Business

3:01am

Wed February 6, 2013
All Tech Considered

Is Online Gambling Legal If Bitcoins, Not Dollars, Are At Stake?

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 10:51 am

An image depicts the SatoshiDice website, which exclusively uses Bitcoin, not dollars, for gambling.
NPR

With no government ties, Bitcoin is used to buy everything from blogging services to Brooklyn-made cupcakes. Theoretically, millions of dollars are being kept in the digital currency, and it's increasingly being used by specialized online gambling websites. But is Bitcoin gambling legal?

Purely in the interests of journalism, I decided to get my hands on some of the currency. When I did so, Bitcoin, which has been around for a few years now, was fetching around $17 on most exchange sites. It has since risen to more than $20.

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2:56am

Wed February 6, 2013
The Salt

New Hampshire Cuts Red Tape To Put Nanobreweries On Tap

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 10:51 am

Throwback Brewery co-owner Nicole Carrier and assistant brewer Chris Naro pour beer for customers at their North Hampton, N.H., taproom.
Emily Corwin NHPR

As beer drinkers demand increasingly obscure beers with ingredients like jalapenos or rhubarb, smaller and smaller breweries are stepping up to the plate. New Hampshire is one state helping these brewery startups get off the ground, with new laws that make it easier for small-scale breweries to obtain licenses and distribute their craft beers.

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6:36pm

Tue February 5, 2013
Business

S&P Lawsuit Puts Ratings Firms Back In The Spotlight

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 7:17 pm

In a lawsuit, the Justice Department alleges Standard and Poor's misled investors with fraudulent credit ratings. The agency could seek more than $5 billion in damages.
Henny Ray Abrams AP

The Justice Department said Tuesday it could seek more than $5 billion in damages from Standard & Poor's, the nation's biggest credit ratings company, a day after it sued the company, alleging that S&P defrauded investors by giving triple-A ratings to risky subprime mortgage investments.

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6:03pm

Tue February 5, 2013
It's All Politics

Viral Story About Free Wi-Fi Spotlights Mostly Hidden Policy War

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 12:48 pm

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski last year warned of a "war on Wi-Fi."
Jacquelyn Martin AP

(Revised on 2/6/1013 at 12:28 pm ET to include FCC comment.)

In Washington, there's always one kind of alleged war or another against some group or idea — the war on women, the war on religion and the war on the Second Amendment come quickly to mind.

This week, many of us became aware of another supposed conflict we had never heard of: essentially, a war on Wi-Fi.

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4:48pm

Tue February 5, 2013
Business

DOJ Sues S&P For Giving AAA Ratings To Risky Mortgage Investments

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 5:38 pm

The Justice Department may seek as much as $5 billion from Standard and Poor's. In a lawsuit filed Monday night, prosecutors accuse the firm of misleading investors with fraudulent credit ratings on dozens of different mortgage bonds. It's not yet clear whether federal officials plan to file a similar suit against the other big rating firms, Moody's and Fitch. Regulators would like to see the industry be more competitive and less dependent on the firms whose securities they are rating.

4:48pm

Tue February 5, 2013
Business

Why Is It So Hard To Make A 100 Percent American Hand Dryer?

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 8:17 pm

The Xlerator hand dryer is made almost entirely of American components and assembled in Massachusetts. But the company's owner says it's simply not cost-effective to use an American-made motor.
Andrea Hsu NPR

Fifteen years ago, Denis Gagnon bought a company that made a product nobody really liked: hand dryers. But he quickly managed to turn Massachusetts-based Excel Dryer into an innovator with the Xlerator — a high-speed dryer that cut drying time from more than 30 seconds to less than 15.

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4:48pm

Tue February 5, 2013
Business

Dell CEO And Others Take Company Private In $24 Billion Deal

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 6:36 pm

Computer maker Dell is going private in a $24 billion deal that highlights the changing fortunes of the PC industry. The buyout is being led by company founder Michael Dell, software giant Microsoft and the private equity firm Silver Lake Partners.

4:48pm

Tue February 5, 2013
Business

Business Leaders Band Together On Some Aspects Of Immigration Reform

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 6:36 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

President Obama met with business and labor leaders today at the White House. He's trying to build a broad coalition in support of revamping immigration laws. The two sides haven't always seen eye to eye on immigration. But this year, on this issue, they're mostly working together on the issue. We'll hear more in a moment about the evolution of organized labor's position.

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4:48pm

Tue February 5, 2013
Music

Easy-Listening 'Muzak' Reborn As 'Mood Media'

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 6:36 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From a death in the music world, now to something of a rebirth.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIEGEL: Muzak, best known for its inoffensive, unobtrusive, ultra-bland music is changing its brand name. The company announced today that it will now be known as Mood, after Muzak's owner, Mood Media. It's chairman and CEO said in a statement that this marked the end of an iconic American brand, or as fast company put it, the musical equivalent of white bread.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

JOSEPH LANZA: Muzak was all over the place.

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2:03pm

Tue February 5, 2013
The Two-Way

Economy To Slow This Year As The Government Tightens, CBO Says

While the economy will benefit from continued improvement in "underlying" conditions, the federal government's push to tighten its spending will slow overall growth in 2013, the Congressional Budget Office projects.

In an updated "Budget and Economic Outlook" reported released Tuesday afternoon, the agency forecasts:

-- 1.4 percent growth in gross domestic product this year, vs. 2.3 percent in 2012.

-- 2.6 percent growth in 2014.

-- 4.1 percent growth in 2015.

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