If you're just joining us, you're listening to WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Laura Sullivan.
Quick trivia question: Name a global superpower technology company, that is the world's biggest seller of smartphones headed by a charismatic CEO surrounded by a cult of personality. I'm guessing most of you just said Apple, right? You would be wrong. The answer is Samsung.
When fortunes rise in the housing industry — as they currently are — it tends to lift sales for other businesses, too. Home construction, sales and prices are all improving. And according to many analysts, the market is gaining steam.
For nearly two decades, Scott Gillis has owned his own moving company, Great Scott Moving in Hyattsville, Md. Moving high season is just around the corner, which means Gillis is hiring.
Online retailer Amazon has acquired Goodreads. It's a popular site where people who love to read exchange reviews and recommendations about books. As NPR's Lynn Neary reports, Amazon now has a powerful new tool for enhancing its customers' ability to find out about books they might want to buy.
This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning, I'm David Greene.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
And I'm Renee Montagne. This morning we have news about our own network, word that TALK OF THE NATION, the daily call-in show broadcast by NPR for the last 21 years, will go off the air this summer. TALK OF THE NATION will be replaced by an expanded version of the news magazine HERE AND NOW. That's currently produced by member station WBUR in Boston, which will continue to produce it in partnership with NPR.
Most people instinctively avoid conflict, but Margaret Heffernan says good disagreement is central to progress. She argues the best partners aren't echo chambers, and how great teams, relationships and businesses allow people to deeply disagree.
Higher gasoline prices, though, were much of the reason for the rise. According to the bureau, if spending is adjusted for inflation the increase was a more modest 0.3 percent — the same as in January. And higher energy costs were behind most of the inflationary pressures last month.
The social website Goodreads, where readers share reviews and book picks, got picked up yesterday by online retail giant Amazon. The price hasn't been disclosed. The co-founder of Goodreads says after the sale closes next quarter, the site will be integrated with Amazon's Kindle eReader. Goodreads has about 16 million members. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
And our last word in business today is a takedown of everyone's favorite giant radioactive reptile.
(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "GODZILLA")
MONTAGNE: That pop-culture monster, Godzilla, hatched nearly 60 years ago in a Japanese movie production studio.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
He stomped through cities battling other giant creatures, from Mothra to King Kong. Well, now The Wall Street Journal reports that Godzilla has been vanquished. His box office attendance records, at least, has been beaten.
The leaders of five giant economies gathered in South Africa this week for a summit. The group is known as the BRIC nations - that would be Brazil, Russia, India and China. Now South Africa is sometimes in the group, which puts the S in BRICS. The meeting and the grouping are largely an effort to counterbalance what many in the developing world see as the dominance of America and Europe in the global economy.