Dan Bobkoff

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3:17am

Fri April 5, 2013
Media

Is The Company Behind Rodman's Korea Visit The Future Of Media?

Originally published on Fri April 5, 2013 3:17 pm

Vice founder Shane Smith attends the premiere screening for the MTV series The Vice Guide To Everything in New York City in December 2010. Vice's new documentary series on HBO launches Friday.
Jemal Countess Getty Images

How did Dennis Rodman end up having dinner with Kim Jong Un in North Korea? It was the idea of Vice Media, which has grown from a counterculture magazine into a full-fledged youth media conglomerate.

Friday night, it premieres a documentary series on HBO, a kind of coming-out moment into the mainstream.

'I Wish We Were Weirder'

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5:33pm

Thu March 28, 2013
Business

Farm Bill's Sugar Subsidy More Taxing Than Sweet, Critics Say

Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 11:55 pm

While many people enjoy sweet treats — like these chocolate bunnies — the price of a key ingredient has some people bitter. A government subsidy program is criticized for keeping sugar prices too high. But as prices fall, the government may buy sugar to help processors.
Toby Talbot AP

While you indulge in some Easter Peeps and chocolates this weekend, you might want to think about all that sugar. No, this isn't a calorie warning. In the U.S., raw sugar can cost twice the world average.

Critics say U.S. sugar policy artificially inflates sugar prices to benefit an exclusive group of processors — even though it leads to higher food prices. But this year, prices fell anyway. Now, the government could be poised to use taxpayer dollars to buy up the excess sugar.

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8:16am

Wed March 20, 2013
Law

Court:Reselling Books Bought Abroad Isn't A Copyright Violation

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 9:30 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with some books for resale.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

INSKEEP: Start reading now. The Supreme Court has ruled that buying books overseas and reselling them in the United States does not violate copyright law. Yesterday's six/three decision comes as a relief to companies like eBay and Costco that resell all sorts of foreign goods.

NPR's Dan Bobkoff reports.

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5:13pm

Mon March 18, 2013
All Tech Considered

Can 'Smart Gun' Technology Help Prevent Violence?

Originally published on Mon March 18, 2013 5:54 pm

This 9 mm semi-automatic handgun is configured with transducers in its handle that can detect the grasp of an authorized user.
New Jersey Institute of Technology AP

For years, many have dreamed of so-called smart guns, weapons that know their rightful owner and won't fire in the wrong hands. Think James Bond's gun in Skyfall.

A few major gun makers experimented with smart guns in the 1990s, but none came to market. Since then, it's been the domain of entrepreneurs and inventors.

Developers And Technologists

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5:39pm

Fri March 15, 2013
Law

Hedge Fund To Pay More Than $600 Million In Insider Trading Settlement

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

The Securities and Exchange Commission says it's the largest settlement in history for insider trading. Two affiliates of the major hedge fund SAC Capital Advisors will pay a fine of more than $600 million. But they're not admitting to any wrongdoing. Here's NPR's Dan Bobkoff.

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5:36pm

Mon March 11, 2013
Business

Betting Site Intrade Shuts Down Under Mysterious Circumstances

The online betting market Intrade has shut down. Intrade allowed customers to wager on the outcome of events such as presidential elections. The company says all betting is on hold until it can investigate possible financial irregularities.

4:48am

Fri March 8, 2013
Business

Ally Financial Only Big Bank To Fail Fed's Test

Originally published on Fri March 8, 2013 11:50 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Some other news. The country's biggest banks are in much better shape than before the financial crisis, at least according to the Federal Reserve's third round of so-called stress tests.

NPR's Dan Bobkoff reports.

DAN BOBKOFF, BYLINE: The tests simulate a nightmare scenario: How would the banks fare if unemployment topped 12 percent, stock prices were cut in half and housing values fell 20 percent? We all know what happened five years ago when a crisis was more than hypothetical.

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5:01am

Wed March 6, 2013
Business

Martha Stewart Testifies About J.C. Penney Deal

Originally published on Wed March 6, 2013 11:18 am

Martha Stewart took the stand Tuesday in a lawsuit that involves her company Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Macy's and J.C. Penney Co. Macy's is suing J.C. Penney and Stewart's company for breach of contract.

3:41am

Wed February 27, 2013
Your Money

Americans Earn More Than Their Parents (With A Caveat), Study Says

Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 7:54 am

Most Americans are earning more money than their parents, according to a new study from Pew's Economic Mobility Project. But those gains don't tell the whole picture.

Let's start with the good news. The Pew Charitable Trust study looked at actual pairs of children and parents. Around age 40, 83 percent of the children were earning at least a thousand bucks more than their parents were when they were 40.

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5:53pm

Mon February 25, 2013
Economy

Too Soon To Blame Payroll Tax For Stagnant Retail Sales?

Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 7:23 pm

Wal-Mart is one of several large retailers that say an increase in the payroll tax may hurt U.S. sales in the months ahead.
Daniel Acker Bloomberg via Getty Images

For Darden Restaurants, the company behind Olive Garden and Red Lobster, its earnings projections out last week were not pretty. Sales will fall, it said, and company CEO Clarence Otis called higher payroll taxes a "headwind."

After a two-year tax break, the payroll tax, which funds Social Security payments, went back up to 6.2 percent on Jan. 1. The 2-percentage-point increase is an extra $80 a month in taxes for someone earning $50,000 a year.

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