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.
But not the easiest time to be a taxpayer. Should you prepay for 2018 to avoid an impending deduction cap? Is it time to incorporate? How can you get the maximum benefit? We ask experts to help navigate these questions. And during his campaign, President Donald Trump made reviving the coal industry a signature goal. We go to coal country and talk to miners taking this promise to heart. Plus, man versus machine: Every medical office has one, but should fax machines be outlawed? And why is the McDonald’s McFlurry machine such a disappointment?
This holiday season, many retailers saw 5 percent increases in sales from last year, and higher-end products did well. We speak with Ellen Davis of the National Retail Federation, who chalks it up to economic security, or maybe you're just really nice. In today's energy news, what the world's fastest battery means for energy-storage technology and fossil-fueled power plants, and how uranium companies in the U.S. are getting ready for India and China's hundreds of new nuclear reactors. Plus, we reflect on the busy holiday season with Ann Arbor's Zingerman's Bakehouse, whose new cookbook features recipes for chestnut flour baguettes and Detroit style pizza.
Your regularly scheduled episode of Marketplace is coming later today, but for now we have a special investigation from the team at The Uncertain Hour. When OxyContin went to market in 1996, sales reps from Purdue Pharma hit one point particularly hard: Compared to other prescription opioids, this new painkiller was believed to be less likely to be addictive or abused. But recently unsealed documents in this investigative episode shed light on how the maker of OxyContin seems to have relied more on focus groups than on scientific studies to create an aggressive and misleading marketing campaign that helped fuel the national opioid crisis.
They're considered inefficient, under-utilized and useless, respectively, and all face uncertain futures. Incandescent light bulbs will no longer be available to purchase in California beginning in 2018; instead, Californians will buy compact florescent lights and LED bulbs, which have triple the energy efficiency. Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge could lose 1.5 million acres to energy developers, due to a mandate in the new tax bill. And even though you can't buy anything for a penny anymore, the coin may stay in circulation despite calls to get rid of it once and for all. Plus, on this Christmas Day, we revisit the story of Santa's little surveillance helper, the elf on the shelf.
Before Hurricane Maria hit, there was already an exodus underway from Puerto Rico to Florida, but the storm put it on fast forward. Since Maria's devastation, nearly 200,000 people have fled the island for the state. We talk to Puerto Ricans in Florida about the difficulties they face staying in touch with home. Plus, if you’re still Christmas shopping, you’re pretty much limited to brick-and-mortar stores at this point. And this year, it may be tough to get the kind of in-store last-minute deals you used to. Anyone out there still looking for a Christmas tree? We catch up with a sidewalk Christmas tree seller in New York as his annual sojourn winds down.