David Kestenbaum http://wvasfm.org en Evaluating The Benefits And Costs Of Patents http://wvasfm.org/post/evaluating-benefits-and-costs-patents Transcript <p>RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST: <p>The electric car company Tesla recently took the unusual step of effectively giving up all its patents. That means any competitor is now free to take the company's ideas and run with them. Thu, 17 Jul 2014 09:55:00 +0000 David Kestenbaum 51557 at http://wvasfm.org When Ikea Raises Its Minimum Wage, Where Does The Money Come From? http://wvasfm.org/post/when-ikea-raises-its-minimum-wage-where-does-money-come Ikea, a company famous for keeping its costs down, recently announced that it would raise the average minimum wage for its retail workers to $10.76 an hour. Why would the company volunteer to pay its workers more?<p>"By taking better care of our coworkers," says Rob Olson, the acting president of Ikea U.S., "they will take better care of our customers, who will take better care of Ikea. We see it as a win-win-win opportunity."<p>Win. Win. Win. Sounds like a free lunch. Fri, 11 Jul 2014 07:31:00 +0000 David Kestenbaum 51239 at http://wvasfm.org When Ikea Raises Its Minimum Wage, Where Does The Money Come From? Volatility Index Indicates Wall Street Is Bored http://wvasfm.org/post/fear-index-rate-reflects-investor-boredom An economic indicator commonly called the VIX, volatility index, is also known as the fear index. Whatever you call it, the index is hitting lows not seen since before the financial crisis. Thu, 12 Jun 2014 09:12:00 +0000 David Kestenbaum 49591 at http://wvasfm.org Why A Pack Of Peanut Butter M&M's Weighs A Tiny Bit Less Than A Regular Pack http://wvasfm.org/post/why-pack-peanut-butter-mms-weighs-tiny-bit-less-regular-pack The other day I went down to the little shop in the lobby of our building for a snack. I couldn't decide whether I wanted regular M&M's or Peanut Butter M&M's so I bought them both. On the way back upstairs to the office, I noticed something strange on the labels. Each had cost $1, but the pack of Peanut Butter M&M's was a very tiny bit lighter: 0.06 ounces lighter!<p>I wanted to know why, so I called a couple of experts and asked for their theories:<p><strong>Theory No. Thu, 05 Jun 2014 22:08:00 +0000 David Kestenbaum 49287 at http://wvasfm.org Why A Pack Of Peanut Butter M&M's Weighs A Tiny Bit Less Than A Regular Pack On The Internet, A Penny Is Nothing To Sneeze At http://wvasfm.org/post/internet-penny-nothing-sneeze <div class="fullattribution">Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.<img src="http://www.google-analytics.com/__utm.gif?utmac=UA-5828686-4&utmdt=On+The+Internet%2C+A+Penny+Is+Nothing+To+Sneeze+At&utme=8(APIKey)9(MDAxODc1ODA5MDEyMjg1MDYxNTFiZTgwZg004)"/></div><p>Transcript <p>RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST: <p>Our Planet Money team this week is taking a look at the lowly penny. People discard pennies in bowls by cash registers. They walk by them on the street without a thought of picking them up. In fact, a lot of us don't even pick them up when we drop them. Thu, 22 May 2014 09:05:00 +0000 David Kestenbaum 48477 at http://wvasfm.org New Web Addresses Provide Alternatives To Crowded Domains http://wvasfm.org/post/new-web-addresses-provide-alternatives-crowded-domains Transcript <p>STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: <p>On a Friday it's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep.<p>LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST: <p>And I'm Linda Wertheimer. Think of the Internet as a group of islands. There's one island for all the Web addresses with .COM. That one's very crowded. There is the less popular .NET island. Also our personal favorite, .ORG. Well, now the number of islands is expanding dramatically. There's .BIKE and .PLUMBING, .NINJA and more islands to come. Fri, 04 Apr 2014 08:59:00 +0000 David Kestenbaum 45793 at http://wvasfm.org Does Raising The Minimum Wage Kill Jobs? http://wvasfm.org/post/does-raising-minimum-wage-kill-jobs President Obama has called for increasing the minimum wage, saying it will help some of the poorest Americans. Opponents argue that a higher minimum wage will lead employers to cut jobs.<p>Figuring out the effect of raising the minimum wage is tough. Ideally you'd like to compare one universe where the minimum was raised against an alternate universe where it remained fixed.<p>Economist David Card found the next best thing. In 1992, New Jersey was about to raise its minimum wage. Thu, 06 Mar 2014 23:00:00 +0000 David Kestenbaum 44210 at http://wvasfm.org Does Raising The Minimum Wage Kill Jobs? The Birth Of The Minimum Wage In America http://wvasfm.org/post/birth-minimum-wage-america In 1895, legislators in New York state decided to improve working conditions in what at the time could be a deadly profession: baking bread.<p>"Bakeries are actually extremely dangerous places to work," says Eric Rauchway, a historian at the University of California, Davis. "Because flour is such a fine particulate, if it gets to hang in the air it can catch fire and the whole room can go up in a sheet of flame."<p>New York passed a law called the Bakeshop Act. It didn't set a minimum wage — the minimum wage didn't exist yet in the U.S. Fri, 17 Jan 2014 08:39:00 +0000 David Kestenbaum 41428 at http://wvasfm.org The Birth Of The Minimum Wage In America A Bet, Five Metals And The Future Of The Planet http://wvasfm.org/post/1968-bet-centers-around-how-many-people-earth-can-sustain This famous bet — between a biologist and an economist — was over population growth. It started three decades ago, but it helped set the tone for environmental debates that are still happening today.<p>The biologist at the heart of this bet was Paul Ehrlich at Stanford. He wrote a best-selling book in 1968 called <em>The Population Bomb.</em> It was so popular he appeared on <em>The Tonight Show</em> with Johnny Carson.<p>He told Carson, "There are 3.6 billion people in the world today, and we are adding about 70 million a year. And that's too many. Thu, 02 Jan 2014 10:22:00 +0000 David Kestenbaum 40539 at http://wvasfm.org A Bet, Five Metals And The Future Of The Planet The Great Handbell War http://wvasfm.org/post/great-handbell-war Jake Malta left his job as chief engineer at Schulmerich, the world's biggest handbell company, in 1973.<p>But Malta couldn't stop thinking about bells. He had a vision for a perfect bell — a bell he had never quite achieved at Schulmerich.<p>So he set up shop in his living room. "He had a folding table, two of them, stretched out with all of his drafting supplies and piano behind him," his daughter, Joann, says.<p>He traveled to Europe and studied the physics of bells. He made sketch after sketch. Tue, 24 Dec 2013 22:27:00 +0000 David Kestenbaum 40209 at http://wvasfm.org The Great Handbell War