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Thursday
Mar212019

Facebook admits to inadvertently storing 'hundreds of millions' of user passwords in plain text on company servers

alexsl/iStock(NEW YORK) -- Facebook officials admitted on Thursday that the tech giant stored hundreds of millions of user passwords in plain text -- able to be read by employees.

"As part of a routine security review in January, we found that some user passwords were being stored in a readable format within our internal data storage systems," Facebook's vice president of engineering, security and privacy Pedro Canahuati wrote in a post on the company's website Thursday morning.

"This caught our attention because our login systems are designed to mask passwords using techniques that make them unreadable," he added. "We have fixed these issues and as a precaution we will be notifying everyone whose passwords we have found were stored in this way."

The company did not say why it waited until March to notify users.

The news was first reported by the cybersecurity journalist Brian Krebs on his blog, Krebs on Security, before Facebook issued its statement. Although the company did not disclose how long the passwords had been insecurely stored, Krebs' report said the problem existed for years.

The company said the passwords weren't visible to anyone outside of the company, adding that "we have found no evidence to date that anyone internally abused or improperly accessed them."

"We estimate that we will notify hundreds of millions of Facebook Lite users, tens of millions of other Facebook users, and tens of thousands of Instagram users. Facebook Lite is a version of Facebook predominantly used by people in regions with lower connectivity," Canahuati wrote.

Facebook recommends users change their passwords and use two-factor authentication or a security key.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Mar212019

JetBlue pilots accused of sexually assaulting 2 female crew members, lawsuit says

rypson/iStock(NEW YORK) -- Two JetBlue pilots sexually assaulted two female airline workers during a layover in San Juan, according to a lawsuit the alleged victims filed in Brooklyn federal court.

The two airline crew members, who were identified as Jane Doe 1 from Utah and Jane Doe 2 from Texas, met the pilots, Eric Johnson and Dan Watson, on a beach and shared a beer, the lawsuit said. The alleged incident occurred last May.

“The beer was laced with a drug, and after that point, the rest of the night became a blur for Doe #1, Doe #2 and the other crew member,” according to the lawsuit.

The party ended up back in a hotel room where the women said they were attacked, leaving one of them with an STD, the lawsuit said.

The company told ABC News in a statement: “While we cannot comment on pending litigation, JetBlue takes allegations of violent or inappropriate behavior very seriously and investigates such claims thoroughly. We work to create a respectful workplace for all our crew members where they feel welcome and safe.”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Mar212019

FBI joins Boeing 737 MAX 8 criminal investigation as new questions about pilot training emerge

Yin Liqin/China News Service/VCG via Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The FBI is joining a criminal investigation to look into the certification of the Boeing 737 MAX 8, as new details from last year's Lion Air crash raise questions about pilot training on the now-sidelined plane.

Sources familiar with the matter said the FBI is working with other federal authorities to look into the certification of the Boeing 737 MAX. It is unclear how much of a role the FBI -- and federal prosecutors from the Justice Department -- will actually have in this effort, as the investigation is in its earlier stages.

Meanwhile, more details emerged on Wednesday about last year's Boeing 737 MAX 8 crash in Indonesia, further exposing what experts say was a lack of pilot training on the plane's suspect flight management system as the delay continued in releasing critical information about what might have caused a second deadly crash 11 days ago in Ethiopia.

The pilots aboard the Lion Air plane that crashed in October struggled with their quick reference handbook, a checklist for abnormal events, and eventually ran out of time before crashing into the ocean minutes later, individuals with knowledge of the cockpit voice recorder told ABC News Chief Transportation Correspondent David Kerley.

And the day before that crash, a similar situation unfolded on the same plane but was narrowly avoided with the help of an off-duty Lion Air pilot riding in the cockpit jump seat, according to a report from Bloomberg.

The off-duty pilot told the captain and co-pilot how to disable the malfunctioning flight management system that was causing the plane to nosedive, according to Bloomberg. The next day, the same problem happened -- but this time the pilots on board did not disable the system -- and the aircraft crashed into the ocean off of Indonesia, killing all 189 on board.

On March 10, five months later, Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crashed right after takeoff near the country’s capital of Addis Ababa. Though the flight data and cockpit voice recorders containing critical information were found one day later, families of victims have waited nearly two weeks without getting conclusive information about what was on the recorders or many details on similarities between the crashes.

The black boxes were analyzed in France last week and returned to Ethiopia. Ethiopia's top aviation official told the Wall Street Journal that a preliminary report, with data from the black boxes could be released in a week to eight days.

As questions continued about similarities, nearly a full week had passed since the Boeing 737 MAX 8 was banned from flying worldwide. It’s predicted the plane will be grounded for weeks.

And in the wake of the crashes and questions raised about the Federal Aviation Administration's certification of the plane, aviation officials from both the European Union and Canada have distanced themselves from the U.S. agency, which they used to trust and rely on in plane safety matters. Canada and the EU say they will conduct their own reviews of the software fix Boeing is making in the plane’s flight management system software before allowing the plane back in the skies, even if the FAA certifies the aircraft as safe.

On Tuesday, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao asked the department's inspector general to conduct a formal audit of the FAA certification process that allowed the Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft to start flying.

Sully Sullenberger, the now-retired pilot who famously and safely landed a plane with 155 passengers aboard in New York's Hudson River, wrote about his concerns with the FAA in an op-ed on Monday.

The FAA, long held as the gold standard for aviation safety, has damaged its credibility and cozied up to Boeing, Sullenberger wrote.

 Sullenberger also described an under-resourced FAA that doesn’t have the budget for diligent oversight.

“There simply are not nearly enough FAA employees to do this important work in-house,” he wrote.

Sullenberger also directed heavy criticism at Boeing, pointing out the long wait for a software fix -- still not released -- that was deemed necessary after the first Indonesia crash five months ago.

“Boeing has focused on trying to protect its product and defend its stance, but the best way, indeed the only way, to really protect one’s brand or product is to protect the people who use it,” Sullenberger wrote. “We must not forget that the basis of business, what makes business possible, is trust.”

Boeing maintained Tuesday that the FAA certified its flight control system and it met all regulatory requirements.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Mar212019

Facebook's Oculus launches new virtual reality headset and console

Facebook(SAN FRANCISCO) -- Facebook unveiled new virtual reality devices on Wednesday, the latest in the company's efforts to take the technology to the mass market.

Oculus, the virtual reality (VR) company Facebook acquired in 2014, revealed the new Oculus Rift S headset and its portable VR console called Quest at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) in San Francisco on Wednesday.

Both devices will retail for $399 each and be available later this spring, although the company did not specify dates.

The Rift S advances the original Rift headset that launched three years ago, although it will still need to be connected to a personal computer.

"It has a bunch of upgrades from the Oculus Rift," Oculus co-founder Nate Mitchell told ABC News. In addition to enhancements that will make the virtual world seem more real the headset has been redesigned to be "more comfortable and makes it easier to take on and off, especially for folks with varied hairstyles."

The sensors that were previously on the computer are now on the headset, so "the headset is able to track your movement in 3D space, as well as track the controller," Mitchell said.

It will also establish more of a bubble for users to stay within, or what Mitchell calls a "guardian boundary," so "the system will make sure you sure you stay within your boundaries and not step on your dog."

Space awareness while playing a VR game is a legitimate concern. Hobbyist gamer Aaron Apple said he played with the Sony PlayStation VR headset at a friends' house and ended up "banging my knees several times."

Still, Apple, a 35-year old who works in marketing, is excited about the next generation of VR gaming, which is still pretty niche. On a recent ski trip, he played ASTRO BOT rescue mission for hours with Sony's PlayStation VR headset. It reminded him of discovering games as a kid, he said.

"It was one of the coolest game experiences I've ever had, especially as an adult. That was such a delightful experience in every sense. It was so immersive, like an adventure — some little surprises for you every time you turn a corner," Apple told ABC News.

Oculus also unveiled a portable all-in-one VR device called Quest that will ship later this spring.

"They're a massive step forward for gamers," Mitchell said.

It will launch with more than 50 games, including Beat Saber, a "rhythm" game like Rock Band or Dance Dance Revolution, in which players slice virtual blocks in the air with sabers.

"I like this because it gives the industry — developers, creators, and in small part, the users — more and better options to experience and create VR," Tuong H. Nguyen, an analyst at Gartner, told ABC News. "These are chicken and egg issues. You need consumers to demand VR experiences, but you also need more and better content to make people demand it. Rift S and Quest are stepping stones in this direction, toward a future where VR will be a more common user interface, rather than a niche tech experience."

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Mar212019

March For Our Lives youth activism inspires fashion label 'Krost'

OSTILL/iStock(NEW YORK) -- The tragic Parkland school shooting on Feb. 14, 2018, in which 17 people lost their lives, led to an increase in youth advocacy for gun reform and was a catalyst for a new youth movement across the country.

Out of the tragedy rose the student-led coalition March for Our Lives, which organized peaceful protests across the country and fought to end gun violence in the months following the tragedy.

Samuel Krost, 26, was inspired by March For Our Lives in 2018, and looked for his own way to contribute to the movement.

The New York University graduate, who studied business management in school and racked up extensive experience working in the fashion industry, bumped into one of his friends from school, Scott Camaran, in the weeks after the Parkland shooting. The two got to talking about how they could make an impact.

Like Krost, Camaran had worked in the fashion industry for several years, and also worked professionally as a model.

The duo had already been mulling over ideas for a potential fashion collaboration, but wanted to mold their concept around the inspiring messages and activism youth leaders were creating.

Out of their similar tastes and desire to contribute in a unique way, the fashion label Krost was born.

“Sam and I kind of always vibed really well because of our tastes and age range -- similar influences," Camaran, the creative director of the label, said in an interview with ABC News' Good Morning America. "We were able to kind of come together pretty organically to build something that we both were passionate about.”

"Throughout my time in college, especially being in NYU in New York, seeing everything that was happening in the present climate of the world -- the Black Lives Matter movement, the #MeToo Movement, women’s rights movement -- there was just so much happening in society," Krost said.

He shared that he was inspired by student leaders who came together to forge a safer tomorrow after the Parkland shooting.

"I was determined to become as involved with the youth as possible -- but at the time I was 24-years-old and wanted to start a career for myself. I started asking myself how can you combine these two ideas and create something that’s bigger than just yourself?" he said.

Krost and Camaran, both activists in their personal lives, started working through brand strategy, brand messaging and building a team.

The label officially launched in November 2018.

Because the March For Our Lives movement was such a strong influence, Krost wanted to make the connection between his brand and the group official.

"March for Our Lives was the inspiration that moved me to go and try to create this company, so to not have an official or tangible relationship with the organization that was spearheading the idea behind the brand felt inauthentic for me," he said.

He added that, he felt he needed "to show that we aren’t just using social responsibility as a ploy -- that we’re actually implementing it into the core of the brand itself."

The process of proving that through committing to a partnership proved to be more time-consuming than Krost and Camaran thought.

"The organization was quickly evolving ... and it was becoming more and more difficult to get in touch with them," he added. "But we were determined to do so."

When they were put in touch with the proper point of contact, Krost and Camaran said the group was receptive to collaborating.

"I think that when we were speaking with the students from March For Our Lives, to show how much of an inspiration their organization and everything they’re doing -- and how quickly they formed -- they were super grateful that their organization was having an impact on other people," Krost said.

The duo eventually finalized the partnership with March For Our Lives, making their label the group's first-ever fashion partner, in the summer of 2018. Krost announced the news of the collaboration the day before the brand's official launch in November.

For their first collaboration with the group, Krost teamed up with Montreal-based branding agency Nouvelle Administration to create a $60 T-shirt to honor the 17 lives lost during the Parkland shooting. One hundred percent of the proceeds from shirt sales were donated to the March For Our Lives organization.

The team looked to influences like 1960s youth activism and flowers as a sign of peaceful resistance to create the final product.

The T-shirt featured flower petals to commemorate the dead, and the phrase, "save your friends."

"The 1960s -- a decade marked with riots, protests, segregation, the Vietnam War, anti-war ideas -- it was the last generation that the youth again came together to forge a different tomorrow," Krost said.

"Unfortunately we feel like things have come full circle with everything that's happening in the present climate of the world," he continued.

"Our design inspiration thus far for Krost has been 1960s students and peaceful protests," Camaran added. "I think this parallels especially with the inception of March For Our Lives."

The phrase "save your friends," featured on the shirt, played off Krost's signature slogan "support your friends," which is another cornerstone the brand is built around.

The slogan stands for community building and lifting up your peers.

"What’s most important with this brand is -- when you think of Krost, when you think of ‘support your friends,’ I want you to think of the story behind it," Krost said. "I want you to think of the community we’re trying to build, and that’s the biggest takeaway from March For Our Lives -- the community they were able to build."

"With March For Our Lives, you see how quickly they built a community based on this idea -- simply put, 'Hey, we don’t like guns,'" he added. "That was the drive behind them trying to create real tangible change within legislation and within society. That’s the idea of community that we tried to build this idea around."

The label was also careful as to what day would be appropriate to release the T-shirt.

"We didn’t actually release the tee for sale until four days after Feb. 14. We officially released it on the 18th," Krost said. "Not using the 14th as a day to actually fundraise -- more so a day to commemorate those that lost their lives on that day."

The label, which produces all of its products in the U.S., is planning to release parts of a second collection, dubbed their "second semester," starting in April.

They are committed to continuing to incorporate social change into the brand.

"March For Our Lives is obviously the biggest inspiration behind the brand’s story, but we don’t want to stop there," Krost said. "There’s a lot of internal discussion on how to challenge ourselves -- how to look at what’s currently happening in the world today that we can put our support behind."

Issues like mental health, bullying and suicide are just a few of the ideas they are interested in raising awareness about.

Krost and Camaran plan to work with other organizations to bring awareness to other societal issues in their third and fourth collections, which they will call their "third and fourth semesters."

They also hope to expand to other product categories, and potentially an art or film series, to bring awareness and financial support to causes that are important to them.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Mar212019

Passenger sues Royal Caribbean after 20-foot fall on bungee attraction

Obtained by ABC News(MIAMI) -- A passenger is suing Royal Caribbean for $75,000 over injuries sustained in a bungee trampoline accident on the company's Mariner of the Seas cruise ship.

Casey Holladay, 26, said he fractured his pelvis in a 20-foot fall on the ship's "Sky Pad," a bungee trampoline activity, in February when the harness malfunctioned while he was suspended in the air, according to the lawsuit.

Holladay, a native of Washington, was enjoying a weekend cruise to the Bahamas and looking forward to trying out the "Sky Pad" when the accident occurred, the suit said.

The suit, filed last week in U.S. District Court in Miami, said the accident happened on the 13th deck of the cruise ship, which has a hard surface with no "padding or safety nets in case a participant did fall and missed the trampoline."

He said the fall left him with a disability and permanent injuries.

"As a result of the substantial injuries and surgery, [Holladay] has become disabled, has plates and screws in his pelvic area, and has suffered severe orthopedic injuries," the suit said, "which will require lifetime medical care and treatment, including the possibility of multiple future hip replacements."

The suit accuses Royal Caribbean of negligence for allegedly failing to operate the attraction safely.

Holladay "had to be placed in the ship’s medical facility and kept there for many hours until the ship could return to Miami, Florida," according to the suit. He was eventually taken to the Jackson Trauma Center, where he was admitted for the next 10 days, the suit claims.

The passenger is suing the Miami-based cruise line for over $75,000 in compensatory damages. He's also seeking an unspecified amount for punitive damages.

Royal Caribbean spokesperson Owen Torres told ABC News that the company does "not comment on pending litigation."

"We operate all our ships safely, professionally and responsibly," Torres said in a statement.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Mar212019

Gucci is selling $870 sneakers that are intentionally dirty

Gucci (NEW YORK) -- Just when we found out avocado sneakers are a thing, Gucci drops a pair of men's sneakers that all look like they have been worn and ran through a few dirt roads.

The luxury retailer's Screener leather sneaker costs $870 and comes in three different styles featuring the brand's classic red and green stripe.

Gucci's website describes the sneakers as "influenced by classic trainers from the '70s, the multicolor Screener sneakers — named for the defensive sports move — reference the colors of the House Web stripe, treated for an allover distressed effect."

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Mar202019

Founder of Jelly Belly releases cannabis-infused jelly beans

Garrett Aitken/iStock(NEW YORK) -- Jelly bean aficionados will now be able to get high with something stronger than a sugar rush.

The creator of one of the most recognized brands of jelly beans has debuted a line of cannabis-infused sweets for candy lovers to enjoy.

Last month, "Candyman" David Klein, responsible for the creation of Jelly Belly's jelly beans in 1976, announced the founding of his new company, Spectrum Confections, that will offer the psychedelic treats in 38 flavors.

The company tests each recipe to ensure that the correct amount of cannabidiol, or CBD, is added to each bean, according to their website. Every bean is infused with 10 milligrams of CBD, and Spectrum Confections does not process CBD with a higher content than .3 percent, the company said.

Customers 18 and older must provide their own CBD, along with a lab report so the company can make sure they are "compliant with laws in handling your product." Orders are processed within two weeks, the website states.

Some vendors have been selling the beans for about $2 each, according to Spectrum Confections. The company only processes bulk orders with a minimum of 800 beans and are currently sold out.

"Due to recent media attention, our inventory has been depleted," the website announced.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Mar202019

Peloton hit with $150M infringement lawsuit over use of songs

Roberto Machado Noa/LightRocket via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Publishers representing songwriters behind hits by Rihanna, Justin Timberlake, Lady Gaga and others filed a $150 million lawsuit against Peloton on Tuesday, accusing the fitness technology firm of copyright infringement.

The National Music Publishers’ Association, whose members include Downtown Music Publishing, Big Deal Music, Reservoir and Royalty Network, said Peloton used more than 1,000 songs without permission, leading to a "great deal" of lost income to songwriters, according to the lawsuit.

“Unfortunately, instead of recognizing the integral role of songwriters to its company, Peloton has built its business by using their work without their permission or fair compensation for years," the association said in a statement Tuesday.

“It is frankly unimaginable that a company of this size and sophistication would think it could exploit music in this way without the proper licenses for this long," the statement added, "and we look forward to getting music creators what they deserve.”

The suit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, alleges that Peloton released thousands of videos that included unlicensed music from various artists, including Bruno Mars, Katy Perry, Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber, Gwen Stefani and many more.

The suit seeks more than $150 million in damages over infringements that the association said date as far back as 2014, the year Peloton launched its at-home workout streaming service.

"Peloton is a textbook willful infringer," the lawsuit claims. "Peloton’s fitness videos contain music from start to finish. Music not only can provide a tempo for a treadmill run or stationary bike ride; it is essential to creating the instructor’s desired atmosphere."

Peloton, which manufactures high-end exercise equipment and offers instructor-led online fitness classes, did not immediately respond to ABC News' request for comment, but a company spokesperson told Variety that the firm was still evaluating the lawsuit.

“We just received the complaint this morning, and we are evaluating it," the spokesperson said. "Peloton has great respect for songwriters and artists. In fact, we have partnered with each of the major music publishers, record labels and performing rights organizations, and many leading independents."

Downtown Music Publishing, Pulse Music Publishing, ole, peermusic, Ultra Music, Big Deal Music, Reservoir, Round Hill, TRO Essex Music Group and The Royalty Network are all listed as plaintiffs in the suit.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Mar202019

Grace Eleyae turned her issue with hair breakage into a million-dollar business

Grace Eleyae(NEW YORK) -- After suffering hair breakage from wearing a hat while traveling, Grace Eleyae, chief executive officer and co-founder of the original Slap (Satin-Lined Cap), decided enough was enough.

Instead of complaining, she got creative.

"There has to be something that is stylish enough to go out in, but protective enough to wear to bed," Eleyae told ABC News' Good Morning America she thought to herself after her frustrating hair loss experience.

From there, Eleyae went on a six-month journey in 2013 seeking a different way to incorporate satin into more stylish headpieces. By 2014, "in a moment of divine inspiration," Eleyae added the final touches on the idea of the Slap.

"I sewed the first prototype myself," she said.

Now, celebrities such as actresses Gabrielle Union and Viola Davis as well as comedian and television host Loni Love are also fans of the brand.

Eleyae drew inspiration for the line from her childhood as one of the only dark-skinned black girls in a predominantly Caucasian suburb thirty minutes east of Los Angeles.

"The dolls I played with, though black, had silky hair," she said.

Refusing to chemically straighten or alter her naturally textured hair, she also realized, "There was no way I was ever going to get my ponytail puff to sway back and forth like the other girls on the soccer team."

With these discouraging childhood memories, Eleyae realized that it was important to launch her line of hats not just because it was convenient and provided hair protection, but also to help women live confidently in their everyday lives.

With a credit card that had a limit of $10,000, Eleyae was able to launch what would turn into a million dollar company in a little over four years.

"The biggest benefit of wearing our satin-lined products is that the idea of a 'bad hair day' no longer has to be part of our vocabulary," she said.

Using satin on your hair can be beneficial for a number of reasons. Unlike cotton, satin doesn't zap moisture from your strands, as mentioned on the brand's website. With satin, your hair can keep its shine, limit breakage, and even help combat frizz.

Today, Eleyae has expanded her eponymous company to not only include her Slap caps, but also fedoras, turbans, scrunchies, pillowcases, and more.

"When your style isn’t set or you don’t feel like doing your hair, you can put on a turban, Fedora or any of our satin-lined products, some cute earrings, and head to the office or out to brunch," Eleyae explained.

Since launching, people have been very receptive and excited about Grace Eleyae headwear.

"We have customers who have shared their battles with hair loss through alopecia or chemotherapy who’ve told us how much the Slap has helped restore their confidence," said Eleyae.

She continued, "We’ve had moms tell us how thankful they are that there is something convenient enough to go out in since they don’t have time to do their own hair in the morning with young children running around."

Eleyae has summers hats, more bold colors, and beautiful prints launching soon.

"We desire to keep making solutions for women to be able to feel confident in their everyday lives," she said.

"We like to give women that 'Wow, I didn’t know this was possible, and now it is' moment. Every single story helps fuel the reason behind why we’re doing what we’re doing," she said.

Eleyae's advice to curious female entrepreneurs just starting out:

Solve the problem in front of you. Do the most important and urgent thing in front of you and work your way down the list. And remember, it doesn’t have to be perfect. Don’t get into the analysis paralysis that keeps you on one thing for so long because you might be looking for perfection

Keep going! Stop and write down three things that are sure to be a part of the hope-full reality you are having trouble seeing right now. Shift directions if you absolutely need to. Just don’t stop moving forward.

If you find your people, you find your destiny. The people around you (friends, mentors, employees, etc) will be the ones who help navigate the road to your destination.

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