Franklin Clinic of Michigan City







US Stocks Close Higher, Regain Most of Brexit Vote Losses

Posted on: July 1st, 2016 by ABC News No Comments

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Wall Street closed higher for a fourth straight day, regaining much of the losses from earlier this week caused by the Brexit vote.

The Dow jumped 19.38 (+0.11 percent) to close at 17,949.37.

The Nasdaq climbed 19.89 (+0.41 percent) to finish at 4,862.57, while the S&P gained 4.09 (+0.19 percent) to close at 2,102.95.

Crude oil jumped almost 2 percent with prices hitting $49 a barrel.

Post-Brexit Vote: Although U.S. stocks have regained much of the losses caused by market uncertainty from Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, investors now await word from the Federal Reserve on hints for the next interest rate hike. Fed Governor Daniel Tarullo and New York Fed President William Dudley are expected to give speeches on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Harley-Davidson: Harley-Davidson’s stock exploded on Friday, jumping nearly 20 percent at the close, after news of a rumored takeover. Private-equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts is reportedly interested in acquiring the American brand and allegedly considered a takeover in 2010.

Lions Gate: After news it was acquiring Starz for $4.4 billion including debt, Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. shares tumbled 2 percent on Friday. The huge deal comes as both of the independent companies have struggled to be bigger players in their industries and will now work to compete with HBO and Netflix.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

New York Homemaker Wins $169M Mega Millions Jackpot

Posted on: July 1st, 2016 by ABC News No Comments

ABCNews.com(NEW YORK) — A homemaker from Staten Island, New York, is now a $169 million jackpot winner after her husband used an extra dollar to purchase a $1 Mega Millions ticket that proved to be a winner.

Nancy Viola told New York Lottery officials that she asked her husband to stop for Powerball tickets last January when the Powerball jackpot was approaching $1 billion.

Her husband bought $20 worth of Powerball tickets at a Staten Island convenience store and then used an extra dollar to purchase a Mega Millions ticket.

“He had one dollar left in his pocket and here’s the $1,” Viola said at a press conference yesterday, pointing to her $169 million check. “Dollar and a dream, right?”

Viola, who could not be reached by ABC News, told lottery officials she “almost had a heart attack” when she saw the next morning that her ticket was a winner.

“I just couldn’t believe what I was seeing, so I asked my husband to come over to look. He just kept looking at the screen three or four times, and he was in shock too,” she said, according to the New York Lottery.

Viola created a limited liability company to secure her winnings. She also chose to receive her Mega Millions money in a lump sum, giving her a total of $64,796,160 after taxes, according to lottery officials.

“It’s surreal, but exciting and wonderful at the same time,” Viola said. “I’ve thought about my plans, and I want to make some investments and just be secure for the future.”

The current Mega Millions jackpot has soared to $415 million, or $286 million in cash, making it the third largest jackpot in the game’s history, according to lottery officials. The next drawing will take place Friday night at 11 p.m. ET.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Driver in Fatal Tesla Crash Shared Autopilot Videos on YouTube

Posted on: July 1st, 2016 by ABC News No Comments

Tesla Motors(NEW YORK) — The circumstances surrounding the death of a Tesla driver while using autopilot were “extremely rare,” according to the automaker, but the incident is raising questions about whether self-driving technology really is safer.

Tesla and the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration confirmed on Thursday the autopilot feature was undergoing a preliminary investigation following the crash.

Investigators looking into the death of Joshua Brown, 40, will probe whether the self-driving technology performed according to expectations. It was a feature Brown had used plenty of times before the fatal May crash.

Brown, a former Navy SEAL, ran a YouTube channel where he posted two-dozen videos showing the autopilot feature in his Model S. One video posted two months ago titled “Autopilot Saves Model S” has racked up nearly 2 million views. Taken from the vantage point of Brown’s dashboard, the video shows how the car avoided a near side-swipe from a truck.

Brown’s death is the first known fatality in more than 130 million miles driven with autopilot activated, according to Tesla.

‘Extremely Rare’ Circumstances of Accident

On May 8, Brown was driving on a divided highway in Florida using autopilot when a tractor-trailer drove across the highway perpendicular to the Model S, according to a statement released by Tesla and the police report.

“The high ride height of the trailer combined with its positioning across the road and the extremely rare circumstances of the impact caused the Model S to pass under the trailer, with the bottom of the trailer impacting the windshield of the Model S,” the statement said.

Tesla’s autopilot radar tunes out things such as overhead road signs in order to avoid “false braking events,” Tesla CEO Elon Musk said on Twitter. Neither Brown nor the autopilot system noticed the white side of the high ride tractor-trailer in the bright sky, the company said.

The automaker said it informed federal authorities as part of its standard procedure following the crash and noted the preliminary investigation is to determine “whether the system worked according to expectations.”

Autopilot Safety

When the Tesla autopilot is activated, it reminds drivers to “always keep your hands on the wheel. Be prepared to take over at any time.”

“The system also makes frequent checks to ensure that the driver’s hands remain on the wheel and provides visual and audible alerts if hands-on is not detected. It then gradually slows down the car until hands-on is detected again,” Tesla said in a statement.

The company has made it clear to drivers the technology isn’t perfect and the driver should always still keep his or her hands on the wheel.

“Autopilot is getting better all the time, but it is not perfect and still requires the driver to remain alert,” the company’s statement said. “Nonetheless, when used in conjunction with driver oversight, the data is unequivocal that Autopilot reduces driver workload and results in a statistically significant improvement in safety when compared to purely manual driving.”

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Best Fourth of July Shopping Deals, Plus What You Shouldn’t Buy This Weekend

Posted on: July 1st, 2016 by ABC News No Comments

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The Fourth of July holiday is a time for barbecues, trips to the beach, fireworks displays and shopping.

Here are some of the best deals shoppers can expect this weekend — and tips about what you should not buy.

For the Outdoors

As summer progresses you start to see incrementally better deals on summer-themed items, so let’s start with patio furniture.

Hammocks:
Overstock.com is offering this hammock with stand for $235 with free shipping. It’s the best deal online by about $50.

If you don’t need the stand, this one for $54 is best price by $25.

Barbecue grill: After you nap in that hammock you’ll need to make dinner, and barbecues also get less expensive as the summer goes on. This gas grill from Home Depot is $149. That’s the best price on this model I could find online by $50.

Air Conditioning

It’s summer, and if you’ve tried to make it through without an A/C but changed your mind, Walmart is offering this Haier model at $112. It’s the best price by $25 that we could find.

Coats (Yes, really)

Every major holiday weekend has become a clothing sale event, so check your favorite brands for shorts or swimsuits, but here’s a pro-tip: Don’t think summer clothes. This is the best time of the year to buy winter coats!

JCPenney has coats for up to 80 percent, so this pea coat that was originally $200 is $39 dollars. Another $10 off with a code and it’s $29, same price as this three-in-one technical jacket.

What Not to Buy

The good folks at DealNews.com — it’s like my Bible for savings — crunched the numbers and say you shouldn’t buy laptops now. They get 25 percent cheaper in August with the back-to-school season ramping up.

Tech items and TVs are generally not good buys this weekend. Don’t forget that Amazon’s Prime Day sale is coming up on July 15th, so if you have a specific item in mind watch it on Amazon and competitors who might price match.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tesla’s Autopilot Under Investigation After Fatal Crash

Posted on: June 30th, 2016 by ABC News No Comments

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Tesla’s autopilot mode is undergoing a preliminary investigation by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the automaker said today, following a recent crash that killed a driver who was using the semi-autonomous feature.

The Tesla driver was on a divided highway using autopilot when a tractor-trailer drove across the highway perpendicular to the Model S, according to a statement released today by the company.

“The high ride height of the trailer combined with its positioning across the road and the extremely rare circumstances of the impact caused the Model S to pass under the trailer, with the bottom of the trailer impacting the windshield of the Model S.”

The automaker said it informed federal authorities as part of its standard procedure following the crash and noted the preliminary investigation is to determine “whether the system worked according to expectations.”

When the Tesla autopilot is activated, it reminds drivers to “always keep your hands on the wheel. Be prepared to take over at any time.”

“Autopilot is getting better all the time, but it is not perfect and still requires the driver to remain alert,” the company’s statement said. “Nonetheless, when used in conjunction with driver oversight, the data is unequivocal that Autopilot reduces driver workload and results in a statistically significant improvement in safety when compared to purely manual driving.”

The identity of the victim was not immediately known. However, Tesla’s statement said the man “was a friend to Tesla and the broader [electric vehicle] community, a person who spent his life focused on innovation and the promise of technology and who believed strongly in Tesla’s mission. We would like to extend our deepest sympathies to his family and friends.”

This is the first known fatality in more than 130 million miles driven with autopilot activated, according to Tesla.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

US Stocks Rise for Third Straight Session

Posted on: June 30th, 2016 by ABC News No Comments

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Wall Street marked its third day of gains Thursday amid mounting expectations of global back stimulus following last week’s Brexit results.

The Dow rose 235.91 (+1.33 percent) to close at 17,929.99.

The Nasdaq climbed 63.43 (+1.33 percent) to finish at 4,842.67, while the S&P gained 28.09 (+1.36 percent) to close at 2,098.86.

Crude oil slid about 3 percent with prices hitting just above $48 a barrel.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Google Reveals the Sweet New Name of Android N

Posted on: June 30th, 2016 by ABC News No Comments

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) —  Google announced Thursday its next generation Android operating system will be known as Android Nougat, keeping with the tradition of moving through the alphabet with its updates and naming them after a dessert.

Nougat is in good company, joining a virtual Candy Land of predecessors including KitKat, Lollipop and Marshmallow.

Introducing #AndroidNougat. Thank you, world, for all your sweet name ideas! #AndroidNReveal pic.twitter.com/7lIfDBwyBE

— Android (@Android) June 30, 2016

Android N is currently in the hands of developers and will be rolled out to a wider audience in the fall.

Among the new features are split-screen multi-tasking, faster switching between apps and grouped notifications from a single app.

A power-saving mode called Doze was launched with Android Marshmallow, allowing users to keep their system in a sleep-like state in order to conserve battery life. With Android Nougat, Doze can also save battery life when a phone screen is turned off.

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Oculus CEO Is Latest Tech Leader to Be Hacked this Month

Posted on: June 30th, 2016 by ABC News No Comments

Photodisc/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — When it comes to hacking, some of Silicon Valley’s biggest names aren’t having the best month.

The latest victim appeared to be Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe, whose Twitter account posted a bizarre series of tweets Wednesday night, including one naming a new CEO. Iribe’s biography was also changed to read: “hey its @Lid… im not testing ya security im just havin a laugh.”

An account for @Lid has since been suspended and the offending tweets have been deleted from Iribe’s account.

OurMine, a group that has claimed responsibility for a number of recent account hijackings, including Google CEO Sundar Pichai’s Quora and Twitter accounts and Mark Zuckerberg’s Twitter, appears to have pulled off the prank.

“We are just testing your security,” the hackers wrote from Pichai’s account. They directed readers to learn more about OurMine’s cyber-security services for hire, which range in price from $100 for a social media scan to $5,000 at the corporate level.

A spokesperson for the group told tech site The Next Web: “We are just testing people security [sic], we never change their passwords, we did it because there is other hackers can hack them and change everything.”

Oculus did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Facebook Wins Appeal About How It Tracks Non-Members

Posted on: June 30th, 2016 by ABC News No Comments

Facebook(NEW YORK) — Facebook has won the latest round in a battle with a Belgian privacy watchdog group about how the social network tracks non-users who visit publicly available Facebook pages.

At issue is Facebook’s “datr” cookie — a piece of code that is downloaded onto your computer when you visit certain sites. The social network said the cookies helped keep Facebook secure and that any data was discarded after 10 days, while the Belgian Privacy Commission, which initially won the case last November, said the practice was a violation of Belgian Internet users’ privacy.

The ruling carried a 250,000 euro per day fine if Facebook did not comply, prompting the social network to block non-members in Belgium from seeing public Facebook pages.

The court overturned the case on Wednesday after siding with Facebook’s argument that this case should be out of Belgium’s jurisdiction since Facebook’s European headquarters are in Dublin, Ireland.

“Today’s decision means simply that the Belgian citizen cannot obtain privacy protection when it concerns foreign players. The citizen is thus exposed to massive violations of privacy,” Willem Debeuckelaere, president of the Belgium privacy commission said in a statement, according to the BBC.

The group said it plans to explore a final appeal with the Court of Cassation, which has the power to nullify previous judgments but can’t hand down new ones.

Facebook did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment on the case.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Google’s Super-Fast Trans-Pacific Internet Cable Goes Online

Posted on: June 30th, 2016 by ABC News No Comments

Google(NEW YORK) — An undersea cable backed by Google and five other companies is going online Thursday for the first time, marking the beginning of faster Internet speeds for users in Asia.

The $300 million project began in 2014, connecting Oregon and Japan with an undersea cable that would handle an initial capacity targeted at 60 terabits per second, allowing users in Asia to enjoy speedier connections.

“Internet users and our customers in Japan today should notice things seem to be moving a bit… FASTER,” Urs Holzle, Google’s senior vice president of technical infrastructure said in a Google+ post. “FASTER is one of just a few hundred submarine cables connecting various parts of the world, which collectively form an important backbone that helps run the Internet.”

It’s not the first time Google has gone underwater to improve Internet speed. In 2008, the company invested in cable that connected Southeast Asia and Japan.

The company also backed UNITY, another trans-Pacific cable system between the United States and Japan that debuted in 2010. The cable has a capacity of 7.68 terabits per second, according to Submarine Cable Networks, meaning that the newest cable blows it out of the water when it comes to capacity.

Facebook and Microsoft announced in May they’ll team up to lay an undersea cable system across the Atlantic Ocean that will deliver faster connections to online and cloud services from both companies.

Construction of that cable, called MAREA, will begin in August, according to a statement from both companies, and is expected to be completed in October 2017. MAREA, which is the Spanish word for “tide,” will span 4,100 miles from Virginia Beach, Virginia, to Bilbao on the northern coast of Spain.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Jobless Claims Climb to 268K

Posted on: June 30th, 2016 by ABC News No Comments

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — Jobless claims were back up last week, increasing by 10,000, according to the latest figures released Thursday by the Labor Department.

For the week ending June 25, the number of people filing for benefits climbed from an revised level of 258,000 the previous week to 268,000, marking the 69th consecutive week initial jobless claims came in below 300,000. It’s the longest streak since 1973, the Labor Department says.

The Labor Department said there were no “special factors” impacting that week’s figures.

The four-week moving average was unchanged from the previous week’s revised average of  266,750.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Australian Couple Raffles Off Island Resort for $49

Posted on: June 30th, 2016 by ABC News No Comments

Kosrae Nautilus Resort(NEW YORK) — Twenty-four years ago, Doug and Sally Beitz opened a luxury resort in Micronesia. They raised four sons in paradise.

And now, that island can be yours.

The Beitzes are headed home to their native Australia to be with their grandchildren full-time. And on July 26, they will hand over Kosrae Nautilus Resort in Micronesia to one lucky person.

It’s a one in 50,000 (at least) chance. But for $49, there’s not much to lose.

The idea to hold the raffle instead of a traditional sale stemmed from the Beitzes desire to hand over their lives’ work to someone who has dreamed of island life just like they once did and will continue to respect the island’s precious ecosystem — and not simply the person with the deepest pockets.

“We wanted to make our resort affordable for everyone,” Doug Beitz explained. “While we are sad to part with it, we are thrilled to have the opportunity to make someone’s dreams come true.”

Anyone anywhere in the world over the age of 21 is eligible to win. But if fewer than 50,000 tickets are sold, the raffle winner will instead win a cash prize in the amount of 50 percent of the total ticket sales instead of the resort.

But Adam Beitz, one of the couple’s sons, told ABC News that’s an unlikely scenario.

“We’ve had to upgrade servers twice due to the volume of traffic has caused our site to crash. We’re well on track to hit the 50,000. Splitting the winnings isn’t an option now, someone will definitely win the hotel and have their life forever changed,” he said.

He added that the majority of tickets have been sold in the U.S., with Australia in close second.

The owners claim the resort is debt-free and profitable. It has 16 long-term employees. The resort has 55 percent minimum occupancy guaranteed through August 2017. It has a 4.5 of 5 rating on TripAdvisor.

For official rules and details and to purchase tickets visit: WintheIslandEstates.com.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

US Stocks Mark Second Day of Gains as Oil Surges

Posted on: June 29th, 2016 by ABC News No Comments

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Wall Street continued to climb on Wednesday, marking a second day of gains as rising oil prices overshadowed Brexit fears.

The Dow jumped 284.96 (+1.64 percent) to close at 17,694.68.

The Nasdaq climbed 87.38 (+1.86 percent) to finish at 4,779.25, while the S&P gained 34.68(+1.70 percent) to close at 2,070.77.

Crude oil jumped just over 3 percent with prices hitting above $49 a barrel.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Mark Zuckerberg Angers His Hawaiian Neighbors by Building Wall

Posted on: June 29th, 2016 by ABC News No Comments

David Ramos/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Mark Zuckerberg’s construction of a six-foot wall around his oceanfront property in Hawaii has reportedly made him a lightning rod in the local community.

The wall around the 32-year-old Facebook billionaire’s 700-plus-acre Kilauea property is reportedly being built to block noise from nearby roads.

Local residents are complaining, however, that the wall will block their own views and the ocean breeze.

“The feeling of it is really oppressive. It’s immense,” Kilauea resident Gy Hall told The Garden Island newspaper. “It’s really sad that somebody would come in, and buy a huge piece of land and the first thing they do is cut off this view that’s been available and appreciative by the community here for years.”

Other neighbors described the wall to the newspaper as a “monstrosity” and described it as not feeling “neighborly.”

“I’m super unhappy about that. I know that land belongs to Zuckerberg. Money is no option for him. I’m 5’8” and when I’m walking, I see nothing but wall,” Kilauea resident Donna Mcmillen told The Garden Island. “It just doesn’t fit in with the natural beauty that we have here. There are people on the island who money can pay for anything. These kind of things that they do take away what Kauai is all about.”

According to Forbes, Zuckerberg spent upwards of $100 million in 2014 to acquire the property on Kauai’s North Shore. The Facebook CEO and his wife, Priscilla Chan, have an infant daughter.

Neighbors told The Garden Island they have tried to reach out to Zuckerberg, whose primary residence is in California, through letters and even signs on the wall.

“Somebody has been putting up signs, appealing to Zuckerberg’s generosity and humanity — polite signs on the wall — but those signs just get ripped off as soon as they appear,” Hall said. “There’s a total disconnect from what the community is concerned about and what he wants.”

In a statement, a spokesperson for Zuckerberg’s Kauai operation told ABC News the wall is compliant with the area’s rules and regulations.

“Rock walls like this one being built along the roadway are routinely used as sound barriers to reduce highway and road noise, and that is its primary purpose,” the statement read. “The sound barrier follows all regulated rules and regulations by the county and our entire team remains committed to ensuring that any development respects the local landscape and environment and is considerate of neighbors.”

At least one resident also told ABC News the wall is traditional lava rock, which is consistent with the local environment.

Other observers are also questioning if Zuckerberg is building the wall as a privacy measure. All beaches in Hawaii are open to the public, meaning anyone could approach Zuckerberg’s property by water.

Zuckerberg’s potential privacy concerns made headlines earlier after he appeared to cover the camera and microphone jack of his laptop with tape.

The privacy measure was spotted by Twitter user Chris Olson after Zuckerberg posted a photo on Facebook celebrating the growth of Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, with his laptop in the background.

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Millennials Don’t Drive? Luxury Automakers Beg to Differ

Posted on: June 29th, 2016 by ABC News No Comments

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Pundits and auto analysts once pointed their fingers at millennials for the impending death of the automobile.

Young adults, according to several studies, were choosing urban life over suburbia and shunning cars for mass transit, bikes and ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft. They even had little interest in getting a driver’s license.

Now, some of these same millennials, ages 19 to 34, are not only embracing driving but choosing premium cars and sport utility vehicles as their ride of choice.

Luxury British automaker Bentley first noticed the shift a few years ago. Millennials started leasing and financing vehicles, such as the Continental GT, in 2013 and they now make up 8 percent of all Bentley sales, the company said.

The Continental GT is among the most popular cars in the high-end market for the 18 to 34 age range, according to Bentley. Its top competitors include Maserati, Rolls-Royce, McLaren and Aston Martin, none of which responded to ABC News’ request for comment.

A new Continental GT V8 coupe starts at $198,500. The average age of a Bentley owner in the United States is 53.

“Millennials represent an increasingly important customer base,” James Pillar, Bentley’s head of marketing, said. “They are the largest potential consumer group today, and their influence is greater than simply the money that they have to spend. We believe that this generation’s approach to life and social issues will have more impact than merely their money.”

Danielle Weinstein said she has seen an uptick in millennial Bentley drivers over the past year as a salesperson with Manhattan Motorcars in New York City. A millennial herself, she said her peers are attracted to Bentleys because of their status.

“Millennials are looking to set themselves apart,” Weinstein, 32, told ABC News. “They want to be catered to [and] they want a unique experience. They want to make a statement.”

Manhattan Motorcars has sold 33 new Bentleys this year alone, eight of which were sold to millennials, the dealership says.

Weinstein’s observation appears to be on target. Autotrader.com conducted a study of millennial car buyers and shoppers in 2013 and found that 32 percent of millennials “like to impress people with their lifestyle” and 40 percent “like to show off their taste.”

In addition, millennials said owning the “best brand” is important to them, according to Autotrader.com.

Weinstein posts Bentley videos on a YouTube channel she set up to connect with millennials who have the cash to splurge on a luxury car, with the average lease for a Continental at about $2,400 per month. Social media has helped drum up interest in the nearly century-old brand, she said.

“Millennials are drawn to social media advertising,” Weinstein said. “They come [into the dealership] to network. I know social media attracts millennials.”

It’s not just Bentleys that millennials want to drive. German carmaker Audi said it has been experiencing a similar level of interest in its cars.

“We’ve seen a 23 percent increase in millennials coming to the brand in the past two years,” Audi USA director of marketing Loren Angelo said.

Even though the average age of an Audi driver is 50, Angelo said, the company has been aggressively marketing to millennials. For instance, Audi has made it a priority to hire younger employees, focus its attention on social media platforms like Snapchat and Twitch, and strategically place its products where millennials will see them: in hit movies like Iron Man and TV shows such as Pretty Little Liars.

Audi also established a partnership with Major League Soccer to grow its customer base.

Angelo said millennials are leasing the Q3, Audi’s entry-level SUV with a base price of $33,700, and the brand’s luxury crossover Q5, which starts at $40,900.

The millennial-luxury trend extends to Jaguar Land Rover as well.

Kim McCullough, the company’s vice president of marketing, told ABC News in a statement that “Land Rover buyers are the youngest buyers of luxury SUVs, with half being between the ages of 20 and 48. With the recent addition of the Jaguar F-PACE and XE, pre-orders for those models reflect a younger buyer.”

For example, half of the pre-orders for the Jaguar F-PACE were for buyers under the age of 50, McCullough said.

Acura is the No. 1 luxury brand with millennials in America as a percentage of overall brand sales, according to research firm IHS Automotive. Acura’s RDX and MDX SUVs are ranked in the top three of all luxury crossovers-SUVs sold to 35-year-olds and younger.

Millennials bought four million cars and trucks in the U.S. last year, according to J.D. Power, second only to baby boomers. Millennials accounted for 28 percent of the new car market in 2015.

Karl Brauer, a senior director at Kelley Blue Book, said he’s not surprised that millennials are purchasing high-end automobiles because millennials at all income levels have returned to driving.

“There was a delay in millennial automotive purchases but it was just that — a delay,” he said. “The entire spectrum of millennials are buying cars. Every brand is seeing more millennial buyers.”

Millennials also have something else in common with their parents: They’re choosing to lease rather than finance. Leasing has hit record levels, with nearly 29 percent of all new vehicles sold in the fourth quarter of 2015 leased, versus 25.11 percent in the same year-ago period, according to Experian Automotive.

About 53 percent of luxury cars were leased in just the first two months of this year. Leasing made up just 20 percent of the market five years ago.

“Millennials are not interested in the pure buying model … and a lot of them don’t want to buy a car for the long term,” Brauer said. “Leasing also makes owning a car more affordable.”

He traced the reversal to the fact that millennials are growing up and having families.

“They have to buy cars now. They’ve reached that life stage,” he noted. “They’ve got a wife and kids.”

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

How to Find Out What Google Knows About You

Posted on: June 29th, 2016 by ABC News No Comments

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Google might know you better than some of your closest friends.

The astounding amount of information Google knows about users can now be accessed in a refreshed “My Activity” page.

Keep in mind, this walk down memory lane is more than just Google searches. For many people, this trove of information includes everything from their Chrome browsing history, searches and videos watched on YouTube to various Android activity.

Google wants users to take control of the data and decide what they want associated with their account.

Much of this information is useful to Google, because it allows the search giant to tailor a “faster, smarter and more useful” experience, a message on the new portal explained. However, the page allows users to search by keyword, date and product to find specific searches or entire topics they wish to delete from their accounts.

After manicuring your digital history to your liking, step over to Activity Controls to fine-tune the settings you want moving forward.

While much of this information has been accessible before, the new page makes it easier to browse your history in one place. The personal Google retrospective comes as the company rolls out new personalized ad settings across apps and websites that partner with Google.

Instead of automatically opting all users into the new feature, Google is instead asking users to agree or choose to opt out via the “my Activity” page.

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GE’s Finance Arm Sheds ‘Too Big to Fail’ Status

Posted on: June 29th, 2016 by ABC News No Comments

YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — The finance arm of General Electric, GE Capital, will no longer be dubbed “too big to fail.”

The branding came in 2013, when the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) determined that material financial distress at the company “could pose a threat to U.S. financial stability.”

“The Council unanimously determined that GE Capital no longer meets the standards for a determination,” the FSOC announced on Wednesday.

The company was among the financial institutions that needed a government bailout to survive the financial crisis.

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Mega Millions Jackpot Swells to $415M, Third Largest in Game’s History

Posted on: June 29th, 2016 by ABC News No Comments

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The Mega Millions jackpot swelled again overnight, surpassing $400 million, after there were no winners in Tuesday’s drawing.

The top prize now stands at a jaw-dropping $415 million, or $286 million in cash, making it the third largest jackpot in the game’s history, according to lottery officials.

The numbers drawn on Tuesday for a $390 million jackpot, the game’s sixth-largest jackpot to date, were 55, 17, 15, 20, 35, and the Mega Ball was 7.

One second-prize ticket for $1 million was purchased in New Jersey, matching all five of Tuesday’s winning numbers but not the Mega Ball. No one has chosen all of the winning numbers plus the Mega Ball in the past 32 drawings.

The next drawing will be on Friday at 11 p.m. EST. Visit the Mega Millions website check your numbers.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Microsoft Windows 10 Users: Get Ready for Another Update

Posted on: June 29th, 2016 by ABC News No Comments

Microsoft(NEW YORK) — Just when you thought you were in the clear for updating to Windows 10, Microsoft is back with another gift.

When launching Windows 10 as a free upgrade last year, the software maker began an ambitious push to upgrade Windows 7 and 8.1 users with the goal of getting 1 billion devices refreshed in the coming years. One year later, Microsoft has made headway, with the company reporting 350 million devices have been upgraded.

PC users who still haven’t upgraded may have noticed from those frequent alerts, Microsoft really, really wants everyone to do it.

Windows 10 Is Here: What You Need to Know

The upgrade will stop being free after July 29. For those who already have Windows 10, the software maker announced this morning a “Windows 10 Anniversary Update” will be available beginning Aug. 2, bringing with it new productivity and security features. Here’s a look at some of the highlights.

Ask Cortana to Remember Your Frequent Flyer Number

Microsoft’s virtual assistant, Cortana, will be available on the lock screen so users can interact with her without having to unlock their device. One handy life hack mentioned by Microsoft executive Yusuf Mehdi in a blog post Wednesday morning: Cortana will remember your frequent flyer number and repeat it on command.

Power Efficiency

By consuming less memory and “minimizing the impact of background activity and peripheral content,” Mehdi said the upgrade will be even more power efficient.

Log Into More Sites Using Biometric Sign-In

Windows Hello, a feature launched with the upgrade last year, lets users on supported devices log onto their computer simply by looking at it. The anniversary upgrade is taking that biometric sign-on, allowing users to get into supported websites without a password and only a stare. Microsoft hasn’t said which websites will be supported yet, but the company envisions a future where people could use it for everyday tasks, such as online shopping.

Windows Defender

The free anti-malware service will now let you schedule periodic scans of your PC and provide new notifications when threats are detected.

Windows Ink

Your Windows 10 device can be turned into a (very expensive) piece of paper with Microsoft Ink. (Sorry, an old PC won’t work.) Take notes, edit a story or draw a picture on supported devices using a stylus.

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Nancy Pelosi Says Apple CEO Got ‘Bad Advice’ to Host Paul Ryan Fundraiser

Posted on: June 28th, 2016 by ABC News No Comments

Allison Shelley/Getty Images(SAN FRANCISCO) — House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi ripped Apple CEO Tim Cook for hosting a fundraiser for House Speaker Paul Ryan days after Apple backed out of supporting the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.

“Poor Tim. What a nice guy he is, but somebody gave him bad advice,” Pelosi told the San Francisco Chronicle over the phone. “He probably doesn’t think that much about politics.”

Pelosi argued that supporting Republicans in Congress was also a way to support Trump.

“Everybody has the right to do whatever they want to do,” Pelosi told the San Francisco Chronicle. “But when they say, ‘We don’t like what Trump says, but we’ll donate to his party,’ they’re either naive or they think we’re naive.”

Cook held the fundraiser after Apple over the weekend backed out of funding and supporting the RNC in Cleveland because of Trump’s controversial comments, according to Politico.

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US Stocks Rebound After 2 Days of Market Worries from Brexit

Posted on: June 28th, 2016 by ABC News No Comments

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — After two days of market uncertainty because of the Brexit, Wall Street jumped back Tuesday with the Dow gaining triple digits.

The Dow soared 269.48 (+1.57 percent) to close at 17,409.72.

The Nasdaq climbed 97.42 (+2.12 percent) to finish at 4,691.87, while the S&P gained 35.55(+1.78 percent) to close at 2,036.09.

Crude oil jumped almost 4 percent with prices hitting $48 a barrel.

Brexit: Tuesday’s rebound points out that investors in the U.S. have now relaxed after the initial uncertainty surrounding the U.K.’s decision to leave the European Union. After two days of sharp declines for Wall Street that wiped out this year’s gains, investors think that the U.K.’s exit from the EU will now be more drawn out and may explain Tuesday’s jump.

Volkswagen: The latest for the automaker’s emissions scandal; Volkswagen has agreed to pay up to $15 billion to settle claims that it intentionally misled regulators and consumers, an attorney for the plaintiffs in the case announced Tuesday morning. Owners will have the option of having their cars bought back or repaired with cash compensation between $5,100 to $10,000.

Ikea: At least six children have been crushed to death and dozens injured from a dresser sold by popular Swedish furniture retailer Ikea. Ikea has already stopped selling the dressers in its Malm line, and said Monday that it would offer refunds.

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What the Ikea Recall Means to Consumers

Posted on: June 28th, 2016 by ABC News No Comments

Ikea(NEW YORK) — Ikea agreed to immediately stop selling dressers that can too easily tip over onto children after at least six children have been crushed to death, the Consumer Product Safety Commission announced.

Millions of customers who bought chests and dressers sold by the popular Swedish furniture retailer could receive a refund after Ikea said Monday that it would immediately stop selling the wobbly products. If consumers do not want to return the dresser, the company will provide an anchor kit to secure the item.

An additional 36 children have been injured by Ikea chests and dressers, which are prone to tip over when they are not secured to a wall. The six deaths — all children under the age of 4 — date back to 1989 and are as recent as this February, the CPSC said.

Ikea has acknowledged the problems with its Malm line of dressers.

Courtesy The Consumer Product Safety Commission

What is the full scope of the recall?

The Ikea recall applies to at least 29 million chests and dresser products.

The company said that its Malm products will be discontinued because of the associated dangers, according to a statement from Ikea.

Last year, Ikea began offering anchoring kits to customers who purchased the dressers after regulators called them unsafe. The company stressed that the repair program helped to “communicate the importance of wall attachment, which resulted in the distribution of 300,000 kits to consumers who had not used their original hardware.”

What should consumers do if they own an Ikea dresser?

Ikea will offer full refunds or partial store credit, depending on the manufacturing year, to anyone who returns of its dressers and chests from its Malm line and other recalled lines. Free anchoring kits are also available.

The recall applies to the products addressed by the 2015 program for repairs and anchoring kits, plus some other units. The recalled MALM chests were sold from 2002 through June 2016 for between $70 and $200.

Consumers have three options to receive a free wall anchoring kit: visit an IKEA retail store, go to www.IKEA-USA.com/saferhomestogether, or call (888) 966-4532. According to the CPSC, “Consumers can install the kit themselves or IKEA will provide a one-time, free in-home installation service, upon request.”

Why are these dressers and chests dangerous?

The CPSC said two boys under the age of 3 were killed in 2014 after Malm chests that had not been secured to walls tipped over and fell on them. A 22-month-old boy from Minnesota also died this February when a Malm 6-drawer chest fell on top of him, according to the CPSC.

In addition to these deaths, Ikea said it received reports of 41 tip-over incidents involving the Malm chests and dressers, resulting in 17 injuries to children between the ages of 19 months and 10 years old.

Furthermore, Ikea said it had received 41 reports of tip-overs involving non-Malm chests and dressers, which resulted in the deaths of three children and 19 injuries.

“It is clear that there are still unsecured products in customers’ homes,” Ikea said in a statement. “We believe that taking further action is the right thing to do.”

Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pennsylvania, said he would press for legislation that enforces a mandatory safety standard.

“While this is a positive development this battle is by no means over. The facts are clear: far too many children are exposed to unsafe furniture that can easily tip over. What is needed is a strong federal safety standard that can give parents the peace of mind they deserve,” Casey said in a statement.

A child dies every two weeks and a child is injured every 24 minutes in the U.S. from furniture or televisions tipping over, according to CPSC data.

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‘Sixteen Candles’ Movie Home for Sale

Posted on: June 28th, 2016 by ABC News No Comments

VHT Studios(EVANSTON, Ill.) — You could live like Molly Ringwald’s character Samantha in the 1984 classic movie Sixteen Candles if you have nearly $1.5 million to spend.

The Evanston, Illinois, home featured in the John Hughes-directed movie is on the market for $1.49 million.

The six bedroom, four bath home was listed on June 3 and has since attracted a variety of suitors, according to the home’s listing agent.

“We’ve had serious interest and people that just want to come through because it was their favorite movie,” Jill Blabolil, of @Properties, told ABC News.

The new owner will be the third to own the home since the movie’s filming, according to Blabolil. Also included in the price is a Sixteen Candles poster that has been passed to each owner.

The home has been renovated since its Sixteen Candles moment of fame and now includes a backyard fireplace and outdoor kitchen.

The Evanston area, a suburb just outside Chicago, is also home to Northwestern University. The area has proven to be a popular movie location, partially because of director John Hughes’ affinity for the Chicago suburbs where he lived as a teen. Home Alone, The Weather Man and Uncle Buck have all been set in Evanston’s tree-lined, traditional neighborhoods, according to Blabolil.

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Facebook Knows Where You’ve Been and Is Using It to Suggest Friends

Posted on: June 28th, 2016 by ABC News No Comments

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — If that guy who popped up in your Facebook “people you may know” section looks vaguely familiar, it may be because you’ve recently crossed paths.

The section is usually a trove of high school acquaintances and a random assortment of colleagues with whom you have mutual friends, but Facebook also suggests friends with whom your common link may be unclear.

It turns out what two people may have in common is a shared GPS data point on their phones. Fusion first reported the story after a parent who attended a gathering for suicidal teens said Facebook suggested he friend another parent who attended — despite having never shared any information with each other.

Facebook did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment. However, a company representative told Fusion that location is just one factor in the algorithm the company uses to populate the “people you may know” section and that the two parents must have also had something else in common.

How to Turn Off Location Settings

While the super-smart algorithm may come in handy for networking with people you met at a party, you don’t have to use it. Android users can visit their app manager to open Facebook permissions. From there, toggle location to “off.”

People using an iPhone can turn off location services by going to settings, privacy, location services. Scroll down to Facebook and choose “Never.” It’s also a great time to evaluate the location settings on your other apps.

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Volkswagen Set to Announce $15B Emissions Settlement

Posted on: June 28th, 2016 by ABC News No Comments

JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — After admitting last year to installing “defeat devices” in 475,000 of its diesel cars, Volkswagen has agreed to pay up to $15 billion to settle claims that it intentionally misled regulators and consumers, an attorney for the plaintiffs in the case announced Tuesday morning. Affected owners will have the choice of having Volkswagen repair or buy back the polluting vehicle and owners of the affected vehicles can expect to receive $5,100 to $10,000 in cash compensation.

The fixes offered to Volkwagen owners are designed to lower emissions but are expected to compromise the performance of the car. The company could start buying back the vehicles as early as this fall.

The Department of Justice, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Federal Trade Commission will make an announcement this morning at 9:30 a.m. in Washington, D.C., which they are calling “significant environmental and consumer relief.”

The lead attorney for the plantiffs said the German automaker will put $2.7 billion into a trust to fund environmental remediation and commit another $2 billion to promote “Zero Emissions Vehicle technology.”

“This historic agreement holds Volkswagen accountable for its betrayal of consumer trust, and requires Volkswagen to repair the environmental damage it caused,” said lead-counsel Elizabeth Cabraser, chair of the 21 member Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee (PSC), which negotiated the settlement on behalf of class members.

“To achieve relief for consumers so swiftly on such a large scale is unprecedented,” she added.

If the settlement is approved by Judge Charles M. Breyer, it would be the largest consumer auto industry class action settlement in U.S. history.

The scandal came to light last September when Volkswagen admitted that some of its diesel vehicles used illegal “defeat device” software. Regulators said Volkswagen’s diesel cars emitted nitrogen oxides, or NOx, at 10 to 40 times the federal limit.

Volkswagen equipped certain 2.0 liter vehicles with software that detected when the car was being tested for EPA compliance, thus producing emissions that were different from actual on-the-road emissions.

The Justice Department also said Volkswagen violated EPA regulations by applying for certification with certain vehicle designs but then importing vehicles with different designs.

The affected vehicles are: 2009-14 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen TDI, 2009-15 Volkswagen Jetta TDI, 2010-15 Audi A3 TDI, 2010-15 Volkswagen Golf TDI, 2012-15 Volkswagen Beetle TDI, 2012-15 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible TDI, 2012-15 Volkswagen Passat TDI and the 2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen TDI.
 
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Ikea Recalls 29 Million Dressers and Chests After 6 Children Crushed to Death

Posted on: June 27th, 2016 by ABC News No Comments

Ikea(NEW YORK) — At least six children have been crushed to death by toppling Ikea chests, prompting the voluntary recall of about 29 million chests and dressers sold by the popular retailer, the Consumer Product Safety Commission says.

Ikea and the CPSC tell ABC that at least 36 children have been injured by Ikea chests and dressers, which are prone to tip over when they aren’t anchored to the wall. The deaths — all children under the age of 4 — date back to 1989 and are as recent as this February, the CPSC said.

The company is offering a refund or repair kit for affected dressers, including the MALM and other styles, the CPSC said. Further details were not immediately available. Furniture manufactured between 2002 and 2016 will entitle customers to a full refund; consumers can receive a partial store credit for items manufactured before 2002.

Upon request, the company will send a crew to install the wall anchor for customers who don’t want to do it themselves, the CPSC said. In the meantime, the CPSC is encouraging consumers to store the dresser where children won’t have access to it. At least four of the deaths were the result of unanchored chests.

Jaquelyn Collas, of Pennsylvania, found her 2-year-old son pinned between his bed and an Ikea MALM dresser in February 2014, she told ABC News Monday.

“I couldn’t tell if there was a heartbeat, you know I was so afraid,” she recalled.

Despite her attempt at CPR, the toddler was pronounced dead a few hours later, she said.

Collas is suing Ikea, claiming the company failed to warn consumers that the “front-heavy” dressers were potentially dangerous, according to the amended complaint, filed in May 2015.

“I didn’t know to anchor my furniture and, in my mind, I feel that we really shouldn’t have to,” Collas told ABC News. “Get rid of it, it’s dangerous, it’s a really dangerous product.”

In its answer to the suit, Ikea denied any allegations of manufacturing defect or inadequate warning.

“Defendants expressly deny any alleged negligence and carelessness, failure with regard to inadequate warnings or instructions, and the allegation that the dresser was improperly designed, improperly manufactured, defective, unreasonably dangerous or unsafe.”

In a statement regarding the voluntary recall, Ikea said that “a child in the US dies every two weeks from furniture, appliances, or TVs tipping over,” stressing that it instituted a repair kit program last year “to communicate the importance of wall attachment, which resulted in the distribution of 300,000 kits to consumers who had not used their original hardware.”

“Since then, we have been in close contact with the CPSC to evaluate the success of the repair program and the impact it is having on consumers’ actions. We are announcing this recall today given the recent tragic death of a third child,” the statement said, referring to the number of children killed by MALM dressers. Three other children have been killed by other-style IKEA chests.

“It is clear that there are still unsecured products in customers’ homes, and we believe that taking further action is the right thing to do,” Ikea continued in the statement. “We will continue to work collaboratively with the CPSC on tip-over prevention, development of the ASTM standard, and innovations that will enhance product safety and further reduce the risk of tip-overs.”

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Report: Huge Remodel to Shut Down Waldorf Astoria for 3 Years

Posted on: June 27th, 2016 by ABC News No Comments

Spencer Platt/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — The classic Waldorf Astoria is going to close for three years for a huge remodel.

Chinese insurance company Anbang, which purchased the luxury hotel in 2014 for $1.95 billion, is reportedly planning on converting most of the rooms into private apartments and condominiums, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Renovations are set to start in the spring for about $1 billion, removing 1,100 hotel rooms and hundreds of jobs, when the Waldorf currently has about 1,500 employees, the report said.

According to WSJ, the new Waldorf hotel will have between 300 and 500 luxury guest rooms and the rest of the building will be condos.

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US Stocks Continue Sell-Off for Second Day After Brexit Vote

Posted on: June 27th, 2016 by ABC News No Comments

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A second straight day of losses for global markets as the world reacts to Britain’s vote to leave the European Union.

The Dow sunk 260.51 (-1.50 percent) to close at 17,140.24.

The Nasdaq tumbled 113.54 (-2.41 percent) to finish at 4,594.44, while the S&P dropped 36.87(-1.81 percent) to close at 2,000.54.

Crude oil sunk about 2 percent with prices hitting over $46 a barrel.

Brexit: Stocks slumped for another day after Brits voted in a referendum to leave the European Union last week. The sell-off has wiped out any gains Wall Street made this year, and Standard & Poor downgraded the U.K.’s sovereign credit rating by two notches because of the Brexit. Ratings agency Fitch has also downgraded the U.K. rating from AA+ to AA with a negative outlook.

Winners and Losers: Fiat Chrysler’s stock slipped over 5 percent after Goldman Sachs removed the automaker from its Conviction Buy List because of the economic uncertainty in Europe in wake of the Brexit vote.

Headphone maker Skullcandy jumped about 6 percent after it received a second buyout offer from a private-equity firm. On Friday Skullcandy agreed to an offer from accessory giant Incipio, but now it will “carefully review and consider” an offer from Mill Road Capital Management, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Facebook and Google: In an effort to combat extremist speech, Google and Facebook have quietly started using automated programs to block online radicalization. The move comes as governments have also been trying to remove the content since terror groups have used the internet to post videos and violent propaganda.

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Google CEO Sundar Pichai Gets Hacked

Posted on: June 27th, 2016 by ABC News No Comments

Google(NEW YORK) — Google CEO Sundar Pichai may want to change his passwords Monday.

An account belonging to Pichai on Quora, a question-and-answer social network, appeared to have been briefly hijacked on Sunday by OurMine. The same group claimed to have accessed Mark Zuckerberg’s Twitter account earlier this month.

After gaining access to Pichai’s Quora account, the group was able to send linked tweets to Pichai’s Twitter account, where the CEO has more than half a million followers.

Hacking high-profile targets seems like an unorthodox way to get business attention, but that appears to be OurMine’s strategy.

“We are just testing your security,” the hackers wrote from Pichai’s account. They directed readers to learn more about OurMine’s cyber-security services for hire, which range in price from $100 for a social media scan to $5,000 at the corporate level.

A spokesperson for the group told The Next Web: “We are just testing people security [sic], we never change their passwords, we did it because there is other hackers can hack them and change everything.”

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Surprisingly Helpful Baby Products for New Parents

Posted on: June 27th, 2016 by ABC News No Comments

aden + anais (NEW YORK) — The market for baby care products is worth billions of dollars, so it’s no wonder new parents can be overwhelmed by the the selection of baby gadgets and playthings.

Besides the obvious “need-to-have” diapers and baby bottles, there are some “nice-to-have” products for parents, depending on your preferences. Zip-up onesies that easily come on and off can be helpful for middle-of-night diaper changes. Similarly, Kimono onesies with buttons mean you don’t have to finagle soiled diaper spill-over on a baby’s head during clothing changes.

Multi-use products are handy for parents who are already overwhelmed by products. Want a burp cloth that also functions as a baby bib with hidden snap buttons? Brooklyn-based Aden + Anais, which sells swaddles seen on the babies of everyone from Mark Zuckerberg to the British royal family, offers a “premium” pair for $22.

Ariana Horry, owner of Milk and Honey Babies boutique in Englewood, New Jersey, told us the convenient tools she used for her kids, now ages two and seven.

“As a mom of two, I’ve found some surprisingly helpful baby products are the ones that didn’t initially come to mind when first shopping for my little ones but when I found myself in a pinch they turned out to be extremely stress saving,” Horry said.

Here are some suggestions from Horry and more:

The Baby Shusher (retail: $34.99)

Some parents may find static noise from an old radio can do the trick, but Horry called the Baby Shusher “hands down one of my all-time faves.”

“It emits a rhythmic shushing noise that comes in handy to soothe your little one especially when mom, dad or even grandma grows tired of repeating their own shushing sound while rocking baby,” she said. “It’s also nice and compact and with the adjustable volume you can even use it on the go.”

Another noise aid possibility is the Sleep Sheep noise machine (retail: $30.95) that provides four sounds: mother’s heartbeat, spring showers, ocean Waves and whale songs.

The Puj Flyte Tub (retail: $34.99)

Horry said she liked the tub because it’s mildew-resistant and fits in most countertop or pedestal sinks.

“The best part is it’s so compact it easily fits in your suitcase so you can use it for both home and travel,” she said.

Zoli Buzz B Nail Trimmer (retail: $35)

Many first time parents are apprehensive about initially trimming their little ones’ nails, Horry said. But it’s so important to keep their nails properly trimmed to avoid the risk of your little one accidentally scratching themselves.

“The Buzz B nail trimmer allows you to safely trim baby’s nails with a cushioned pad that gently oscillates and files the nail,” she said. “You won’t need a magnifying glass, which accompanies most infant nail clippers, and you don’t run the risk of cutting the surrounding skin.”

It also comes with four cushioned pads for different stages, so it can grow with your baby.

Pillows

Nursing pillows come in all sorts of shapes, sizes and prices.

The My Brest Friend pillow (around $34.95 and up on Amazon) can help moms in the early days of breastfeeding and sleep deprivation. It has a strap that buckles around your waist to help support a small baby during breastfeeding. Another pillow with a buckled strap is one made by Bébé au Lait, which will cost around $50 for the pillow and a slipcover with the buckle. The company touts that mothers can choose to use between one firm side or the other soft side.

Some parents prefer the Boppy pillow (retail: $30 and up) which doesn’t have a strap to secure around a mother’s waist, but it also touts the multi-use purpose as a sitting or playing aid for the baby.

Other companies also produce breastfeeding pillows like the Ergobaby Natural Curve Nursing Pillow (retail: $70). (Ergobaby is the maker of some popular structured baby carriers, including the newly introduced “Adapt” carrier for babies that weigh 7 to 45 pounds and doesn’t require the purchase of a separate “infant insert.”) Some parents may or may not like the extra height, firmness and bulk of Ergobaby’s pillow.

Sleep sacks

Some parents may find zippered sleep sacks are easier for bigger babies who aren’t swaddled. Bébé au Lait sells a range of sleep sacks (retail: $32), including a light, breathable muslin cotton in two sizes: one for babies 6 to 12 months and another for babies and 12 to 18 months.

For a more dense material, a company called Little Lotus makes sleeping bags and swaddles from fabric they say was inspired by NASA spacesuits. The material has 100 percent cotton on the outside and “proprietary” fabric on the inside. The steep $78 starting price allows the company to provide an infant warmer for premature and underweight babies in developing regions with every purchase.

Aden + Anais makes three different types of muslin sleeping bags with materials that fit various ambient room temperatures. The prices of those range from $32 to $54.95. The most expensive has a “hypoallergenic polyester fill.”

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