From local plumbers to luxury hotels, just about everyone selling a service these days has an online reputation. Increasingly, that reputation is shaped by online reviews: Customer ratings on sites such as Yelp and Urbanspoon can, for example, make or break a new restaurant.
It's no wonder, then, that some businesses are trying to fake us out. On Craigslist and online forums, posters are offering to buy and sell gushing reviews for just a few bucks; potential customers aren't able to tell the difference.
Rex Goodnight (right) works with contractors in Afghanistan. His program, Afghanistan Reachback, works to create buildings using the resources Afghans actually have.
Credit Courtesy of Rex Goodnight
Rex Goodnight went to Afghanistan last year to volunteer on construction projects, but came back frustrated.
Goodnight, chief of engineering with the Kansas City district of the Army Corps, saw a lot of planning but not much actual constructing. When something was being built, it was usually made out of clay and straw.
Forensic anthropology applies the study of the human skeleton to the legal process.
The grisly discovery of a dead body stuffed in a 35-gallon drum full of asphalt and dumped at a landfill next to North Carolina's Charlotte Motor Speedway kicks off Kathy Reichs' new novel, Flash and Bones.
Reichs, a forensic anthropologist, is the author of the books that inspired the Fox TV series Bones. Her latest sends her heroine, medical examiner Temperance Brennan, on a journey through the underbelly of Charlotte's NASCAR racing scene.
Hurricane Irene touched down in North Carolina on Saturday morning and has been making its way up the coast. Host Laura Sullivan speaks with NPR's Greg Allen from the Outer Banks of North Carolina and NPR's Nate Rott from Maryland's Eastern Shore.
This week, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke slammed political gamesmanship and one Republican on the congressional supercommittee suggested that tax breaks on everyday Americans could be allowed to lapse. Host Laura Sullivan speaks with James Fallows of The Atlantic about these stories and others.