Economy & Business

Business news

Tech Intervention: Slow it down a little, Volvo

Aug 19, 2016
Molly Wood

You probably heard the news that Uber plans to start testing autonomous cars in Pittsburgh as soon as the end of the month, using a fleet of semi-autonomous Volvo XC90 vehicles. 

The high cost of constructing affordable housing

Aug 19, 2016
Molly Wood

Bloomberg reporter Patrick Clark said in a recent article that despite high demand, developers aren’t racing to build affordable housing because it’s very difficult to make money on these projects. Clark explores potential solutions to the housing shortage, but also asks what it might mean for cities and working-class folks if there isn’t enough affordable housing to go around.

Molly Wood

What comes after self-driving cars? Self-driving trucks. The impact these autonomous vehicles could have on our economy is pretty significant.

In a recent Vox article, David Roberts explains how self-driving trucks could result in 1.8 million truck drivers losing their jobs. Roberts explains to Molly Wood that these trucking jobs are one of the last, solidly middle-class jobs that do not require a college degree. 

The online campaign for votes in the 2016 election

Aug 19, 2016
Molly Wood and Eliza Mills

The 2016 election marches on, with Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton battling for voters in televised addresses, in swing states and online.

Social media was a fairly novel element in the 2008 election and more noticible in 2012. This year, it is fully incorporated into the election, with campaign staffers tweeting speeches and polls, candidates hosting conversations on Facebook and everyone documenting the election on Instagram.

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Artisanal Food Waste: Can You Turn Scraps Into Premium Products?

Aug 19, 2016

Many efforts to address the food waste crisis hinge on getting consumers to buy fruits and vegetables that are adorably ugly — the bumpy tomato, the bulbous carrot, the dinged apple. Taste and nutritional value aren't compromised by their irregular appearance.

Viacom's to-do list: Catch up to the Netflixes

Aug 19, 2016
Scott Tong

There is a settlement in the boardroom upheaval at the media behemoth Viacom. The parent company of MTV, Nickleodeon and Paramount Pictures will oust its current CEO in a major victory for majority shareholders Sumner Redstone and his daughter, Shari.

Now onto the real work: turning around Viacom's underperforming television and film products. A key issue: Viacom's hit cable TV channels from a previous generation are no longer must-see today.

Sumner Redstone and his daughter Shari reasserted their control of Viacom Thursday night, resolving a crisis gripping the media conglomerate by arranging the departure of their renegade executive chairman, president and CEO Philippe Dauman in exchange for a $72 million payout.

A federal judge in San Francisco has upended Uber's bid to settle a class-action lawsuit with drivers who claim they are employees and not independent contractors.

U.S. District Judge Edward Chen ruled Thursday that Uber's $100 million offer is "not fair, adequate, and reasonable."

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Uber is plowing ahead with its ambitious plan to make self-driving cars a reality. The company will run an experiment in Pittsburgh, rolling out the first-ever self-driving fleet that's available to everyday customers.

Self-Driving Car Tourism

Uber won't specify exactly how many self-driving cars will hit the streets. But in the next few weeks, if you're in Pittsburgh and use your app, you might land in one of them., the flagship site of Gawker Media, will be shutting down operations next week, as the other sites in the company are in the process of being sold to Univision.

"Nick Denton, the company's outgoing CEO, informed current staffers of the site's fate on Thursday afternoon, just hours before a bankruptcy court in Manhattan will decide whether to approve Univision's bid for Gawker Media's other assets," J.K. Trotter writes in the most recent post on Gawker.

Henry Ford would be proud of T-Mobile, says telecom analyst Roger Entner.

One of the most famous quotes by the legendary Ford Motor founder was on the availability of the Model T in only one color: "Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants so long as it is black."

Americans love shrimp.

We import about $5 billion worth of it from all over the globe, including from India, Thailand and Indonesia.

But over the past year, we've learned more about the downsides of global shrimp production. The AP uncovered slave labor in Southeast Asia, and there's also documentation of environmental degradation from destruction of mangroves.

A machine that puts sunscreen on for you, in a snap

Aug 18, 2016
Kai Ryssdal

People are taking in the last rays of summer, but others may be soaking up too many. According to Snappy Screen founder Kristen McClellan, a major problem is that people are not reapplying sunscreen enough (or not applying at all in the first place). So, she was determined to fix the problem and invented a machine that applies sunscreen for you, in less than 10 seconds. 

On where her inspiration came from: