Spectre? Meltdown? The security flaws found in CPU chips this week sound pretty bad, and it's true that they affect basically all computing we do. We're kicking off today's show with everything you need to know, and how Intel and other tech giants can avoid these vulnerabilities in the future. Then: Attorney General Jeff Sessions has rescinded an Obama-era policy that helped legal marijuana thrive in parts of the United States. We'll look at what the order could mean for the nascent multibillion-dollar industry. Plus, the latest on earnings from the auto industry, and why some companies could be limiting growth because there just aren't enough people to work.
As markets hit new records today, the energy industry is preparing to set a new record of its own. The so-called "bomb cyclone" threatening the East Coast with snow and chilly temperatures could push natural gas use to new heights. We'll take a look at how utilities are preparing. Then: Leaving aside the dishier news out of the White House today, let's talk about President Donald Trump's Twitter feed. On New Year's Day, he complained about the aid we send to Pakistan and criticized its government for not doing more to stop terrorism. Yesterday, he targeted aid to Palestinians, questioning whether payments should continue. So with that in mind, let's talk about the role aid plays in foreign policy. Plus, the yearslong wait for even a chance at subsidized housing in Los Angeles and Broadway's record-breaking year.
Congress has to pass legislation to fund the government by Jan. 19 or there will be a partial government shutdown, which some policy analysts see coming. That's because Democrats and Republicans are far apart on issues like immigration, defense spending and the Children's Health Insurance Program. Meanwhile, on the other side of the country, Californians are dealing with the cost of disastrous wildfires. It's too early to know how many billions of dollars in damages there will be, but there is already a legal battle brewing over who will pay for it all. Also on today's show: puppies!
The federal tax overhaul goes into effect today, now the real fun begins for accountants. CPAs and tax lawyers around the nation have spent their holidays parsing the bill to figure out how it could help or hurt their clients. Also of today, 18 states and 20 cities have new higher minimum wage requirements. The wage hikes run across the country, from Maine to California. Then you have cities doing their own thing, setting a higher local minimum wage than the state overall. What does this patchwork of minimum wages mean for businesses? Also on today's show: Predictions for the tech in 2018. What's going to happen with net neutrality? What's the next tech controversy? Are consumers starting to put their phones down?
Spandex, yoga pants, and Lycra aren't just for Pilates classes anymore. They're infiltrating the American wardrobe, and it's plaguing the already beleaguered cotton industry. Plus, there are $2 billion worth of bitcoin transactions every day. Some governments, like South Korea, want to regulate speculation on the volatile cryptocurrency. And this holiday weekend, you may find yourself watching a football bowl game. It's a tradition that dates back to the first Rose Bowl game in 1923, but why has the schedule ballooned to 40 bowl games a year?
Trillions of dollars in payments each year occur via mobile apps like Alipay in China, where the cashless society of the future is here. You can even pay for your fried chicken with facial recognition technology. We’re eschewing conventional finance rules in the U.S., too, or at least Chelsea Fagan is. She talks to Adrienne Hill about her new book, “The Financial Diet,” which offers personal finance advice a little differently than we’re used to. Plus, a look back at the year’s energy news, how one lab researching serious infectious diseases is expanding to keep up with the increasing rate of outbreaks, and a first-hand account of the invention of the digital camera.