Business & Technology

Business & Technology
1:56 am
Tue January 1, 2013

Rift With China Clouds Solar Industry's Future

Solar panels come off the line at SunPower's solar manufacturing plant near San Jose, Calif.
Lauren Sommer for NPR

Originally published on Tue January 1, 2013 8:44 am

It's been a banner year for solar energy. The United States is on track to install a record number of solar power systems — thanks in large part to low-cost solar panels from China. That's been challenging for American manufacturers, and federal officials have put trade tariffs on Chinese panels.

Things look busy at the SunPower solar manufacturing plant in Silicon Valley. Workers are screwing frames onto shiny, 6-foot solar panels as they come off the line.

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Out To Lunch
1:14 pm
Mon December 31, 2012

Out to Lunch — All Natural

Billy Bosch, Benardett Jno-Finn and Peter Ricchuiti.
Grant Morris It's New Orleans

Peter Ricchuiti ushers in 2013 on Out to Lunch with a healthy start. Lunch guest Billy Bosch brought us Monster energy drink; now he's launching his own brew, Iconic. Benardett Jno-Finn creates Sénica natural hair & body products.

Business
4:17 pm
Sat December 29, 2012

Hollywood Writer's Gongs Still Going Strong

Comedy writer Andrew Borakove left California for Lincoln, Neb., to sell gongs.
Guy Raz

Originally published on Sat December 29, 2012 5:33 pm

Andrew Borakove was a television comedy writer in Hollywood when he realized he had to make a life change.

"A vision of a gong appeared before me, and I said a gong? I've never thought of that," he says. "And I started doing research and I said, 'Yep, I could maybe sell gongs for a living.' "

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Business & Technology
10:06 am
Thu December 27, 2012

Textron: Slidell Lease Extension for 1 to 3 Years

Textron Marine & Land Systems' offices will remain in Slidell for at least another year.

The Textron Inc. division said Wednesday that it has a lease extension through May 31, 2014, with two one-year options, pending approval by the Slidell City Council. The current lease ends in May.

The division makes and supports military vehicles, ships and boats. It has leased offices from Slidell since 2007. Its factory is in eastern New Orleans; it has an assembly plant and a warehouse in Slidell.

Terms of the extension were not disclosed in the company's news release.

Planet Money
12:43 pm
Wed December 26, 2012

Planet Money: Making Christmas More Joyful, And More Efficient

Originally published on Tue December 25, 2012 2:40 pm

  • Listen to the Episode

This episode was originally released on December 21, 2010.

Gift-giving makes economists crazy. It's so inefficient!

So we wondered: Is there a way to make the holiday season both more efficient and more joyful?

On today's Planet Money, we try to answer that question by conducting a wildly unscientific experiment. We go into a seventh-grade classroom and give a bunch of kids some small gifts — candy, raisins, fig newtons.

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All Tech Considered
3:15 pm
Mon December 24, 2012

Put The Gadgets Down: Finding Time To Leave Technology Behind

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sat December 22, 2012 4:50 pm

About 20 people walked into the room, sat down and slid their phones, iPads and other devices toward the center of the table. It was the last session of the conference, and the rules were simple.

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Planet Money
2:58 pm
Mon December 24, 2012

Episode 425: An FBI Hostage Negotiator Buys A Car

Bloomberg via Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 21, 2012 1:17 pm

  • Listen to the Episode

The fiscal cliff, for all its grand theater, really comes down to people in a room trying to come to an agreement. People doing whatever it takes to get what they want from the other side.

On today's show, three professional negotiators walk us through techniques that members of Congress may be using right now. They explain these techniques not with textbooks, but with examples from their everyday lives.

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Out To Lunch
2:09 pm
Mon December 24, 2012

Red Beans and Ricely Yours

Peter Ricchiuti, Nina Camacho and Connelly Hayward.
Grant Morris It's New Orleans

It doesn't get more Monday in New Orleans than red beans and rice.

Connelly Hayward is the 4th generation of his family to make red beans, as president of L.H. Hayward and Company, who make Camellia-brand red beans. Nina Camacho is National Events Director at Jazzmen Rice.

All Tech Considered
12:24 pm
Mon December 24, 2012

Kenyan Women Create Their Own 'Geek Culture'

Kenyan Susan Oguya created an app to help farmers in her homeland. Shown here in the office of her company, M-Farm, she also belongs to the group Akirachix, which seeks to bring more Kenyan women into the tech world.
Gregory Warner

Originally published on Mon December 24, 2012 4:18 pm

When a collective of female computer programmers in Kenya needed a name for their ladies-only club, they took their inspiration from the Japanese cult film Akira.

"So akira is a Japanese word. It means energy and intelligence. And we are energetic and intelligent chicks," says Judith Owigar, the president of Akirachix.

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Planet Money
5:15 pm
Tue December 18, 2012

Planet Money: How Much Is A Firefighter Worth?

Caitlin Kenney NPR

Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 4:23 pm

  • Listen to the Episode

On today's show, we visit Fire Station Six in Contra Costa County, Calif.

Firefighters don't go to fires as much as much as they used to. That's because, thanks to modern building codes, fires are much less common than they used to be. Yet the fire dept is still set up the same way: big trucks, lots of fire stations, and lots of firefighters who retire with lifetime pensions.

Rather than close fire stations, the firefighters in Contra Costa County agreed to take a pay cut a few years back. But the county still couldn't afford the fire department.

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