3:28am

Thu December 27, 2012
Technology

Music-Streaming Services Hunt For Paying Customers

Originally published on Thu December 27, 2012 8:58 am

2012 has been a strange year for content creators — authors, producers, musicians. It was a year when the very idea of physical ownership of a book or CD or even a song file became almost passe.

It was also the year in which music-streaming services like Spotify and Pandora launched major efforts to convince people to pay for something they didn't own. But it's been slow going.

Music-streaming services have been trying to win over two types of customers: a younger generation that doesn't buy at all and an older generation that still likes owning physical albums.

Read more

3:27am

Thu December 27, 2012
Around the Nation

Connecticut Left To Reconcile Tragedy With Its Proud Gun History

Originally published on Thu December 27, 2012 12:05 pm

The Coltsville factory's blue dome has long been a landmark in Hartford, Conn. The Colt Patent Firearms Manufacturing Company began building factories in the area in 1855.
Bob Child AP

Connecticut has suddenly become the epicenter of the nation's gun control debate in a way no one there could have foreseen. The Newtown school shootings have brought calls for restrictions on firearms, in the state that once led the world in creating modern weaponry.

If you drive past Hartford on the interstate, you'll see the blue onion dome high atop the factory that once was the Colt Patent Firearms Manufacturing Company. The gunmaker has long since left its Hartford factory, but it still makes guns nearby.

Read more

3:26am

Thu December 27, 2012
U.S.

For Veterans, The Wait For Disability Claims Grows Longer

Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 2:46 pm

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs began the year with a promise to cut wait times disability benefits claims. Instead, the backlog of pending claims has worsened.
Karen Bleier Getty Images

Kevin English served three tours as a Marine in Iraq. When he came home to Arizona, he suffered from vicious headaches and neck pain that made it hard to keep a job. The worst day, he says, was when he found he couldn't lift a simple aluminum ladder.

Read more

3:26am

Thu December 27, 2012
Joe's Big Idea

The Quest For The Perfect Toothbrush

Originally published on Thu December 27, 2012 4:34 am

A drawing from Michael Davidson's 2012 patent for "Toothbrush And Method Of Using The Same."
Patent 8,108,962 U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

There are some consumer products where every year brings new innovations. Computers get faster, cellphones get lighter, cars get new bells and whistles.

It's easy to imagine why inventors are drawn to redesigning these products — the technology for making them is changing all the time.

But what about consumer products that have been around for a long time? For the toothbrush, the answer is a resounding yes.

Read more

5:32pm

Wed December 26, 2012
Law

Toyota Reaches $1 Billion Deal On Accelerator Lawsuits

Originally published on Wed December 26, 2012 7:24 pm

A plaintiffs' attorney says Toyota Motor Corp. has reached a settlement exceeding $1 billion in a class-action lawsuit involving complaints of unintended acceleration in its vehicles. Robert Siegel talks with NPR's Sonari Glinton about the deal, which still needs a judge's approval.

5:32pm

Wed December 26, 2012
Economy

The Fed Boosts The Economy, But What About The Risks?

Originally published on Wed December 26, 2012 7:24 pm

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke speaks during a news conference in Washington on Dec. 12. Some economists worry the Fed has set the stage for inflation as well as stock and housing bubbles by keeping interest rates low.
Kevin Lamarque Reuters /Landov

The Federal Reserve continued to keep its foot on the accelerator in 2012, using unusual tactics to try to boost economic growth. But there's disagreement among economists about whether the Fed's policies were effective or whether the risks to the economy outweighed the rewards.

Read more

5:25pm

Wed December 26, 2012
The Two-Way

Toyota Moves To Settle 'Sudden Acceleration' Lawsuits For More Than $1 Billion

Originally published on Thu December 27, 2012 7:27 am

Toyota has agreed to spend more than $1 billion to resolve lawsuits stemming from "unintended acceleration" cases. In November, the company displayed new cars at the Los Angeles Auto show.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Owners of Toyota vehicles that experienced sudden and unintended acceleration have reached a settlement that could require the carmaker to pay as much as $1.4 billion in claims, according to the auto maker and the law firm representing Toyota customers.

U.S. District Court Judge James Selna, at whose direction the many lawsuits over the "runaway car" fears were consolidated in 2010, will review the proposed settlement Friday.

Read more

5:18pm

Wed December 26, 2012
NPR Story

Legalized Pot Creates Quandary For Adults In Wash.

Originally published on Wed December 26, 2012 7:24 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

In Washington State, parents and drug counselors are in a quandary. Now that recreational marijuana is legal, they're wondering how to talk to kids about pot.

NPR's Martin Kaste has that story from Seattle.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: Ten, nine, eight, seven...

CROWD: Nine, eight, seven...

MARTIN KASTE, BYLINE: Under the Space Needle, marijuana enthusiasts counted down to the moment of legalization.

CROWD: Two, one...

(SOUNDBITE OF CHEERING)

Read more

5:02pm

Wed December 26, 2012
Shots - Health News

How A Drug Shortage Hiked Relapse Risks For Lymphoma Patients

Originally published on Wed December 26, 2012 7:24 pm

The number of new drug shortages each year in the U.S., from 2001 through Dec. 21, 2012.
University of Utah

Katie Alonzo was stunned when doctors told her they couldn't get a drug her 10-year-old daughter, Abby, was taking to fight lymphoma.

"When a doctor says, 'This is what you need to take.' And then all of a sudden somebody tells you, 'Well, that is what you need to take but this isn't available so we're going to try this instead,' it's very scary," say Alonzo, who lives in Port St. Lucie, Fla.

Read more

4:34pm

Wed December 26, 2012
U.S.

Debating The Impact Of An Immigration Crackdown

Originally published on Wed December 26, 2012 7:24 pm

John Steinbach shows a day laborer in the parking lot of Ricos Tacos Moya a photo he took of him for an ID.
Lauren Rock NPR

In 2007, when Virginia's Prince William County ordered police to check the immigration status of anyone they had "probable cause" to suspect was in the U.S. unlawfully, the impact was swift at family restaurant Ricos Tacos Moya.

"Suddenly nobody showed up," says Stacey Moya, an employee, and daughter of the owner. "Nobody was around. Not one soul. We would go hours without any customers, any clients. Nothing."

Read more

Pages