Business

8:23am

Sat May 31, 2014
All Tech Considered

With Beats, Apple Buys A Quick Start On Smart Headphones

Originally published on Mon June 2, 2014 1:39 pm

Richard Sherman of the Seattle Seahawks wears Beats headphones before a preseason football game last August.
John Froschauer AP

Apple's purchase of headphone maker Beats By Dre for $3 billion is a big payday for Beats founders Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre. But what's in it for Apple?

Beats By Dre headphones are flashy, cool, a fashion statement. One critic called them the Air Jordans of headwear. Most reviewers, however, say Beats headphones aren't actually that good.

"Every time I've listened to them, I think, 'Oh, right, I really don't like these,' " says Whitson Gordon, editor-in-chief of Lifehacker.com.

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12:52pm

Fri May 30, 2014
Planet Money

Drone Wars: Who Owns The Air?

Originally published on Thu June 5, 2014 10:50 am

There are lots of entrepreneurs who would love to fly drones — tiny unmanned aircraft — all over the country. They dream of drones delivering packages and taking photos, but there's a battle in the courts right now standing in their way. The battle is about whether it's legal for drones to take to the sky.

The question at the core of the battle: Who owns the air?

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7:30am

Fri May 30, 2014
Coal Energy

Coal Power Wary As New Greenhouse Gas Regs Loom

The Naughton Power Plant near Kemmerer, Wyoming, Sept., 2011.
born1945 Flickr - Creative Commons

The predicted effects of continuing to pump carbon dioxide into the atmosphere at current rates range from dramatic sea level rise to extreme weather to famine and drought. Power plants are among the largest carbon dioxide emitters, and June 2, the Obama administration is scheduled to release new rules regulating those emissions.

Utilities and trade groups are already warning those rules will have some dire consequences of their own.

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6:00am

Thu May 29, 2014
Agriculture

Miscanthus: A Growing Energy Crop

Iowa State University, the University of Iowa and the University of Northern Iowa are all working on a project to plant, study and harvest miscanthus for biofuel.
Credit Rick Fredericksen / Harvest Public Media

Miscanthus, a relative of sugar cane that looks like bamboo, could be the Midwest’s next energy crop. But in a region dominated by corn and soybeans, it has yet to fully catch on, even as advocates tout its advantages.

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12:50pm

Wed May 28, 2014
Energy

What’s In A Word: Is It Fracking or Frac’ing?

Fracking vs Frac’ing: On the left, fracking protesters hold a sign outside Fort Collins City Council Chambers. Pictured on the right, the fracturing process at a well site.
Grace Hood (left) / Irekia - Eusko Jaurlaritza (right) KUNC (left)/ Creative Commons (right)

While the media, the public and now the Merriam-Webster Collegiate dictionary all spell it “fracking,” many in the oil and gas industry don’t.

“I would spell it frac’ing,” said Scott Hall, a Denver-based petroleum engineer with decades in the industry.

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