Business

12:24pm

Fri October 17, 2014
Business

Xcel Opens New Gas Pipeline To Ready For The Shift From Coal

The natural gas pipeline is the largest project completed by the company in 20 years. The line travels through parts of Adams and Weld counties, and through Brighton, Commerce City and Fort Lupton, Colo.
Credit Mark Stutz / Xcel Energy

Xcel Energy just cranked open a new, 34-mile-long natural gas pipeline.

The $110 million underground pipeline crosses under the South Platte River, nine canals and three major roadways as it makes its way from Fort Lupton in Weld County to Xcel’s Cherokee Power plant near Commerce City.

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1:21am

Fri October 17, 2014
All Tech Considered

Silicon Valley Companies Add New Benefit For Women: Egg-Freezing

Originally published on Fri October 17, 2014 6:54 am

A technician opens a vessel containing women's frozen egg cells in April 2011 in Amsterdam.
AFP/Getty Images

In the Silicon Valley arms race to lure the top talent with the best benefits, Facebook and Apple are adding egg freezing for female employees. The two companies may be the first to pay for the procedure for women who choose it to delay childbearing.

The addition of egg-freezing to the benefits plan comes as tech companies face mounting pressure to hire more women. And it's a perk that some women may find attractive.

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4:28pm

Thu October 16, 2014
All Tech Considered

When Disaster Strikes, Facebook Lets Friends Know You're OK

Originally published on Thu October 16, 2014 6:12 pm

Facebook

In the aftermath of disasters like earthquakes, fires and severe weather events, the rush to both alert and check on family and friends can crash telecommunications networks. During the freak 2011 Virginia earthquake, which rattled the nation's capital and damaged the Washington Monument, panicked phone calls quickly overloaded the phone network.

Facebook's newest tool, known as Safety Check, aims to allow people to quickly alert friends and family that they are safe after a natural disaster.

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3:48pm

Thu October 16, 2014
All Tech Considered

Airbnb, New York State Spar Over Legality Of Rentals

Originally published on Fri October 17, 2014 7:24 am

Airbnb has a problem. The website for short-term room rentals is growing quickly. But in many cities, these rentals are illegal. Now, New York's attorney general has documented the extent of the illegal activity, by delving into the company's business records.

Almost three-quarters of New York City bookings appear to break the law, he says.

Thousands of these bookings happen every day in buildings all over New York, like the studio that Irene rents out on Manhattan's Upper East Side. (Irene asked that her full name not be used.)

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2:26pm

Thu October 16, 2014
Planet Money

Spreadsheets, Ex-Cons And A Karate Studio: Life At The Bottom Of The Debt Business

Originally published on Fri October 17, 2014 7:36 am

"They'd get the debt. They'd get people on the phone. They'd start dialing, and start collecting."
iStockphoto

A few years back, James Nelms opened his own debt collection business. He didn't have a fancy resume, or much money. He was an ex-con whose siblings staked him $10,000 to get his business up and running.

This isn't as odd as it may seem. Many debt collection agencies are small businesses, eking out a living in storefront shops. A few years back, when the world was going wild for debt, lots of people were getting into the business. All that debt meant lots of money to be collected.

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