Economy & Innovation

Business news

This week, an increasing number of consumers are going online to take advantage of Black Friday deals.

Sales for what's known as one of the biggest shopping days of the year were up 20 percent this year, and most of those online shoppers were using smartphone apps.

If you want to get a glimpse of just how difficult it is out here for retailers, just ask 11-year-old Ava Bassarat, who's on a mission to buy an iPod Touch.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit



Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit

Trying to predict terrorism is a chancy business — and one that can have disastrous consequences.

But more than a decade ago, the Defense Department had an idea. What about a policy analysis market — not a think tank, not a board, not a center, but a market?

In a prediction market, people put real money on their ideas for what will happen in the future.

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Is there ever a time when cool trumps science?

It's a question that becomes relevant when you consider NASA's plans to put a helicopter drone on an upcoming rover mission to Mars.

A family member's passing this month sent me on a wistful expedition through endless unnamed photo collections from my old hard drive. I searched for group shots and family holiday pictures in hopes of tracking down one or two nostalgic images of someone very photo-averse.

Instead, I found this — and many, many, many photos like it.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit



Whether you haul out pennies, dollars or plastic, chances are you will be buying gifts in the next days and weeks. But where will you buy, and why? We reached analyst Liz Dunn to discuss current retail trends. Thank you for joining us.

Is it finally time to get rid of the penny? The question was put to the top currency official in the country this week after comedian John Oliver took a swing at pennies on his TV show.

"Two percent of Americans admitted to regularly throwing pennies in the garbage, which means the U.S. Mint is spending millions to make garbage," Oliver said.