The popular website Intrade allows its users to bet on the odds of almost anything — like whether Syrian President Bashar al-Assad will get ousted by a certain date, or whether the movie Argo will win best picture at the Oscars.
This week, Ireland-based Intrade announced that U.S. users will have to unwind their bets and shut down their accounts by the end of the year. That's after the Commodity Futures Trading Commission sued Intrade for operating an unregistered exchange.
Facebook has a long history of upsetting its users by suddenly announcing a change to its privacy settings. In 2009, as a way to quiet the critics, Facebook set up a system for its customers to vote on changes. If enough of them were unhappy, the company would back down. Now, Facebook wants to get rid of the voting.
Originally published on Fri November 30, 2012 7:56 am
Credit John W. Poole / NPR
I have a bowlful of coins sitting on my bedside table. I do not have a bowlful of dollar bills sitting on my bedside table. Obviously.
Weirdly, this profoundly boring fact is significant. It is the reason — the only reason — that getting rid of the one-dollar bill and forcing everybody to use dollar coins would provide a financial benefit to the federal government.
Here's why. It costs less than $1 to create a dollar coin or a dollar bill. As a result, the government makes a profit when it puts coins and bills into circulation.
Yesterday, in the Bronx, Chris Veres took his grandfather to see Dr. Bob Murrow. He was worried about his grandfather's heart. Dr. Murrow talked to the family and ordered a cardiogram, which came back normal.
It was a pretty routine visit. But what happens next for the doctor — getting paid by Medicare, the government-run health insurance program for the elderly — is suddenly sort of a big deal.