the tailored marketing that comes with a data profile.

If you want to see your Bizo profile, check it out right here.

Data brokers set the price tag on your head

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-05-28 13:25

Big data is the topic at issue in a report issued by the Federal Trade Commission this week.

To be more specific, the FTC took a deep dive into the business of data brokers. Data brokers collect information on us, create profiles using that data and sell those profiles to marketers and other entities. The facts the FTC collected were pretty mind boggling—one data broker it looked at had 3,000 pieces of data on nearly every U.S. consumer; another had more than 1 billion transactions in its data bases. 

Data brokers gather up or buy bits of information about us: public records, online purchases, social media posts, trips to the drug store.

"There’s thousands and thousands of data elements on each consumer," says Jessica Rich, Director of the Bureau for Consumer Protection at the Federal Trade Commission. She says data brokers use the information to slot us into categories, which they sell to marketers. "The level of specificity and detail are mind-boggling. They have 'Urban Scramble', which is a category referring to low income and minority consumers; they have 'Thrifty Elders'; they have 'Diabetes Interest'; 'Bible Lifestyle'... 'Biker Lifestyle'."

This information is used in all kinds of ways--to show us ads for things we're likely to be interested in and to set insurance premiums and interest rates. Good luck getting life insurance if you fall into the 'Biker Lifestyle' category," says Rich.

"More and more, the stories that are told about us are told through numbers and the collection of data about us," says Joseph Turow, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg School for Communication and author of "The Daily You: How the New Advertising Industry Is Defining Your Identity and Your Worth""Some of those stories help people--some prevent fraud, but, like the FTC report says, a lot of them may be dangerous for us and for the kinds of opportunities we have in life." 

The FTC report calls on Congress to require data brokers to be transparent and allow consumers to see the data that's been collected on them. They're also supposed to have the ability to opt out of having that data sold and used for marketing.

"At the end of the day, The FTC makes some pretty good points," says Russell Glass, CEO of Bizo, a data-profiling company that specializes in business professionals. It sells those profiles to more than 1,000 clients, including American Express and UPS. Bizo gets its information from about 2,000 sources, and it shares its revenue with them. Glass says a little regulation in the industry would be a good thing.

"Nobody really knows what the rules are," says Glass. "There’s this self-regulation that some people follow and some people don’t. Some degree of smart regulation, I think that would be a net positive for the industry. Right now a lot of this is the monster under the bed syndrome. Right? Where everything seems really scary in the dark."

Bizo lets the 190 million businesspeople it profiles see the data it’s collected on them and gives them the choice of opting up. Glass says fewer than 1 percent of the people who look at their profiles opt out. He says the rest want the convenience and the tailored marketing that comes with a data profile.

If you want to see your Bizo profile, check it out right here.

Lost in translation? Skype hopes not

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2014-05-28 13:13

It’s one of those “living in the future” technologies. Microsoft is unveiling a live translation feature coming to its Skype service later this year. You have a conversation with someone in another language, and a moment later, the software translates it.

Gurdeep Singh Pall, a Microsoft Vice President, demonstrated the technology on stage at Re/code’s Code Conference this week, and the company says an early version of Skype Translator will debut later this year.

“It has some syntax problems, but yeah, wow, it’s good,” says Alice Leri, who teaches at the University of South Carolina’s Darla Moore School of Business, and speaks German. 

Her colleague, Ken Erickson, a business anthropologist at the school, was a bit more skeptical. This kind of electronic translation, good as it is, “lulls you into a sense of comfort where you should be not so comfortable,” he says. 

A lot can get lost in translation in international business. Computer translations can send the opposite meaning than you intended in languages like Chinese. Skype Translator might be useful for simple things like scheduling a meeting, but, “if you want to negotiate a contract, you better not rely on something like this,” Erickson says.  

Microsoft admits the technology is still not ready for primetime. It will likely first be used by regular Skype users, who don’t have the same demands for accuracy as business customers. 

“It makes more sense to introduce the technology is through consumer applications,” says Raúl Castañón, a senior analyst with the Yankee Group. 

And, the tech giants are all becoming more interested in translation services. Google recently bought Word Lens, an app that uses a smartphone's camera to translate text on signs and menus. 

US trade delegation in Cuba visit

BBC - Wed, 2014-05-28 13:09
A US Chamber of Commerce delegation is visiting in Cuba for the first time since 1999 in order to "assess the economic changes" on the communist-run island.
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