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All Tech Considered
12:57 am
Thu August 15, 2013

The Next Disaster Scenario Power Companies Are Preparing For

Part of the Robert Moses Niagara Power Plant in Lewiston, N.Y., is seen from the air on Aug. 14, 2003, during a massive power outage that stretched from New York to Detroit and into Canada.
David Duprey AP

Originally published on Thu August 15, 2013 6:49 am

In the 10 years since sagging power lines in Ohio sparked a blackout across much of the Northeastern United States and Canada, utility engineers say they have implemented measures to prevent another such event in the country's electric grid.

But there is one disaster scenario for which the power companies are still unprepared: a massive attack on the computer networks that underlie the U.S. electric grid.

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Business
12:56 am
Thu August 15, 2013

Pent-Up Demand Is Boosting Home Sales, But Can It Last?

Carpenters work on a housing site in Brandywine, Md., on May 31. Pent-up demand for homes could create jobs and help the struggling U.S. economy.
Gary Cameron Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu August 15, 2013 12:33 pm

Six years ago, the U.S. housing market plunged off a cliff. Now prices are bouncing back up — sharply in many markets.

That has some real estate analysts saying 2013 may mark the turning point — when pent-up demand will revive the housing sector and boost the broader economy.

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The Two-Way
5:04 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

That 2012 Bundle Of Joy Will Cost You $241,080 To Raise

Eight-week-old Eleanor Delp attends a "What to Expect" baby shower with her mother in August of 2012 in Springfield, Virginia.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 15, 2013 8:19 am

The United States Department of Agriculture has crunched the numbers and it concludes today that if you had a child in 2012, it'll cost you $241,080 to raise him or her for next 17 years.

If you adjust it for inflation, that number soars to $301,970.

This represents a 2.6 percent increase from 2011. The USDA reports:

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It's All Politics
4:01 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

A Lover Of Horse Races, And Horses: Remembering Jack Germond

Jack Germond, who died Wednesday at 85, was one of the legendary "boys on the bus" covering presidential politics.
David Burnett/Random House AP

Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 6:40 am

Political reporter Jack Germond smoked and loved martinis and red wine and fine food and betting on horses — he lived life large and didn't suffer phonies.

But here's the thing about Germond, who died Wednesday at age 85: He liked politicians. That's something you don't find much among reporters today.

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The Two-Way
4:00 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

Gmail Users Shouldn't Expect Privacy, Google Says In Filing

Originally published on Wed August 14, 2013 4:13 pm

People who use Gmail and other free email systems have no reasonable expectation of privacy, according to papers filed in a U.S. district court by lawyers for Google. The filing was made in June, when Google moved to dismiss a case accusing it of breaking federal and state laws by scanning users' emails to help target its advertising campaigns.

In making its case, Google compared sending an email to other types of communications where privacy cannot be expected:

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