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Founded in 1994, Amazon sells everything from couches to baby toys, with 85 million people visiting its site each month. Now, it's partnering with other companies and taking over key parts of their businesses, like shipping orders and customer service. But Financial Times reporter Barney Jopson says there's a dark side to that rapid growth, and that Amazon has a number of hidden practices that could hurt small businesses and brick-and-mortar stores. We talk with Jopson, who ran a five-part investigative series on Amazon for the Times. It's now an eBook called "The Amazon Economy."
El Camino Real has a noble history. It was the "royal road" that connected the Franciscan Missions in California. But now the street, which links 19 cities between San Francisco and San Jose, is filled with oil-change shops and strip malls. The Grand Boulevard Initiative wants to change that. A group of counties and cities are teaming up to turn El Camino into a pedestrian-friendly street reminiscent of Paris' Champs Elysees. We'll discuss the vision for the new El Camino Real and potential roadblocks.
Last week, construction crews on the new eastern span of the Bay Bridge completed "the big lift," dramatically shifting the weight of the new single-tower suspension span from temporary supports to a mile-long cable. The new section, set to open next year, is now officially the world's largest self-anchored suspension span. We'll talk to some of the architects involved with the project.
The ACLU has filed a lawsuit against the Department of Defense on behalf of four female soldiers who fought in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. Two of the women were awarded Purple Hearts for their combat work. Many women end up in battle, but the military still technically bars women from most direct ground combat. The women bringing suit say that lack of recognition is limiting their potential to be promoted. What role should women play on the battlefield? And do those gender differences matter during war?
When Odeo first started as a podcasting company, it had so few customers that it offered to return its investors' money. But it looked at what its customers wanted, changed its model and became the company we know today as Twitter. Author Eric Ries says more startups should use that idea of continuous innovation. In "The Lean Startup," Ries promotes applying the principles of lean manufacturing, where the focus is on the consumer's perspective. How can we apply these lean principles elsewhere? And if you're one of the many startups in Silicon Valley, what has or hasn't worked for your company?
Last week, Facebook announced changes affecting its 1 billion-plus users. The social network plans to share more of users' data with affiliates like Instagram, and change how users manage their messages. Now two consumer watchdogs are demanding Facebook stop its proposed changes, claiming they're infringing on users' rights. How will these changes affect you? And what does it say about larger online privacy issues?
During the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, philosopher and San Francisco State professor Jacob Needleman had an epiphany. Rather than fear, he experienced "a profound sense of wonder that such a movement as this could in one moment take away everything in my life." Needleman describes this "metaphysical event" in his new book, "An Unknown World" which explores the nature and "meaning" of the Earth and humans' relationship to it.
Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi has sparked angry protests and global criticism over a decree that expands his powers and reduces judicial oversight of his actions. Critics call it a power grab while Morsi's supporters say the move is necessary to protect the democratically elected government from a judiciary loyal to ousted President Hosni Mubarak. We discuss recent events in Egypt and how the U.S. should respond.
Is French really the language of love? Stanford scholar Marilyn Yalom explores the topic in her latest book "How the French Invented Love." Part memoir and part literary history, Yalom discusses why the French have championed themselves as the ultimate experts in love for centuries, and how they've kept the flames of romance burning to the present day.
The U.C. Davis School of Medicine's neurological surgery department is the focus of ongoing multiple investigations after two of its doctors experimented on dying cancer patients. Now its dean has announced her resignation. We'll discuss safe and ethical approaches to medical research, and how to balance those with faster access to innovative therapies for the terminally ill.