Federal Officials Investigating Scottrade Data Breach

Posted on: October 3rd, 2015 by ABC News No Comments

Raymond Boyd/Getty Images(ST. LOUIS, Mo.) — Another day, another data breach; this time for Scottrade Inc.

On Friday, the discount brokerage company released a statement on its website saying federal law encorment officials had informed Scottrade there were ongoing investigations into theft of company information.

“Although Social Security numbers, email addresses and other sensitive data were contained in the system accessed, it appears that contact information was the focus of the incident,” said the statement.

The statement also said the company had “no reason to believe that Scottrade’s trading platforms or any client funds were compromised.”

Scottrade said they were in the process of notifying about 4.6 million affected clients about the data breach, and offering “identity protection services.”

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Wall Street Gains After Bleak Jobs Report

Posted on: October 2nd, 2015 by ABC News No Comments

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Big gains on Wall Street at the end of the week, despite a poor jobs report.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 200.36 to close at 16472.37.

The Nasdaq gained 80.69 to end 4707.78, while the S&P 500 finished the session at 1951.36, up 27.54 from its open.

The jobs report for September revealed employers created far fewer jobs than expected. Economists expected at least 200,000 new jobs and only 142,000 were reported. According to the Labor Department the jobless rate is still at 5.1 percent, but the overall growth remains strong. Investors believe it may be a sign the Federal Reserve will hold off on raising interest rates this year.

Wal-Mart Inc. said on Friday in an email to staff that the company was laying off 450 employees who worked at the headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas. The lay-offs include a few managers and vice presidents. Two months ago Wal-Mart had announced a 15 percent drop in quarterly net profit from the year before.

Another day, another security breach. Scottrade Inc. revealed in a statement that federal law enforcement officials were investigating theft of information from clients.

“Although Social Security numbers, email addresses and other sensitive data were contained in the system accessed, it appears that contact information was the focus of the incident,” read the statement.

The discount brokerage company said they did not believe that any clients funds were compromised.

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Mattel Gives Classic View-Master Toy a Modern VR Makeover

Posted on: October 2nd, 2015 by ABC News No Comments

Mattel(NEW YORK) — Mattel introduced a new version this week of the classic View-Master toy with a modern twist: virtual reality.

In collaboration with Google, Mattel created a plastic kid-friendly version of Google Cardboard to view new places and experience adventures. Priced at $29.99, the device is cheaper than adult virtual reality devices, such as those from Samsung and Oculus that cost hundreds of dollars. But the View-Master Virtual Reality Viewer, for ages 7 and up, is a jump up from the free Google Cardboard device you can make at home for free.

Users need an iOS or Android phone compatible with Google Cardboard and place it in the device.

Mattel is betting on new toys like the View-Master Virtual Reality Viewer and Hello Barbie talking doll to emerge out of a sales slump ahead of the holiday season. Mattel reported a loss of $11.4 million in its second quarter and will next report earnings on Oct. 15.

When asked whether 7-year-old children are ready for the technology, Aslan Appleman, senior director of design and marketing for advanced concepts at Mattel, said the new device “leverages technologies to deliver an immersive educational experience” children have always had with the View-Master.

“They’ve always pulled that viewer up to their face,” Appleman said. “They’ve clicked the iconic lever. They’ve been transported to various places via still photography that was high-tech in its day.”

The new gadget has an updated look of the classic View-Master, which you can still buy at Walmart for about $12. It’s red and has the iconic View-Master lever, which allows users to interact with the apps. So far, Mattel is selling three “experience packs,” sold separately at $14.99. These include a National Geographic Wildlife Experience Pack, a Space Experience Pack and a Destinations Experience Pack, which introduces children to places like the Statue of Liberty and the ancient Mayan city of Chichen Itza.

If you don’t want to pay for the packs, users can view any Google Cardboard-compatible app on the View-Master.

While there isn’t a headphone jack in the device, Mattel said sound is an important part of “experiencing a sense of immersion” with the device. Mattel designed the viewer with sound channel “speakers” to allow the user to hear the experience, such as the sounds animals make on the African savanna, without the need for headphones.

A Mattel spokeswoman said this was also a design choice to keep the experience “snackable,” or accessible and easy to use for parents without the need to carry around more accessories. You can connect your phone with any Bluetooth-enabled speakers if users want to amplify the volume.

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Stagefright 2.0: How Bug Targets Android Devices

Posted on: October 2nd, 2015 by ABC News No Comments

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — The second coming of the Stagefright bug is here.

Less than two months after Google patched the vulnerability affecting Android devices, security research firm Zimperium said it has discovered a second vulnerability that it’s dubbing Stagefright 2.0.

“Meet Stagefright 2.0, a set of two vulnerabilities that manifest when processing specially crafted MP3 audio or MP4 video files. The first vulnerability (in libutils) impacts almost every Android device since version 1.0 released in 2008. We found methods to trigger that vulnerability in devices running version 5.0 and up using the second vulnerability (in libstagefright,” Zimperium researchers wrote in a blog post.

A user can be exploited if they’re sent an infected file or are lured to a website where they would then open the malicious audio or video file. The vulnerability is when the metadata — the underlying, contextual information such as when the file was created — is processed, meaning simply previewing a song or a video through an infected file could leave users exposed.

Researchers exploited the flaw on devices running Android 5.0 and later, however they said older devices extending as far back as Android 1.0 may be impacted due to third-party apps using the vulnerable library.

Zimperium said Google’s Android Security Team was made aware of the issue on Aug. 15, and they “responded quickly and moved to remediate.” Zimperium said it will update its “Stagefright Detector” app to identify the flaw as soon as a patch is issued.

“We would like to thank Google for their cooperation for promptly including the fix in the upcoming Nexus Security Bulletin scheduled to be released next week,” the blog post said. The firm also said it encouraged vendors “to update their Android devices to incorporate the fix as soon as possible.”

Stagefright first crept into the spotlight over the summer when it was revealed as many as 850 million Android phones could be vulnerable to an exploit that allowed hackers to gain control of the device by sending a malware infected picture message.

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Alphabet Shakeup Spells Change for Google

Posted on: October 2nd, 2015 by ABC News No Comments

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — The close of trading Friday will spell a new era for Google as the search giant becomes a part of new holding company Alphabet Inc.

Google announced Friday it expects stock from “Google Inc.” will transfer to “Alphabet” at the close of the business day. Google’s Class A and C stocks will swap the Google name for Alphabet, however both types of shares will keep their respective ticker symbols, GOOG and GOOGL, along with the same shareholder rights.

The decision to slim down Google and make it a subsidiary of the newly created Alphabet was announced in August and is intended to allow each company to focus on what it does best. Google has always been a search engine and advertising business at its core but over the years it’s grown into a company with diverse interests ranging from self-driving cars to home automation systems. The idea of Alphabet is to spin off some of those businesses from Google.

Larry Page is CEO of Alphabet, while fellow Google co-founder Sergey Brin serves as president. In a blog post announcing the change, Page said that Google is “operating well today, but we think we can make it cleaner and more accountable.”

Here’s a look at the biggest changes of the reorganization.

What’s Part of a Slimmed-Down Google

Google will be solely focused on the company’s core Internet businesses, including search, advertising, maps, YouTube and the Android operating system. Sundar Pichai, who has effectively been leading Google’s day-to-day operations, will step into the CEO role.

What It Means for Investors

Investors can expect two segments for financial reporting beginning in Q4, with the slimmed down Google broken out separately from the other Alphabet businesses, which will be reported as a whole, according to an SEC filing explaining the reorganization.

What Else Is Under the Alphabet Umbrella

Page said “companies that are pretty far afield of our main internet products” will be separated from Google and become a part of Alphabet.

Google X, the semi-secret incubator that has spawned projects such as self-driving cars and Wing, a drone delivery service, will move to Alphabet. Other companies under Alphabet’s control will be Nest, the connected home products company; Fiber, Google’s high-speed Internet service; Google Ventures and Google Capital.

Alphabet’s Role as a Parent Company

Each business unit under the Alphabet umbrella will be run by a CEO, with Page and Brin determining their compensation.

“We will rigorously handle capital allocation and work to make sure each business is executing well,” Page wrote in a blog post. “The whole point is that Alphabet companies should have independence and develop their own brands.”

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US Economy Adds 142,000 Jobs in September, Wages and Unemployment Rate Remain Stagnant

Posted on: October 2nd, 2015 by ABC News No Comments

Pixsooz/iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — The U.S. Labor Department released its September unemployment report on Friday, showing a lower than expected number of jobs added.

According to the Labor Department, U.S. employers added just 142,000 jobs last month, falling short of experts’ expectations of about 200,000. The unemployment rate nationwide remained at 5.1 percent.

Economists say that the numbers show slowed hiring and some fear that the economy could be weaker than it appears. Along with Friday’s report, July and August job gains were revised downward, which is surprising because August numbers typically get revised upwards.

Also in the report, the proportion of Americans working or seeking employment fell to a new 38-year low, while wages remained stagnant, having climbed just 2.2 percent in the last year.

The latest data could factor into the Federal Reserve’s decision on whether to raise interest rates in December.

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Data Breach May Have Exposed Information on 15 Million T-Mobile Customers

Posted on: October 2nd, 2015 by ABC News No Comments

Wolterk/iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — T-Mobile said Thursday night that a data breach at a vendor in charge of processing the mobile carrier’s credit applications may have put customers information at risk.

“We have been notified by Experian, a vendor that processes our credit applications, that they have experienced a data breach,” T-Mobile CEO John Legere said in a letter posted to the company’s website. While an investigation into the breach is ongoing, Legere said that the hacker or hackers were able to acquire information related to 15 million people, including new applicants between September 1, 2013 and September 16, 2015.

Among the information potentially at risk are names, addresses, birthdates and encrypted Social Security numbers. Experian says that the encryption may have been compromised.

Legere and T-Mobile say that they are taking protective steps for all of its customers at risk due to the breach.

“Obviously I am incredibly angry about this data breach,” Legere said, “and we will institute a thorough review of our relationship with Experian, but right now my top concern and first focus is assisting any and all consumers affected.”

The breach did not include any payment card numbers or bank account information, the company noted.

T-Mobile is offering anyone who may have been affected by the breach two years of free credit monitoring and identity resolution services.

“We take privacy very seriously and we understand that this new is both stressful and frustrating,” Experian North America CEO Craig Boundy said in a press release. “We sincerely apologize for the concern and stress that this event may cause.”

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Keeping Your Teen Safer Behind the Wheel Without Breaking the Bank

Posted on: October 1st, 2015 by ABC News No Comments

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — It’s no secret that teens behind the wheel give parents major anxiety.

Per mile driven, teenaged drivers are nearly three times more likely than drivers aged 20 and older to be in a fatal car crash, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Banning teenagers from driving around with fellow teen passengers, prohibiting texting while driving, and enforcing curfews can help mitigate the risks. But there’s another way to keep your kids safer on the road — one that doesn’t involve parent-child shouting matches.

Buy a safer car.

In a survey conducted last year by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, of the cars purchased for teens, more than 80 percent were used vehicles, according to their parents. IIHS’s research indicates that because many of these are older model year vehicles, they may lack key safety features, such as electronic stability control, a computer technology that can compensate for loss of traction.

Families in this survey paid an average of $9,751 — and a median of $5,300 — for their teens’ vehicles, according to IIHS.

So, the institute compiled a list of used vehicles that it says align with teen drivers’ safety needs — and which it encourages parents to consider even though the vehicles cost more than they’re used to spending.

Because teens are notoriously lacking in self-control, the IIHS advises to steer clear of high-horsepower muscle cars.

“The temptation to test the limits of a powerful engine is too hard for many teens to resist,” according to the institute.

It also tends to favor bigger, heavier vehicles, which perform better in collisions, and cars outfitted with electronic stability control.

So, what are the best used cars for teens?

The least expensive car on the IIHS “best” list is the 2005 Volvo XC90, listed in the Kelley Blue Book for as low as $4,600 last month in Arlington, Virginia. Later model years on the list were generally more expensive.

Other less expensive cars on the list include the 2009 Volkswagen Jetta sedan, valued at $5,600, the 2006 Subaru Tribeca/B9 Tribeca, $6,000, and the 2007 Honda Element, $6,700. Again, later model years are on the list but were generally more expensive.

If you’re willing to up the budget, the list also pinpoints the 2014 Mazda 6, $15,100, the 2011 Ford F-150 Crew Cab, $16,800, and the 2011 Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class, $19,100, with later model years on the list being generally more expensive.

All of the used cars on the IIHS’s “best choices” and “good choices” lists are less than $20,000.

For the full list, visit IIHS.org.


Volkswagen America CEO to Testify Before House Subcommittee on Emissions Scandal

Posted on: October 1st, 2015 by ABC News No Comments

GEOFF ROBINS/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Michael Horn, President and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America, will testify before a House subcommittee next week as part of the congressional investigation into the Volkswagen emissions scandal.

Scheduled to appear before the House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations at 10 a.m. on Oct. 8, Horn will provide information on the “facts and circumstances surrounding Volkswagen’s reported Clean Air Act violations.” Subcommittee Chair Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Pa., said he hopes to get answers including why the “defeat-devices” were used to fool emissions testers, how the decision to install them was made and how their use went undetected for so long.

“The very notion of a carmaker intentionally violating our environmental laws is beyond belief,” House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich., said. “Reports of Volkswagen selling cars with devices aimed at skirting the law cannot, and will not be tolerated.”

Also scheduled to testify at the Thursday hearing is at least one representative from the Environmental Protection Agency.

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Peeple App Lets You Rate Humans Like a Restaurant

Posted on: October 1st, 2015 by ABC News No Comments

Peeple(NEW YORK) — This is the stuff nightmares are made of for the self-conscious.

Instead of telling someone how you feel face to face, a new app in beta called Peeple is unleashing the five-star rating and review system on humans. The app hasn’t launched yet, but the founders say on their website the goal is to “change the way people can learn about each other online,” whether it’s looking at prospective roommates, dates or learning about a potential business partner.

Perhaps the most unnerving part of it all for some people: Anyone can add a new user and you can’t remove your profile from the app.

The only item needed to add a person to the app is the user’s cell phone number. They’ll then receive a text message letting them know who started their profile.

A review works the same way it would on other platforms for restaurants and services. A person is given a rating of up to five stars and then the reviewer can leave a short message explaining their rationale.

Reviews two stars and below are sent to a user’s inbox before being published, giving them 48 hours to work out the disagreement with a reviewer. If there is no resolution when the period expires, the review is then published and the person will have the chance to publicly defend him or herself against the feedback.

If a review is posted by someone a user does not know or includes bullying and other hateful content violating the app’s terms and conditions, it will be removed. Peeple’s creators say users will have to agree they are 21 and older before joining the app.

While the concept sounds scary, Peeple’s creators are billing it as a “positivity app” and advise future users to use it how they would any other social network.

“Your network lifts you up and says positive things about you so that you can have a strong online reputation and get job opportunities, access to more networking opportunities with like-minded people, interact with other single people, and have the ability to search others to make better decisions around your greatest assets such as your family,” the Peeple website says. “You can look up the character of the people you meet and interact with.”

Peeple seems to be one of the first apps geared to the masses for rating people and having reviewers take ownership for their comments, while other apps have focused on anonymous reviews in more niche areas.

Knozen is a fun app letting users rate their co-worker’s quirks, personality and work ethic by presenting users with photos of two colleagues and a question like, “Who is more likely to leave work early for a date?” or “Who is more likely to sing a song out loud?”

Another app called Lulu lets women research and review men, with reviews factoring into an average score of up to 10 points.

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Jobless Claims Climbed Higher Last Week, Labor Department Says

Posted on: October 1st, 2015 by ABC News No Comments

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — Jobless claims were higher last week, increasing by 10,000 from the previous week’s level, according to the latest figures released Thursday by the Labor Department.

For the week ending Sept. 26, the number of people filing for benefits rose to 277,000. The previous week, claims stood at an unrevised level of 267,000.

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

The four-week moving average decreased by 1,000 to 270,750.

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Drone Popularity Draws Concern From Pilots, Federal Officials

Posted on: October 1st, 2015 by ABC News No Comments

Chris McKay/Getty Images for Live Nation(NEW YORK) — Roughly 700,000 drones are expected to be sold in the United States this year, according to the Consumer Electronics Association.

The figure marks a 63 percent increase over last year’s total, but comes with added concerns about safety. The popularity of drones worries both pilots and government officials.

“All aviators are worried about hitting anything in the air. That’s basically what we always worry about,” said Brian Wynne, president and CEO of the Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems.

The Federal Aviation Administration plans to meet with Walmart, which has 19 different kinds of drones for sale on its website, to teach salespeople about what it should tell its customers about safe drone operation.

Pilots report seeing drones in airspace reserved for aircraft several times each day.

The Consumer Electronics Association projects the U.S. drone market to climb above $100 million in revenue this year, an increase of more than 50 percent from last year’s total.

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"Shark Tank" Investor Kevin O’Leary Reveals His Five Secrets of the Sale

Posted on: October 1st, 2015 by ABC News No Comments

ABC/Michael Desmond(NEW YORK) — Before he became “Mr. Wonderful,” Kevin O’Leary of Shark Tank scooped ice cream for his first job. Since then, he went on to build a company that has since sold for $4 billion and is the founder of O’Leary Financial Group.

“Business is war. My job is to salt the earth my competitors walk on, burn down their market shares, steal their customers, take all of their profits and go home and hug my kids,” O’Leary told ABC News’ 20/20. “[I] get up in the morning and do it again.”

To O’Leary, 61, the hardest business job in the world is sales.

“Every business has sales. If you have no sales you have no business,” O’Leary said. “I don’t think it’s ever been more competitive than it is now. We not only have competition within our own country, but we have the world competing for our customers.”

Watch the full story on ABC News’ 20/20 Friday at 10 p.m. ET. And check out the Shark Tank shark and sales expert’s five top techniques to making a sale below:

1. Walk the Walk.

In this technique, it’s important for salespeople to know who they are and what they’re selling.

“Number-one rule: great salesmen and women understand it’s their destiny to be a salesperson and to be great,” O’Leary said. “It has to be there all the time, 24-7, no chink in that armor.”

2. Feel the Love.

O’Leary said salespeople need to be passionate about their products.

“You have to love the product you’re selling. You have to have an emotional bond with it. It has to be oozing from every pore that this is the greatest product you have ever sold,” he said.

3. It’s All About the Perfect Pitch.

“Don’t dribble on. Capture your audience immediately. Communicate your vision for why the product belongs in their hands. That’s the perfect pitch,” O’Leary said.

Of all the thousands of sales pitches he has heard, O’Leary said there has been one constant factor in companies that were able to gain an investor.

“In every case, that person was able to articulate the opportunity in 90 seconds or less,” O’Leary said.

4. Be Kind, Not Nice.

“I don’t trust nice people … I don’t believe that someone can be nice all the time,” O’Leary said.

“Every product has its merits and its downsides. Don’t lie about a product … as if there’s no problems at all. Create that bond of trust. That’s paramount.”

5. Be Sticky, Not Gummy.

Salespeople should know when to stop talking, O’Leary said.

“In sales your best friend is time and it’s also your worst enemy. You have to make a decision whether they’re ultimately going to buy from you or not,” he explained.

“As soon as you understand that they’re not, don’t waste your time. Cut them loose. Gummy people just keep going after the sale and wasting everybody’s time.”

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IKEA Removes Window Blinds Hazardous To Kids

Posted on: October 1st, 2015 by ABC News No Comments

Allard1/iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — IKEA announced Thursday that its U.S. stores will no longer stock window blinds with pull cords long-blamed for strangulation deaths and injuries to children.

The retailer is the latest to remove from its inventory the widely-used product containing what the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) calls of one of the five deadliest “hidden home hazards.”

Some window blinds are made with pull cords that can tangle and create a choking hazard for children who may play with them. According to statistics released by the CPSC, nearly one young child per month dies from strangulation by window blind cords.

The Swedish retailer made the announcement at the start of Window Covering Safety Month.

“IKEA is committed to working together with our customers to raise awareness of this important issue and to help families get the knowledge they need to ensure a safer everyday life at home,” said Heather Spatz, IKEA U.S. Country Sales Manager.

IKEA said that starting Thursday, it will only carry window blinds or coverings that have either no cords or inaccessible cords.

The retailer noted that its global stores will make the transition by January 2016.

CPSC reports there have been at least 285 cases of fatal or serious injury strangulation of young children due to window blind cords from 1996 to 2012. The CPSC is now currently considering imposing a mandatory standard on the manufacturing and selling of corded blinds, which are popular in part because they tend to be inexpensive.

IKEA is the latest large retailer to make the announcement it would no longer carry corded blinds.

Last year Target informed the CPSC that it would phase out corded blinds from its inventory, and in a recent statement to ABC News, the Minneapolis-based giant said “the entire Target blinds assortment is now cordless,” calling product safety a “top priority.”

The CPSC provides recommendations for preventing strangulations by window cords in its Window Covering Safety Center website.

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Winning Ticket for $310 Million Powerball Grand Prize Sold in Michigan

Posted on: October 1st, 2015 by ABC News No Comments

Sean Gladwell/Hemera/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — One lucky winner will be able to claim the $310.5 million Powerball grand prize.

According to the Powerball website, the winning ticket was sold in Michigan, matching the winning numbers of 21, 39, 40, 55, 59, and the powerball number 17. The last jackpot winner won $110 million in the August 1 drawing.

Powerball is played in 44 states, as well as Washington D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The Powerball website says the odds of winning the grand prize are one in 175,223,510.

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What You Should Know About the New Credit Card Chip Rule

Posted on: September 30th, 2015 by ABC News No Comments

Kenishirotie/istock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Chip-enabled credit cards will now become the standard for consumers and business owners.

Banks and credit companies have been sending consumers new cards, which look like their old cards but are fitted with a small metallic high-tech chip known as EMV, which stands for Europay, MasterCard, Visa — the three companies that created the standard. The chip’s goal: keeping thieves from easily accessing consumers’ personal information. Starting tomorrow, retailers and small businesses who have not yet upgraded their credit card networks will be liable for any Visa, Discover or Mastercard credit card transaction that is fraudulent if the card is EMV-equipped. If fraud occurs when a magnetic stripe card is swiped at a chip-enabled terminal, the bank is still responsible for the fraud. American Express will transfer liability to business owners on Oct. 16.

If the business hasn’t updated to an EMV machine, it’s responsible for fraudulent transactions when the card is EMV-equipped. If fraud occurs when a magnetic stripe card is swiped at a chip-enabled terminal, the bank is still responsible for the fraud.

Credit card fraud is a growing problem in the U.S. About 31.8 million U.S. consumers had their credit card information stolen last year, more than three times the number of consumers affected in 2013, according to a report published by Javelin, a company that studies customer transactions. According to a report from Barclays earlier this year, almost half of the world’s credit card fraud occurs in the U.S.

According to the Electronic Transactions Association, the high-tech chip creates a unique code for each transaction, making it difficult for criminals to duplicate consumers’ information. The new cards have to be inserted and then held in a card reader, which then uploads the information to complete the transaction. The new credit card standards are not a mandate for retailers and credit cards with just magnetic strips will still be accepted.

Here’s what consumers and business owners should know about the shift:

1. Consumers can still use magnetic stripe cards if they have them

Sean McQuay, a credit card expert at personal finance site NerdWallet, said fraudsters are going to bug every non-EMV payment terminal they can to steal credit card information because these terminals will become the path of least resistance for theft.

“Consumers need to be wary of any store that forces them to swipe their card as opposed to dipping the chip — old terminals will be even more susceptible to hacking until they’re upgraded,” he said.

2. It’s been done before

Since 2005, when the U.K. switched to the EMV standard, counterfeit fraud has decreased 63 percent, as noted in NerdWallet’s Consumer Credit Card Report, but that was after peaking in 2008, three years after the roll-out.

“This is a reminder that consumers will not be instantly safer after Oct. 1 but rather once a critical mass of consumers and stores are EMV-ready,” McQuay said.

Due to these limitations, McQuay predicts that credit card fraud will continue to rise in the short term.

3. Tough luck for online shopping

McQuay points out that there are limitations with these new cards.

EMV chips will prevent a thief from making a copy of your credit card but it won’t stop them from stealing your online payment credentials.

EMV technology won’t protect consumers with online purchases, as it only protects consumers when they dip their card in an EMV-ready terminal in a face-to-face transaction, McQuay notes. NerdWallet found that online fraud in the U.K. has risen 120 percent over the last 10 years.

In addition, “Consumers still need to ensure that they’re shopping on reputable sites, even if their card has an EMV chip on it,” McQuay said.

4. The burden is shifting

The EMV liability shift means that any businesses that have not upgraded to EMV payment terminals after tomorrow will be liable for fraud that occurs on an EMV-ready credit card. Gas stations have until 2017 to replace readers at pumps.

The cost of upgrading card readers among retailers varies greatly between each retailer, according to a spokeswoman for the National Retail Federation. NerdWallet’s EMV shopping guide for small and medium-sized businesses notes that mobile payments service Square has an EMV-ready dongle for $30 while more traditional POS terminals can reach over $1,000.

“While this liability shift is intended to create incentives for the market to upgrade to the higher security standard, it does place a large burden on stores, especially small and medium-sized businesses that are already struggling with low margins,” McQuay said.

NRF’s Mallory Duncan said the new chip cards are not 100% safe unless they also require a customer PIN.

“It’s like locking the front door and leaving the back door unlocked,” she said in a statement.

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Markets Move Higher To Close Third Quarter

Posted on: September 30th, 2015 by ABC News No Comments

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) – The markets moved higher on the final day of a volatile quarter.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average soared 235 points to finish the day at 16,284.80.

The NASDAQ closed up 103 points, finishing at 4,620.16, while the S&P 500 rose 35 points to end the day at 1,920.03.

The markets close out the third quarter with losses. Over the last few months, investor fear has been driven by China’s shaky economy and an impending decision from the Federal Reserve over whether to raise interest rates.

Payroll processor ADP says private employers added 200,000 jobs this month, up from the 180,000 the month before.  The government’s jobs report is due out on Friday.

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Facebook’s New Ways to Dress Up Your Profile

Posted on: September 30th, 2015 by ABC News No Comments

Facebook(NEW YORK) — A short looping video showing off your personality could soon be the star of your Facebook profile.

Facebook is beginning tests Wednesday for new ways for users to dress up their profiles, including the addition of a profile video letting users “show a part of yourself you couldn’t before, and add a (literal!) new dimension to your profile,” a newsroom post said.

Facebook product managers Aigerim Shorman and Tony Hsieh said user profiles are viewed more than four billion times per day, making them a crucial part of how a person expresses who they are online.

Along with the option for a fun looping video, the team at Facebook has also decided to focus on profile photos.

“Profile pictures are not just static portraits. They represent what’s going on in your life right now and what’s important to you, and we want to give people the tools to better express themselves in this way,” Shorman and Hsieh wrote in a post.

Facebook will roll out the ability to set a temporary profile photo which can revert back to another at a specified time, making it even easier to support your team leading up to a game or to show support for an important cause.

“It can be a visual status update to let you friends know what’s going on in your life today, or it can be a moment of solidarity for a cause you feel strongly about,” Shorman and Hsieh wrote.

The other big change includes improved profile controls, letting a user do as much or as little as they want with a customizable space at the top of their profile, which will have room for a one-line biography and as many as five featured photos. Mobile users can also expect a big design change with profile photos moving front and center, making more room for the new features, should they choose to include them.

While the word is officially out on the fancy new window dressings, Faceboook said they’re currently only available to iPhone users in California and the United Kingdom and will be rolled out to more people soon.

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Apple OS X El Capitan: Five Reasons to Upgrade

Posted on: September 30th, 2015 by ABC News No Comments

Apple(NEW YORK) — Apple is putting the focus on power users with OS X El Capitan, the latest Mac operating system update which is available Wednesday as a free download.

While the operating system has the design of Yosemite, it packs some changes to help with productivity.

“El Capitan refines the Mac experience and improves performance in a lot of little ways that make a very big difference,” Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering, said in a statement. “Feedback from our OS X beta program has been incredibly positive and we think customers are going to love their Macs even more with El Capitan.”

Available in the Mac App Store, El Capitan supports all Macs introduced in 2009 and later with the ability to support some models from 2007 and 2008. Here are five reasons why getting the update could be worth your while:

Smarter Search

Smarter search capabilities in Spotlight let users ask questions or deliver commands using natural language, such as “Find me John’s resume” or “How did the Yankees do last night?”

Balancing Act

Apple designed this update with power users in mind: You can now work in apps positioned side by side. Mission control springs into action with a simple swipe, arranging everything a user has open in a single layer, saving the nuisance of searching for a window. Lose your cursor on a crowded screen? No problem — just shake it and it will get bigger.

Powerful New Notes App

A more powerful Notes app lets users quickly turn a to-do list into an interactive checklist that can be made on the Mac but accessed on the iPhone, thanks to iCloud. It also includes the ability to add photos, video and maps to your notes, making them useful when you’re out and about.

Your Favorite Sites

Pin your most visited sites in Safari, letting you get to where you want to go even faster.

Mute Audio

It’s even worth appreciating the little things. You can now click a mute button in Safari to keep sound from annoying videos or advertisements from interrupting your workflow.

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Amtrak to Start Charging Passengers Who Exceed Bag Limit

Posted on: September 30th, 2015 by ABC News No Comments

Alex Wong/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — It looks like Amtrak is taking a page from the airline industry’s playbook: It will now start charging passengers for baggage.

Amtrak, starting Thursday, will charge passengers $20 for bags, but only if they exceed the luggage item limit.

Passengers are currently allowed to board free of charge with two personal items — such as a backpack, purse or laptop — that weigh 25 pounds or less, along with two carry-on bags weighing 50 pounds or less. If traveling with children, passengers can bring an additional stroller or diaper bag.

The fee will apply to any passenger exceeding those limits.

Amtrak historically has struggled to earn money, and no doubt the baggage fees are seen as a way to boost its bottom line. It’s certainly worked for the airlines: the Department of Transportation reports last year, baggage fees generated more than $3.5 billion in revenue for U.S. carriers.

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What’s Next After Tesla’s Sporty Model X

Posted on: September 30th, 2015 by ABC News No Comments

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — With Tesla Model X deliveries officially underway, Elon Musk and his team can now look ahead to another big future delivery — the affordable Model 3.

Musk, the CEO of the automotive company, revealed earlier this month that the electric car company will show off the look of its lower-cost Model 3 in March and will begin taking pre-orders around that time. The smaller sedan is expected to cost around $35,000 and will begin production in 2017.

“Demand would be much higher for a vehicle like that because of its price. It puts Tesla right in the meat of the market,” Karl Brauer, a senior analyst at Kelley Blue Book, told ABC News in May after Musk announced the project.

With the Model 3 expected to be around half the price of the Model S, Brauer said he expects some features — such as autonomous driving — likely wouldn’t be included in the cheaper Tesla.

What he does expect, however, is a cohesive Tesla experience that will stand out from the growing competition at the lower price point. That means a long battery life, a large touchscreen display in the car and driver-assist features, such as smart cruise control, and compelling styling.

While the world will have to wait a few more months before getting a first look at the design, the veil was lifted on the sporty Model X on Tuesday night at an event near Tesla’s Fremont, California, factory.

The crossover vehicle is Tesla’s third model and will join the Model S on the market. The signature series Model X will cost in the low six-figure range for customers seeking a fully loaded, top-of-the-line experience.

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Top Holiday Toys for 2015 Revealed

Posted on: September 30th, 2015 by ABC News No Comments

Angela Williams/ABC News(NEW YORK) — You may be an adult, but the TTPM (formerly Time to Play Magazine) Holiday Showcase is sure to strike a chord with your inner child.

It’s that time to get the first look at what some experts are predicting will be the hottest toys of the season. From preschool tots to big kids, there are some exciting new choices for every age.

Chris Byrne, a.k.a. “The Toy Guy,” travels the world to research toys, and he told ABC News there are a lot of check-offs before a toy can make it on his list as a “must-have.”

“As we see things come out, we like to follow the trends of what people are buying,” Byrne said. “And we look at what’s going to engage kid’s imaginations. This year, we’ve seen a lot of toys for older children. Because people thought the kids were just to play with phones. But no, they like toys!”

Byrne said now is the time to start making decisions on which toys to buy if you want to be certain to get the top picks before they’re sold out. This toy preview is your chance to score a few points with your sons, daughters, nieces and nephews. Here’s your chance to be one step ahead.

It’s a safe bet that young movie-goers will gravitate towards the many new offerings that come along with the release of big screen blockbusters. Hasbro’s Playmation Avengers Starter pack is sure to bring out the superhero inside of the child who snags these toys.


Also on the list, the Girl Scout Cookie Oven by Wicked Cool Toys. It appears to offer a new twist on the old time favorite Easy Bake oven. It actually bakes girl scout cookies. It takes just over 30 minutes to bake the cookies, but if they taste anything like the real deal, it might just be worth the wait.


Oh baby! The happy dance Snoopy by Just Play Toys may be just what your toddler needs to bust a move. And when he really gets going, his ears even flop to the beat.

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Mystery No More: Tesla’s Model X Unveiled

Posted on: September 30th, 2015 by ABC News No Comments

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(FREMONT, Calif.) — Tesla’s Model X is no longer a mystery.

Elon Musk, Tesla CEO, officially handed over the first long-awaited sporty electric vehicle Tuesday at an event near the automotive company’s factory in Fremont, California.


Meet Model X. Watch it live here http://t.co/Iag2iwIi0l #ModelX https://t.co/TkVQL5PP67

— Tesla Motors (@TeslaMotors) September 30, 2015


The crossover vehicle is Tesla’s third model and will join the Model S on the market. The signature series Model X will cost in the low six-figure range for customers seeking a fully loaded, top-of-the-line experience.

With the same options as a Model S, the new car will cost $5,000 more because of its size and body complexity, Musk tweeted. The base Model S starts at $70,000, not including any tax incentives that could be used at the federal and state level for electric vehicles.

The Model X is said to be able to seat seven people in three rows of seats, with the car having wing-like doors instead of opening from the sides. It’s unclear what the final pricing will be for the vehicle, which was first announced in 2012, but it hasn’t stopped Tesla devotees from putting down a deposit to reserve their Model X.

Getting the delayed Model X to customers will help Tesla clear the way for its next project — the lower cost Model 3. Musk revealed the electric car company will show off the look of the vehicle March and will begin taking pre-orders around that time.

The smaller sedan is expected to cost around $35,000 and will begin production in 2017.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Twitter Users Ponder a World Beyond 140 Characters

Posted on: September 30th, 2015 by ABC News No Comments

LUIS ROBAYO/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — What makes a tweet a tweet? One hundred and forty characters or less.

That definition could one day cease to exist. Twitter is reportedly working on a new product that will allow users to share tweets longer than the standard 140-character limit, according to a report in Re-Code citing people familiar with the project.

Twitter representatives did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment. Meanwhile, the possibility of a key change to Twitter had many on the platform wondering about a whether it really needed to become a world extending beyond 140 characters.

Personally, I'd lower twitter's 140-character limit to 70. Twice the snark in half the time.

— Dean Clancy (@DeanClancy) September 29, 2015

If twitter does ditch the 140 character limit it'll be a totally different platform. Perhaps like being cc'd in an email with the world.

— Christian Payne (@Documentally) September 29, 2015

If Twitter ditches the 140 character limit, doesn’t it just become tumblr?

— Peter Chapman (@colossalblue) September 29, 2015

Twitter's reportedly working on expanding 140-character limit to help people too unimaginative to fit a single thought into the space allowe

— Razor (@hale_razor) September 29, 2015

Twitter is thinking of expanding its 140 character limit. Bad idea. The beauty of Twitter is its succinctness. We have FB for the waffle

— Anne Marie O'Connor (@Kitsgirl1) September 29, 2015

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Markets Finish Mixed After Early Drop

Posted on: September 29th, 2015 by ABC News No Comments

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The stock markets closed mixed on Tuesday as the markets stabilized after a big drop.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 47.24 points, finishing the session at 16,049.13.

The NASDAQ fell 27 points, to finish the day at 4,517.32, while the S&P added just two points to close at 1,884.09.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau says borrowers are having widespread problems with the companies that service their student loans, from lost paperwork and delays in processing that could lead to missed payments or late fees.  The Bureau says one in four student loan holders is in default or struggling to stay current.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Walmart Customers Can Now Order Groceries Online

Posted on: September 29th, 2015 by ABC News No Comments

moodboard/iStock/Thinkstock(Bentonville, AR) — Walmart wants to make grocery shopping faster and easier with a new online grocery ordering service — but there are limitations.

Walmart customers can order groceries online with free store pickup in 13 markets, the company announced Tuesday. The participating cities are Colorado Springs, Salt Lake City, Tucson, Atlanta, Nashville, Charlotte and Fayetteville, North Carolina, and Ogden, Utah. The company said it will expand the program to more cities in the coming weeks.

Walmart’s online grocery orders don’t require a subscription fee and same-day pickup is available for orders placed by 10 a.m. local time. Orders placed by 2 a.m. are ready for pickup at 8 a.m., and orders can be placed up to three weeks in advance. There is a $30 minimum per order.

The online food and grocery delivery space has become increasingly competitive. Organic and natural foods grocer Whole Foods offers food delivery services in some parts of the country. In New York City, some Whole Foods stores will deliver for free if the total purchase is at least $150. Trader Joe’s charges delivery fees based on how quickly a customer wants the food. For example, a Trader Joe’s customer in Los Angeles can pay an additional $15 to have groceries delivered in less than an hour.

Other services like Peapod, founded in 1989, have long offered Internet grocery delivery services. Peapod, which works in partnership with Stop & Shop and Giant Food Stores, offers delivery services in 24 U.S. markets today. Fresh Direct, which serves the New York City and Philadelphia markets, charges at least $5.99 for delivery.

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What Drivers Should Know About Volkswagen, Audi ‘Action Plan’

Posted on: September 29th, 2015 by ABC News No Comments

Scott Olson/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Volkswagen and Audi drivers will finally get answers about their defective diesel cars.

Volkswagen announced on Tuesday it has prepared a “comprehensive action plan” that will inform customers about refitting their cars. The German automaker said it is creating websites to inform affected customers and submitting its “technical solution” to regulators for approval in October.

“An internal evaluation on Friday established that a service procedure is required for some five million vehicles from the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand out of a total eleven million Group vehicles worldwide,” the company said in a statement. “These vehicles from certain models and model years (such as the sixth generation Volkswagen Golf, the seventh generation Volkswagen Passat or the first generation Volkswagen Tiguan) are fitted with Type EA 189 diesel engines. All vehicles are technically safe and roadworthy.”

Morningstar auto analyst Richard Hilgert called Tuesday’s announcement regarding the required refit “ambiguous.”

“What is unclear is the extent of the ‘technical solution’ or ‘service procedure’ mentioned in Volkswagen’s press release that’s needed to make their vehicles emissions compliant,” Hilgert told ABC News.

Because the vehicles passed emissions testing when on a dynamometer (a device that measures an engine’s power or torque), it’s possible that the fix could be simply a change in the engine control module that contains the illegal software, Hilgert noted.

“At worst, the fix may require that dealers install different or even additional anti-pollution equipment to treat the exhaust gas,” he added.

It’s been nearly two weeks since the Environmental Protection Agency revealed that Volkswagen’s four-cylinder Volkswagen and Audi diesel cars from model years 2009 to 2015 included software that cheated emissions tests. Volkswagen said about 11 million of its cars around the world may be affected.

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Elon Musk Set to Hand Over First Tesla Model X

Posted on: September 29th, 2015 by ABC News No Comments

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(FREMONT, Calif.) — Tesla’s Model X will no longer be a mystery when Elon Musk officially hands over the first long-awaited sporty electric vehicle Tuesday night at an event near the automotive company’s factory in Fremont, California.

The crossover vehicle is Tesla’s third model and will join the Model S on the market. The signature series Model X will cost in the low six-figure range for customers seeking a fully loaded, top-of-the-line experience.

With the same options as a Model S, the new car will cost $5,000 more because of its size and body complexity, Musk tweeted. The base Model S starts at $70,000, not including any tax incentives that could be used at the federal and state level for electric vehicles.

The Model X is said to be able to seat seven people in three rows of seats, with the car having wing-like doors instead of opening from the sides. It’s unclear what the final pricing will be for the vehicle, which was first announced in 2012, but it hasn’t stopped Tesla devotees from putting down a deposit to reserve their Model X.

Getting the delayed Model X to customers will help Tesla clear the way for its next project — the lower cost Model 3. Musk revealed the electric car company will show off the look of the vehicle March and will begin taking pre-orders around that time.

The smaller sedan is expected to cost around $35,000 and will begin production in 2017.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Google Unveils Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P Smartphones

Posted on: September 29th, 2015 by ABC News No Comments

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(SAN FRANCISCO) — Google unveiled two new Nexus smartphones Tuesday at an event in San Francisco boasting internal improvements, including additional security that will allow apps to use a fingerprint identification system.

The Huawei-made Nexus 6P is a full-metal bodied Nexus device with a 5.7-inch display, making it slightly bigger than the iPhone 6s Plus. The LG-manufactured Nexus 5X follows up on the successful Nexus 5 and includes a 5.2-inch display weighing 136 grams, according to specs announced by the company.

Both phones are available for pre-order Tuesday in the Google store in the United States, Ireland, United Kingdom and Japan. The Nexus 5X starts at $379, while the Nexus 6P starts at $499. The phones will ship unlocked at the end of October, company officials said.

Along with an improved camera and 4K video capabilities, the new devices will also come with the Android sensor hub, which vice president of Android engineering Dave Burke said “takes literally just a couple of seconds” to learn a fingerprint, which can then be recognized in a few hundred milliseconds.

Both phones will run on the Android M software, which will also be rolled out to existing devices next year. What makes Android M stand out from its predecessors (also named for desserts, including the most recent KitKat and Lollipop) are performance enhancements, including an easier way to find information in apps and updates to Google Now, the Android virtual personal assistant.

A power saving mode called Doze will help keep the system in a sleep-like state in order to conserve battery life. Another feature is an app’s permissions system, allowing users to approve or deny security settings for an app on a case-by-case experience.

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Keurig Kold Enters Soda Business to Compete Against SodaStream

Posted on: September 29th, 2015 by ABC News No Comments

Keurig(NEW YORK) — Watch out SodaStream, there’s a new soda maker in town.

Keurig Green Mountain hopes households and offices across the country that use the popular coffee K-cups will buy into its homemade soda business.

With a suggested price of $369, the Keurig Kold system boasts of the convenience of homemade soda with brands like Coca-Cola and Dr. Pepper Snapple Group will be worth the price tag.

A spokeswoman for Keurig said the company expects retailers to sell the machine as low as $299 after promotions. That doesn’t include the soda flavoring. Four-count pods, for instance, will retail from $4.49 to $4.99.

Unlike the SodaStream system, Keurig is counting on the brand recognition to make from home what it calls “exclusive beverage brands” Coca-Cola and Dr. Pepper soda. The system provides eight-ounce beverage sizes that have 100 calories or less.

In comparison, SodaStream systems, which offer Pepsi soda, Skinnygirl flavors and its own SodaStream Fountain Style line, start at around $70 and can top $200. These $5.99 mixes, which aren’t single serving pods like Keurig, come in 14.8 fluid ounce bottles that make 29 servings, or seven liters of drinks.

Another difference is that the Keurig system offers “rapid chilling that turns room temperature water to a perfectly chilled drink at the push of a button,” Brian Kelley, president and CEO of Keurig, said in a statement.

Customers can order the Kold system on Tuesday and it will be available later at select retailers in six cities in October: Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, Los Angeles and New York.

Asked whether the pods are recyclable, a Keurig spokeswoman said the Kold pods may be accepted for recycling in select communities that accept items labeled “#7-OTHER.”

Consumers should remove the foil seal, which you’ll need to remove to make a beverage, and for sparkling beverage pods, the Karbonator beads and paper filter should be removed before recycling, she said.

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