Business

Technology
12:50 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

If You've Ignored Bitcoin Up Until Now, This One's For You

No, these aren't real bitcoins (just Bitcoin buttons). Fans of the virtual currency see several real benefits, including the elimination of fees for transferring money.
Frank Jordans AP

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 4:05 pm

One of Bitcoin's largest trading exchanges shut down Tuesday, and you probably couldn't care less.

So what if rumors are circulating that millions of dollars' worth of Bitcoin are stolen? If you don't understand Bitcoin in the first place, it's hard to figure out why this matters. So we're using this as an opportunity to go back to the basics: what this b-word means, where it came from and why it just might matter.

The Birth Of Bitcoin

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Massachusetts Gaming
7:50 am
Wed February 26, 2014

Revere Approves Mohegan Sun Casino Plan

An artist's rendering of Mohegan Sun's planned casino at Suffolk Downs, Revere
Credit Mohegan Sun

Residents in Revere, Massachusetts approved on Tuesday a plan by Mohegan Sun to build a $1.3 billion resort casino in the town. The Hartford Courant reported that the proposal won 63 percent of the vote.

It's the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority's second attempt at the new gaming market in Massachusetts -- voters in Palmer recently rejected a casino plan there.

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Coming Home Project
4:37 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

Connecticut Veterans Fired For Military Service Can Sue in State Court

Credit glegorly/iStock / Thinkstock

A recent decision by the Connecticut Appellate Court could help local veterans who have been wrongfully terminated because of their military service.

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Public Policy Divide
4:04 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

Mixed Effects on Industry and Workers as Malloy Pushes for Higher Minimum Wage

Dale Doll, pantry coordinator at MACC, said she sees minimum wage workers struggling to put food on the table.
Credit Sujata Srinivasan

As the pace of the gubernatorial campaign picks up, with the position up for re-election this November, Governor Dannel Malloy is making minimum wage a top priority issue. A further increase in the minimum wage is one of the most politically polarizing debates the legislature is likely to see this session. 

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Network Controversy
12:54 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

Docs Claim United Healthcare Losing Medicare Members

Credit Gubcio / iStock / Thinkstock

United Healthcare has lost customers in its Medicare Advantage program, according to a physicians group that's locked in a court battle with the insurer. It has been the target of heavy criticism for its decision to drop 2,000 Connecticut doctors from its Medicare Advantage network. 

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Oh, Joe You Didn't!
3:37 am
Fri February 21, 2014

Trader Joe's Caught In Sticky Lawsuit Over Peanut Butter Pretzels

The Trader Joe's Peanut Butter Filled Pretzel: The salty-sweet snack that launched a bitter lawsuit.
Courtesy of Tina Haupert

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 2:37 pm

Among the many snacks you can find in the aisles of Trader Joe's is an icon of sweet and salty goodness: the peanut butter pretzel. It's a combination so tasty, famed food writer Ruth Reichl once raved, "You haven't lived until you've tried the two together."

But the beloved treats aren't just treasures for the palate — they're a pretty lucrative business worth millions of dollars. And now, Trader Joe's is being sued for allegedly cornering the market on the snack.

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Technology
3:33 am
Fri February 21, 2014

Risk Is Low And Business Is Booming In The Malware Market

Stolen credit card data are sold on underground markets, along with the malware and tools the thieves need to steal the data themselves.
Elise Amendola AP

Originally published on Fri February 21, 2014 2:29 pm

Malware is malicious, bad software. It's the code that cybercriminals use to steal credit card numbers and bank accounts. And the big hack against Target showed how good these criminals are getting: They've built a thriving underground where credit cards go on sale before anyone even knows that a massive breach has happened.

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Technology
12:23 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

Why Facebook Thinks WhatsApp Is Worth $19 Billion

Facebook announced it acquired WhatsApp late Wednesday.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 20, 2014 1:19 pm

Facebook's purchase of messaging service WhatsApp — at a price tag of up to $19 billion — is its largest acquisition yet. To put things in perspective, the social giant tried to purchase Snapchat for a fraction of that cost — $3 billion. And it successfully bought Instagram for $1 billion.

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Military Engines
9:38 am
Thu February 20, 2014

Former Pratt Worker Pleads Not Guilty to Shipping Secrets to Iran

A U.S. Navy variant of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter in a test flight.
Credit U.S. Navy

A former defense worker charged with trying to ship stolen proprietary information to Iran about the Air Force F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Program and military jet engines has pleaded not guilty in Connecticut.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Thu February 20, 2014

Gender Balance and the Culture of Women in Science

What is causing a shortage of female scientists?
Credit Defence Images / Creative Commons

In 1962, the Nobel Prize was awarded to three scientists, James Watson, Francis Crick, and Maurice Wilkins, for their work in discovering the fundamental structure of DNA: the double helix. Today, Watson, Crick, and Wilkins maintain international prestige for their findings. 

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Economic Development
10:06 am
Wed February 19, 2014

DECD Chief Defends Underwriting of Business Assistance Loans

Catherine Smith.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

The Commissioner of Economic and Community Development has defended her department's record on business assistance loans. Catherine Smith gave evidence before the Commerce Committee, saying 1,114 companies have been helped through DECD programs like Small Business Express.

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Business
4:43 pm
Mon February 17, 2014

Demographic Shifts Contribute To The Changing Face Of Retail

Retailers, including Wal-Mart, are trying to adapt their models to suit urban areas, including this mixed-use retail and residential development in Washington, D.C.
Meredith Rizzo NPR

Originally published on Mon February 17, 2014 7:59 pm

So far this year, retail chains have announced some heavy cuts. J.C. Penney said it would close 33 stores. Macy's said it would lay off 2,500 workers. Sears will close its flagship Chicago store in April.

That's creating a glut of excess space. But that's just one of several forces changing the face of retail.

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Technology
3:24 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

How The Big Cable Deal Could Actually Boost Open-Internet Rules

Comcast is the largest cable company and home Internet service provider in the United States.
Matt Rourke AP

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 7:59 am

An announced $45 billion merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable — the largest and second-largest cable companies in the U.S., respectively — is under scrutiny not just for its massive size but also for its potential impact on Internet use.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Thu February 13, 2014

War on Poverty is Far From Won

President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964.
Credit LBJ Library

Just over 50 years ago, President Lyndon B. Johnson delivered his State of the Union address and made a pledge to the nation. "This administration today, here and now, declares unconditional war on poverty in America," he said.

Johnson didn't live long enough to see the end of the War on Poverty...and neither have we. Poverty continues to be a big problem in the United States and right here in Connecticut.

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Acquisitions
8:22 am
Thu February 13, 2014

Reports: Comcast To Buy Time Warner

Originally published on Thu February 13, 2014 12:22 am

Comcast is expected to announce its acquisition of Time Warner on Thursday, various media outlets report.

Bloomberg, citing "four people familiar with matter," says Comcast will buy the cable company for about $44 billion, "combining the largest two U.S. cable companies in an all-stock deal."

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Cable Companies
6:45 am
Thu February 13, 2014

Will Comcast Get Federal OK To Buy Time Warner?

Gene J. Puskar AP

Originally published on Thu February 13, 2014 10:44 am

(We put a new top on this story at 9:25 a.m. ET and added an update at 10:15 a.m. ET.)

As NPR's David Folkenflik pointed out earlier today, Comcast's proposed $45 billion purchase of fellow cable company Time Warner will receive some scrutiny from federal officials. Here's some more about that part of the story:

Politico writes that:

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Selling Overseas
1:11 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

Connecticut Sets Export Record

Aerospace engines and parts account for half the value of Connecticut's exports.
Credit Pratt & Whitney

Connecticut set a new record for exporting goods and services in 2013, one of just 16 states to do so. Connecticut is also punching above its weight in the value of the goods it sends abroad.

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Registering a Business
9:40 am
Mon February 10, 2014

Online Tool Helps Connecticut Businesses Navigate State Red Tape

Credit Ingram Publishing / Thinkstock

The Secretary of the State has unveiled a new online tool for businesses to help them get off the ground.

According to Secretary of the State Denise Merrill, the web resource has a very simple aim. "If you were a small business person who just wanted to start your own business for the first time," she said, "where would you start, and how would you do it?"

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U.S. Economy
7:50 am
Fri February 7, 2014

Job Growth Less Than Expected, But Unemployment Hits 5-Year Low

Frederic J. Brown AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 1:06 pm

Note: This post was updated several times after the jobs report was released at 8:30 a.m. ET.

The nation's unemployment rate slipped to 6.6 percent in January from 6.7 percent a month before, but employers added only 113,000 jobs to their payrolls last month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday morning.

The jobless rate figure was expected. The job growth number, however, was well below the 185,000 that economists expected.

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Postal Woes
3:25 am
Fri February 7, 2014

Post Office Could Rack Up Billions By Offering Money Services

U.S. Postal Service clerks help customers at the Los Feliz Post Office in Los Angeles.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 11:26 am

As the U.S. Postal Service continues to lose money each year, a new report suggests a way to add to its bottom line: offer banklike services, such as a check cashing card that would allow holders to make purchases and pay bills online or even take out small loans. The idea is to provide services that are now unavailable in many communities.

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U.S. Jobs
8:53 am
Wed February 5, 2014

Employers Added 175,000 Jobs Last Month, Survey Signals

The scene last November at a jobs fair in New York City.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 12:00 pm

The first of two reports this week about how many jobs were added to U.S. payrolls in January indicates that growth was slow but solid.

The ADP National Employment Report estimates that there were 175,000 more jobs in the private sector last month than in December.

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Labor Relations
10:24 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

Nurses, Technicians at Lawrence and Memorial Ratify New Contract

Hospital CEO Bruce Cummings addresses a joint press conference with union leaders Monday evening.
Credit Harriet Jones / WNPR

Nurses and technicians at New London's Lawrence and Memorial Hospital voted Monday to ratify a contract deal struck late last week between unions and management.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Mon February 3, 2014

Celebrating The Hartford Courant's 250th Year

This year, The Hartford Courant celebrates its 250th year of publication.
Credit NS Newsflash / Creative Commons

For centuries, Connecticut has housed one of American journalism’s greatest gems: The Hartford Courant. In 1764, a New Haven printer by the name of Thomas Green founded the capital-based newspaper. Since then, The Courant has evolved into an established and highly revered news enterprise, circulating well over 100,000 copies to readers each day.

Now, thanks to years of professional writing and reporting, The Courant is celebrating its 250th year of publication, thus maintaining its status as the nation’s oldest continuously-running newspaper. 

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Cats and Dogs
5:46 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

Task Force on Pet Shops Issues Final Recommendations

Lab mix pups
Credit Jason Neely

A task force created to examine the sale of cats and dogs in Connecticut pet stores has issued its recommendations to curb the sale of animals that come from puppy mills. 

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Finding Work
4:54 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

New Initiative to Give Unemployed Parents a Hand

Parent Shayna Scott on Friday described challenges during her job search.
Credit Skyler Magnoli

A new initiative, called the Work Path Fund, was launched in Connecticut to help working parents afford the costs of getting into employment. 

The search for a job is tough for everyone these days, but particularly for those parents in low-income homes who must juggle the problems of child care, lack of support, and tight resources. 

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Aerospace Ramp-Up
3:59 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

Malloy Seeks $25 Million for Manufacturing Support

Chris DiPentima of Pegasus Manufacturing speaks to a press conference with Governor Malloy and DECD Commissioner Catherine Smith.
Credit CT-N

The Malloy administration wants to set aside more cash to help the state's manufacturers. The proposal seeks authorization from the legislature to set up a $25 million fund to help advanced manufacturing companies.

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Jobs for Veterans
7:25 am
Wed January 29, 2014

Hiring Our Heroes Comes to Groton

The Hiring Our Heroes fair took place at the Groton Inn and Suites.
Credit Harriet Jones / WNPR

More than 40 employers took part in a hiring fair in Groton Tuesday aimed specifically at veterans. It was part of the Hiring Our Heroes campaign run by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

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Health Care
12:15 pm
Thu January 23, 2014

Lawmakers Take United Healthcare to Task Over Medicare Plan

Credit Gubcio / iStock / Thinkstock

Insurer United Healthcare was taken to task at a legislative hearing in Hartford for its action in dropping 2,000 Connecticut physicians from its Medicare Advantage plan. The company is in the midst of legal action by doctors' groups in the state over the move.

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Technology
3:42 am
Thu January 23, 2014

Target Hack A Tipping Point In Moving Away From Magnetic Stripes

A cryptographic chip embedded in a British debit card. America is nearly alone in still relying on magnetic stripes to authenticate purchases.
Christopher Furlong Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 3:01 pm

The credit and debit card data breaches at Target and Neiman Marcus compromised more than 70 million American consumers, and analysts say even more of us are at risk. That's because the technology we use to swipe for our purchases — magnetic stripes on the backs of cards — isn't hard for a skilled fraudster to hack.

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Long-Term Unemployment
11:24 am
Wed January 22, 2014

Can Networking Prevent Discrimination Against the Long-Term Unemployed?

Credit glegorly/iStock / Thinkstock

As the media turns its attention to reports of a strengthening job market, some fear unchanging conditions in long-term unemployment are being overlooked.

Speaking on WNPR's Where We Live, Ofer Sharone of the MIT Sloan School of Management said long-term unemployment is not decreasing at the same rate as overall unemployment -- something he insisted is largely due to discrimination during the hiring process.

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