A Volkswagen subsidiary will invest about $2 billion in electric cars over the next decade, as part of VW's settlement in the emissions cheating case. We'll look at the challenges that an electric-car ecosystem faces. Next, attorney Jenny Afia will join us to talk about her role in rewriting apps' privacy policy for the British government.
     
About 20 million people are at risk of starvation within the next six months. We'll look at the four different food crises that are all happening at once. Next, we'll talk about Home Depot's earnings growth, despite a lack of new stores, and a Philadelphia law that prevents companies from asking job applicants about past salaries.
     
While many might be thinking about the next big thing in software, one Brooklyn facility is focused on hardware. We'll talk about the history and future of New Lab, a building that has several companies sharing its space to build new products. Joining us on today's show: David Belt, its cofounder; Sean Petterson, the cofounder of Strong Arm, which makes exoskeletons for industrial workers; and Jessica Banks from Rock Paper Robot, a kinetic furniture company (think levitating tables).
     
Unilever has turned down Kraft Heinz's $143 billion proposal, a move that lowered its stock. What went wrong? Next, we'll look at a pilot program that will allow some food stamp users to purchase groceries online, and then explore the market for locally produced comics in Africa.
     
A. Lot. Happened. This. Week. We're here to wrap it up. Leigh Gallagher of Fortune and Sudeep Reddy of Politico join host Kai Ryssdal to review the week that was. We'll also talk about that 5,700-word letter posted yesterday by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and what it all means. We also hear from a CEO in California who says the state's increase in minimum wage has been great for his business.
We're looking at why chipmaker Intel is dropping its financial support for the International Science and Engineering Fair; the use of tech in Russia over the years; and a new website that allows people to anonymously reach out to reporters about Trump.
     
Workers in regions like D.C. and New Jersey are protesting as part of "A Day Without Immigrants," an event aimed at highlighting the importance of immigration's role in society. We'll take a look at how the strike will affect businesses. Next, we'll explore the resistance against Trump's pick for Labor Secretary, who's now resigned, and who the president's next choice might be. Finally, we'll hear from Marketplace's Molly Wood about what she learned at the annual RSA digital security conference.
There was a time when a North Korean missile launch, a Russian spy boat, a resigned national security adviser and a couple of disastrously rolled out executive orders might have been very bad news for Wall Street and stock prices. Not anymore. We'll look into that, plus President Donald Trump's new pick to head the Labor Department and the measure the government uses to decide what's "too big to fail." Plus, more dispatches from America's downtrodden steel towns and a bit on Trump's press conference today.
We do the numbers every day around here. But on this week's "Make Me Smart with Kai and Molly," we got a listener question about the numbers, specifically, data created and distributed by the federal government. President Donald Trump repeatedly slammed government economic data throughout the campaign, and voters followed. A fourth of people we surveyed last fall and nearly half of Trump supporters said they didn't trust the numbers. That attitude, combined with the administration's skepticism and at times outright denial of climate science, has inspired a loosely organized but broad coalition of volunteers dedicated to preserving government data. Groups of coders and scientists have been gathering around the country to scrape the websites for NASA, the Department of Energy, White House and others, then upload data sets and other documents to repositories like the Internet Archive and DataRefuge. PBS Newshour notes that no data have disappeared completely, but changes to government websites have made numbers harder to find. During one of the first UCLA hackathons on Inauguration Day, developers were getting to work just as all mentions of climate change disappeared from WhiteHouse.gov. The White House's data portal has since been cleared out as well. Here's NewsHour's piece on an event at New York University earlier this month: The grassroots Environmental Data and Governance Initiative has planned more events around the country in the coming weeks. The Initiative has published materials and guides to organizing more "data rescue" events. Two other developers have created a web app that lets anyone see what data needs to be harvested and contribute from home. That's just for the easy jobs though, scrapes that simply require developers to download spreadsheets or capture webpages. Other government sites require a little more elbow grease. "All these systems were written piecemeal over the course of 30 years. There’s no coherent philosophy to providing data on these websites," tech exec and volunteer Daniel Roesler, told Wired this week. Some coders have to get creative: One coder who goes by Tek ran into a wall trying to download multi-satellite precipitation data from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. Starting in August, access to Goddard Earth Science Data required a login. But with a bit of totally legal digging around the site (DataRefuge prohibits outright hacking), Tek found a buried link to the old FTP server. He clicked and started downloading. By the end of the day he had data for all of 2016 and some of 2015. It would take at least another 24 hours to finish. The New York Times reported this week that these "data rescue" missions are just one facet of a new, more politically active scientific community. Energized by Trump's climate policy, and specifically his appointment of prolific Environmental Protection Agency-resister Scott Pruitt to head that agency, researchers are organizing marches and even weighing runs at elected office. Like our guests on the show this week, many scientists behind these efforts draw a distinction between the numbers and narratives you draw out of them. But you need to make the numbers accessible first. "I'm a great believer in science," Myron Ebell, who lead the EPA transition but quit before the inauguration, told the Times. "But I'm not a great believer in politicized science."
Time take a look at a big thing that's getting lost in the first four weeks of the Trump administration. Hint: It's the economy. David Frum, senior writer for The Atlantic, answers our Make Me Smart question: "What's something that you thought you once knew, but turns out you were wrong about?" We talk with Eric Bickel and Michael Weis of the Quantify Louisville blog. Eric and Michael take publicly available data from the city of Louisville, Kentucky, and look for stories hidden in the data. They talk to us about specific ways to judge the value of any given statistic. And finally, as we move forward into Week 4 of the Trump administration, Molly wants to remind us that we're going on a bear hunt. Don't worry, we'll explain.