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IBM And Apple Team Up To Become Tech's New Odd Couple

Jul 28, 2014 (All Things Considered)

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In a deal that would have been unimaginable 20 years ago, Apple has announced a partnership with IBM. The two companies will work together on a new class of applications for iPads and iPhones, selling Apple devices and IBM software to big businesses.

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Shelly Sterling sits with her husband, Donald, during a 2010 Los Angeles Clippers game against the Detroit Pistons. (AP)

Judge Rules Against Sterling, Allows LA Clippers Sale To Proceed

by Alan Greenblatt
Jul 28, 2014

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A probate judge has ruled that Donald Sterling cannot block the sale of the Los Angeles Clippers.

Shelly Sterling, his estranged wife, had arranged in May to sell the NBA franchise to former Microsoft executive Steve Ballmer for a record $2 billion.

Donald Sterling sued to block the deal. Shelly Sterling wanted him removed as a trustee of the Sterling Family Trust, which owns the Clippers, on grounds of mental incapacitation.

"The doctors certified Donald as incapacitated," argued Pierce O'Donnell, Shelly Sterling's attorney. "That's the end of the matter."

Superior Court Judge Michael Levanas ruled in her favor on Monday.

The judge "said he found Rochelle Sterling to be a more credible witness than her husband, who acted erratically during several days of testimony, raising his voice at lawyers from both sides, and referring to his wife as 'a pig,' " according to The New York Times.

Levanas said the sale can now proceed. Donald Sterling may not have much recourse at this point.

"The ruling included the extraordinary step of granting Shelly Sterling's request for an order that allows the sale to be completed regardless of an appellate court's intervention," the Los Angeles Times reports.

Donald Sterling touched off a media firestorm in April when a recording surfaced of him making racist remarks. Last week at the trial, the Clippers interim CEO testified that Doc Rivers, the team coach and president, had said repeatedly he will most likely quit if Sterling retains ownership.

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This photo also featured in BuzzFeed's "21 Unbelievable Beverage Can Photobombs." (NPR)

Sandwich Monday: The Korean Steak Sandwich

by Ian Chillag
Jul 28, 2014

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Intern/supermodel Seth Kelley. Ann enjoys the fact that like most major cities, San Francisco has installed sandwich lanes next to bike lanes on major thoroughfares. Miles says the best thing to wash down a Korean steak sandwich is another Korean steak sandwich. Shortly after this photo was taken, Ian looked on Google Maps and figured out Rhea's is only a 639-hour walk from his place in Chicago.

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Ever since we landed in San Francisco and refused to leave, we've heard people talking about the Korean steak sandwich at Rhea's Deli and Market. People say things like "It's amazing" and "Get away from me, I'm trying to eat" and "Did you just lick a drop of sauce off of my shirt? I'm calling the police."

The Korean steak sandwich is Rhea's famous marinated rib-eye steak (which starred in Dirty Dancing 2: Havana Nights), cheddar cheese, house-pickled red onions and jalapenos, lettuce, chili sauce and garlic aioli, served on a roll.

Ian: There is a line for everything in San Francisco. I think I just saw a bunch of people line up behind a pigeon eating an old bag of Funyuns.

Miles: I'd be willing to wait in line for an hour just to eat the paper this was wrapped in.

Seth: I did eat some paper, and it was delicious.

Ian: It's like a well-educated Philly Cheesesteak.

Miles: A Philly Cheesesteak that went abroad its junior year and is now totally into Asian culture.

Ann: Hey look, there's a little Beef DMZ between the vegetables and the cheese.

Seth: The delicious sauce got all over my hands, so at least now I don't have to bathe for a while.

Ian: I read one thing that says this sandwich has a cult following. Explains why I can't stop stockpiling firearms.

Miles: And why you're only wearing robes made of marinated rib-eye.

Miles: When it said "house-pickled red onions," I was hoping to be served by Hugh Laurie.

Ian: Another good thing about this sandwich is when it's in your mouth, you're not making that joke.

Miles: I can't remember, is there still a ban on people marrying sandwiches in San Francisco? If not, does anyone have a ring I could borrow?

Seth: You know, one bad thing is I do really feel this sitting in my stomach. Like a tasty, tasty anvil.

[The verdict: another great San Francisco sandwich. Rhea's has a bunch of other delicious-looking sandwiches on their menu. We don't have a lot of time left here, but with the standard six meals a day, we should be able to try most of them.]

Sandwich Monday is a satirical feature from the humorists at Wait, Wait ... Don't Tell Me!

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This photo also featured in BuzzFeed's "21 Unbelievable Beverage Can Photobombs." (NPR)

Margot Adler, A Venerable And Beloved NPR Voice, Passes At 68

Jul 28, 2014 (All Things Considered)

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Intern/supermodel Seth Kelley. Ann enjoys the fact that like most major cities, San Francisco has installed sandwich lanes next to bike lanes on major thoroughfares. Miles says the best thing to wash down a Korean steak sandwich is another Korean steak sandwich. Shortly after this photo was taken, Ian looked on Google Maps and figured out Rhea's is only a 639-hour walk from his place in Chicago.

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Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Customers can get a tactile experience trying on glasses at Warby Parker's shop in New York City. (NPR)

It's Boom Times For Pop-Up Shops As Mobile Shopping Clicks

Jul 28, 2014 (All Things Considered)

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A pop-up sale in the Bowery neighborhood of New York City. Dave Gilboa is co-founder of Warby Parker, the primarily online eyewear store. Warby Parker experimented with a variety of pop-up locations before settling into a longer-term lease. Miles says the best thing to wash down a Korean steak sandwich is another Korean steak sandwich. Shortly after this photo was taken, Ian looked on Google Maps and figured out Rhea's is only a 639-hour walk from his place in Chicago.

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Fast-rising mobile technology is making buying stuff with a tap of an app easier than ever, and shifting the way we shop. What were once permanent, brick-and-mortar stores, where shoppers look at items in a physical space, are now often pop-ups first — shops that last for a limited time only.

Pop-up shops are temporary retail spaces that spring up in unused premises. Leases can last as short as a single day, when brands use the spaces for a promotional event instead of testing out a market.

"As long as they can change it back, they can do whatever they want," says Joe LaPadula. He works for OpenHouse, a company that owns storefronts in the always fashion-forward SoHo neighborhood in New York.

These days, the pop-up concept is proliferating in trendy, high-foot-traffic neighborhoods like SoHo.

"Pop-ups, or this idea of selling something for a temporary period of time, has been around since human trade has been around," says LaPadula. OpenHouse rents its storefronts out for retail, promotional events, exhibits — whatever clients need.

Today, an old subway stop in SoHo is a place to get designer pants at 40 percent off. On other days, it's a test kitchen and bar. Next week, it might host a press event. The one thing this place doesn't do is anything permanent.

"With food trucks becoming more and more open and available, and the kind of migration of bringing that, I actually think that pop-up shops kind of followed suit," says Los Angeles-based retail industry consultant Syama Meagher. She's been watching pop-up retailing develop for the past half decade.

As consumers do more and more on mobile devices, short-term leases promised by pop-ups mean brands can be more mobile, too — moving around to where their customers cluster.

"Larger online brands are bridging together these empty spaces and starting to find ways to get in front of their customers," says Meagher.

The old retail world meant long-established brands existed first in brick-and-mortar stores. Then, they expanded online. Now, the model is flipped.

"The business model is innovative in a way, and that's because you can now start a company on the Internet, and there's this intermediate step between a brick-and-mortar where you pop up and have this tactile, real experience," says LaPadula.

That "clicks to bricks" model, as the marketing folks call it, is exactly what happened with the eyewear brand Warby Parker.

"When we launched, we had no plans to open physical stores, so we're kind of learning as we go along," says Dave Gilboa, a Warby Parker co-founder.

Just as food trucks let potential restaurants test their menus and find an audience, the pop-up shop serves as a modern-day lab for retailers. The four-year-old company first learned by using the co-founders' apartment as a showroom. It also experimented with a traveling bus full of eyeglass frames before opening a series of holiday pop-up shops in SoHo.

"It was just kind of a fun space for us to really experiment," Gilboa says.

While you can easily buy Warby Parker frames without ever stepping foot into a store — and many people do — the glasses brand found that many of its customers still crave a physical experience. So what were once Warby Parker pop-ups have become something permanent.

The company now has three sprawling New York locations, with long-term leases, something the original business plan never anticipated.

"There's still something tangible that you can't replace, when you're walking into a store, engaging all five senses," Gilboa says.

The shopping options now before us engage not just all our senses but all our spaces — real-life and virtual.

"You're going to have a chance to experience brands unlike you have before. Being that they're going to be in your hands, in your face and in your minds and on your phone all at once, and all at one time," says consultant Meagher.

A lot for customers to consider.

And for the brands, experimenting with spaces that don't last ... can lead to a lasting business.

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