Shea Huffman is a graduate of USC's Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, and a fill-in web producer for Marketplace.
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Features by Shea Huffman

The Numbers for Tuesday, November 12: Watching TV

5

The number of months Russian fans of "Game of Thrones" had to wait after the U.S premiere to watch new episodes, driving many to pirate copies on torrent sites. Next year's season will be different, though: HBO signed a deal with a Russian pay-TV group to ensure the fourth season coincides with U.S. air dates. (Bloomberg)

113,000

The number of cable and satellite TV subscribers that cut ties with their companies in the last financial quarter, capping off the worst 12-month period of losses for the industry. Analysts claim the rate of cord-cutting has slowed though, and revenue for pay-TV companies actually climbed during the period. (The Hollywood Reporter)

Philippines: How to help typhoon victims

At a time when everyone is trying to help out, a look at the top charities that will make good use of your donations.
Posted In: Super Typhoon Haiyan, philippines, disaster relief

The Numbers for Monday, November 11: Good news for consumers

$6 billion

The amount of money the United States Post Office expects to lose this year, a loss they hope to reduce after inking a new deal with Amazon to start offering package delivery on Sundays. The partnership will start its service in New York and Los Angeles but Amazon expects to roll out the program in more cities next year. (Marketplace)

8

The time of day (p.m.) on Thanksgiving when Target will open its doors to shoppers looking to get a head start on Black Friday deals. The new opening time is an hour earlier than last year, and will see the stores remaining open until 11 p.m. the following day. How many bargain-hunters will use this as an excuse to skip out on Turkey Day dish-duty? (Yahoo! Finance)

$1,000

The amount of cash per employee that "patent trolls" have demanded from small businesses simply for using everyday office equipment the patent licensing companies claim they hold patents for. The Senate Commerce Committee held talks last week on a bill aimed at curbing patent troll practices, including this method of sending thousands of letters not to manufacturers, but their consumers, demanding they pay up for using the disputed technologies. (Ars Technica)

The Numbers for Friday, November 1: People

2,364,000

The number of workers who quit their jobs in August, an 11 percent increase compared to last year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That might be a good sign for the economy and job market, though, as more people feel confident enough in their ability to find better employment and affordable healthcare to leave work. (Marketplace)

550,000

The number of people who actively pitch, refine, and vote on ideas for new consumer product inventions created by the New York City startup Quirky. The company has found success using the crowd-sourcing approach with inventions like a flexible power strip and inventive storage containers that it sells through retailers like Target and Home Depot. Inventors and members who contribute to each product get a share of the revenue, and the company expects sales to reach $50 million this year. (Forbes)

6

The number of people who were able to successfully enroll in the new federal health insurance exchange in the first day of their availability, according to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. (CNBC)

The Numbers for Tuesday, October 29: Keeping track of important things

$886,000

The amount one Norwegian man discovered he had made on a forgotten $27 investment into bitcoins he made four years ago. The value of the digital currency has fluctuated wildly over the past few years since it was introduced, but reached a high of $197 per coin in October. The man said he has sold about a fifth of his 5,000-coin share to buy an apartment. (The Guardian)

20%

The portion of online consumer tracking data that advertising firms say is inaccurate. The culprit? Cookies, the files that websites install on computers to track consumers. The technology is becoming less and less useful as more people browse on mobile devices (on which cookies don't work) and opt-out of cookies altogether. (The Wall Street Journal)

$8.8 billion

The money the National Retail Federation estimates that the retail industry lost last year to "wardrobing," the practice of buying an expensive outfit, wearing it once to twice to a party or other engagement, and then returning it for a refund. To attempt to curb the practice -- which is in fact illegal -- Bloomingdale's will start attaching large, 3-inch black plastic tags to dresses costing more than $150 and leaving them on after their sale. (CNBC)

5 reasons they should bring the Concorde back

Ten years ago this week, the Concorde -- the supersonic passenger airliner operated by British Airways and Air France -- made its last flight across the Atlantic.
Posted In: concorde, supersonic jet, Airlines

The Numbers for Friday, October 25: Up in the air

10%

The amount that Southwest Airlines has increased its fares over the past year. The U.S. airline industry is expected to earn a whopping $6.5 billion this year, with many attributing profits to increased fares and charges for baggage. Southwest is one of the only major lines that still does not charge for checked bags, but the company's CEO has hinted that could change if consumers grow accustomed to fees. (Marketplace)

5

The number of years until the extension on a number of copyrighted works will start to expire. 15 years ago this Sunday, President Clinton signed the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act, which extended copyright protection for iconic intellectual properties like Mickey Mouse, Gone With the Wind, and Superman. Media companies like Disney will likely ask for copyright terms, some of which are set at 75 years, to be extended even further, while opponents will argue many works should be in the public domain. (The Washington Post)

$1.1 million

The amount United Airlines was fined by the Department of Transportation for tarmac delays that took place at Chicago-O'Hare International Airport on July 13, 2012. The fines are the largest imposed on an airline since the rule limiting delays took effect in 2010. (Reuters)

The Numbers for Thursday, October 24: Just a matter of time

6

The number of weeks that the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate will be delayed as announced the White House last night. The decision comes after executives of twelve major health insurers — including Aetna, Humana, WellPoint, and Kaiser Permanente — met with officials at the White House to urge for the delay of Obamacare's key provision until the problems with Healthcare.gov are fixed. (Forbes)

37%

The percentage of Americans who say they expect to keep working until they die or are too sick, according to Wells Fargo's annual retirement study of middle-income Americans. The survey question was added to follow the larger trend of American's saying they will delay retirement until age 80, which rose from 25 percent in 2011 to 34 percent this year. (CNBC)

$670 million

The amount Starbucks paid to acquire specialty tea-maker Teavana last November, a move that gave the coffee company a foothold in the $90 billion global tea market. Starbucks will open the first of its new Teavana Fine Teas + Tea Bars in Brooklyn today. (Christian Science Monitor)

The Numbers for Wednesday, October 23: Black market green

58%

The percentage of Americans who support marijuana legalization, the first time a clear majority of the U.S. supports the reform, according to a new Gallup poll. Experts estimate that annual marijuana sales (including illegal sales) add up to about $20 billion, with $1.5 billion a year coming from the growing medical pot industry. (Gallup)

30%

The percent of the world's timber that Interpol estimates is illegally poached. According to reporters who have researched the topic, illegal logging has had a devastating impact on forests around the world, like in Russia, as workers desperate to feed their families cut down more trees than are sustainable. (Marketplace)

$55,000

The rough amount of assets Japan’s Financial Services Agency froze in a move to separate the Yakuza (Japan's organized crime syndicate) from their money. The frozen assets include two Japan-issued American Express cards and according to an article from Bloomberg, "adds to pressure from Yakuza-exclusion ordinances enacted nationwide in 2011 making it illegal to do business with gang members, as well as a U.S. executive order that year requiring financial institutions to freeze Yakuza assets." The strategy is working, too, as Yakuza membership dropped 11 percent in 2011. (Bloomberg)

The Numbers for Tuesday, October 22: Small numbers

1

The number of weeks the Slate legal reporter Dahlia Lithwick wore Axe body fragrance to see why all teen boys obsess over the product. At the end of the week, Lithwick’s two sons stopped using it altogether. (Slate)

0

The number of sports pundits who successfully predicted which teams would make it to the world series. The blog PunditTracker tracked 63 experts from all across the multi-million dollar sports punditry industry to see who would pick both the Boston Red Sox and the St. Louis Cardinals to make it to the Fall Classic. Maybe getting both teams right was too hard -- who got at least one of them? Oh yes ... again ... zero. (PunditTracker)

$0
The cost of Apple's newest version of their desktop operating system, OS X Mavericks. It used to be that selling operating systems was the most profitable part of the PC business for software companies like Microsoft, but these days it's hardware and advertising that is becoming more important. Mavericks is available for download today. (CNET)

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