Burger King Adds Hot Dogs to Menu

Scott Olson/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Burger King may get a new nickname in the coming weeks: Hot Dog King.

The fast-food chain will make the taste of a summer barbecue available year-round by adding two hot dogs to its permanent menu, it said in a press release Wednesday. The all-beef franks will be available nationwide starting Feb. 23.

Burger King plans to use the same flame-grilling technique it uses for its burgers for its hot dogs, as opposed to the more traditional method of boiling them.

“The introduction of Grilled Dogs just made sense to our guests and for our brand,” said Alex Macedo, president of Burger King North America.

The chain will offer two varieties of hot dogs: the classic grilled, which will be topped with ketchup, mustard, chopped onions and relish and served on a "fluffy baked bun," and the chili-cheese, topped with chili and shredded cheddar cheese.

Americans eat more 20 billion hot dogs per year, Burger King estimates. Once it makes the new items available in its 7,100 U.S. stores, Burger King will become the largest restaurant chain in the country to offer hot dogs. Smaller chains that feature hot dogs on their menus include Sonic Drive-In and Dairy Queen.

The classic hot dog will cost $1.99 and the chili-cheese dog will cost $2.29. Burger King will also be offering combo deals with fries and a fountain drink for $4.49 and $4.79, respectively.

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Twitter's Day of Reckoning Is Here with Earnings Report, User Numbers

iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The past few months have been even rockier than usual for Twitter and now, CEO Jack Dorsey is set to have an afternoon of reckoning with investors as the company reveals its performance for 2015 and its latest user numbers.

Twitter will also break out its fourth-quarter performance in the earnings call and simultaneous Periscope live-streaming, which is set for 5 p.m. ET Wednesday.

While the social media company has had several victories in the past year, including the launch of video streaming Periscope and the announcement it has suspended more than 125,000 terror-related accounts, it's also faced its share of challenges.

It's been a tough few months of headlines for Twitter, with layoffs in October, the departure of four executives last month, slumping stock prices and even a revolt from some users who protested a controversial change to the site's timeline feature with the #RIPTwitter hashtag.

Jack Dorsey, 39, one of the founders of the site, took over for the second time as chief executive last year. While the site has tremendous reach, it has lagged in attracting and retaining new users, who in turn entice businesses to advertise on Twitter and drive revenue.

"The opportunity is absolutely massive. The intention is to certainly bring it to everyone around the world," Dorsey said last summer. "If we build a product people love and value, advertisers and users will follow."

Aside from earnings and user growth, analysts will also be looking for a potential announcement from Twitter over recent speculation the company plans to name two new members to its board.

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New Encryption Bill Could Stop States from Getting a Backdoor into Your Smartphone

iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — Whether authorities should be given a so-called backdoor to access encrypted smartphones has been an ongoing tug-of-war between many Silicon Valley power players and government officials, but a pair of lawmakers are hoping their new bill will have the final word when it comes to protecting smartphone security.

The ENCRYPT Act of 2016 -- short for the "Ensuring National Constitutional Rights of Your Private Telecommunications Act" -- is a proposed federal law that has the stated purpose of overriding "data security vulnerability mandates and decryption requirements" at the state level.

Rep. Blake Farenthold, a Texas Republican who is one of the sponsors of the bill, said on Twitter he was spurred to act following proposals at the state level in New York and California that he said would create "hackable" backdoors to smartphones.

The Argument for Loosening Encryption

At issue is whether the government should be pushing technology companies to implement so-called back doors to their operating systems, allowing law enforcement a way to bypass encryption and get information to track down terrorists and other criminals.

Supporters of loosening encryption say it can be a matter of national security.

Case in point: FBI Director James Comey said Tuesday that two months after the San Bernardino massacre, the FBI and the intelligence community cannot open one of the smartphones used by the couple who perpetrated the attack. Not having access to the encrypted messages in the phone would prevent authorities from knowing who they were talking to, texting or what they might have been viewing on that particular device.

The Argument for No 'Backdoors'

Those supporting encryption -- the ENCRYPT Act of 2016 -- say creating a so-called backdoor for law enforcement would leave devices open to hackers.

In a letter to President Obama last year, Google, Apple, Facebook and dozens of cyber-security experts and trade groups said giving the government the master key to decode encrypted data could leave billions of people vulnerable to cyber criminals and deal a detrimental blow to information security.

Apple turns on encryption by default, meaning law enforcement would have to have a person's passcode to access any data on an iPhone. Google also offers users encryption options with the recent Lollipop and Marshmallow versions of the Android operating system.

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Battle over 'Happy Birthday to You' Copyright Ends

iStock/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) -- Warner Music Group and others arguing they held the copyright on the popular song "Happy Birthday to You" have agreed to drop their claim, according to the terms of a proposed settlement deal obtained by the Los Angeles Times.

The lawsuit was filed in 2013 by a group of filmmakers who believed the song should be in the public domain. The proposed deal, released on Monday, reportedly offers up to $14 million for those who paid licensing fees to use the song.

If U.S. District Judge George H. King signs off on the agreement, Warner/Chappell Music would no longer collect fees to use the song, which brought the company somewhere as much as $2 million per year in royalties.

The tentative settlement allows those who paid for use of the song as far back as 1949 to recoup some or all of their money, according to court papers.

Patty Smith Hill and her sister Mildred J. Hill wrote the tune, originally titled "Good Morning to All," in 1893 and included it in a children's music book. The "Happy Birthday" lyrics were added sometime later. The sisters left the copyright with their publisher.

In 1988, Warner began collecting royalties for "Happy Birthday" after it purchased the company that held the copyright.

However, King ruled in September that Warner/Chappell and other prior companies never had the right to charge for use of the song.

Two other groups related to the Hill family also joined the settlement: the Association for Childhood Education International, a designated charity of the Hill family that receives a third of the song's licensing profits, and the Hill Foundation.

A hearing on the preliminary approval of the settlement is scheduled for March 14 in Los Angeles.

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IKEA Recalls 840,000 Ceiling Lamps over Laceration Risk

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission(NEW YORK) -- IKEA is recalling about 840,000 ceiling lamps worldwide over a faulty clip that can lead to a laceration injury.

The recall affects two products: HYBY and LOCK ceiling lamps. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, "The plastic retaining clips that secure the glass shades to the lamp housings can break and allow the glass shades to fall, posing a laceration hazard."

So far, IKEA has received 224 reports of clips breaking and lamp shades falling, resulting in 11 injuries. In the U.S., the Swedish furniture chain has been notified of three incidents, none of which resulted in injuries.

Both products in question were sold in IKEA stores worldwide and online. The HYBY lamp retailed for about $13 between October 2012 and January 2016, while the LOCK lamp sold for about $5 between November 2002 and January 2016.

Affected customers are advised to immediately stop using the lamps and return them to any IKEA store for a full refund.

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Twitter Is Changing Your Timeline: What You Need to Know

iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — It's a new era for Twitter.

The social media company, which has long shown an endless stream of tweets in reverse-chronological order, announced today it will now serve users with an algorithmic timeline that will show tweets out of order.

In the coming weeks, Twitter users can turn on the feature in their settings. When logging onto Twitter, they'll see the tweets that Twitter's algorithm believes they're most likely to care about at the top of their timeline, going in reverse chronological order as they scroll down the new timeline.

Twitter's real-time stream will then be displayed underneath in the same reverse-chronological order, allowing users to also keep track of real-time discussions on Twitter.

In a blog post announcing the change, Mike Jahr, a senior engineering manager a Twitter, said the change would serve users who follow hundreds or thousands of people with a better experience, ensuring they don't miss the tweets that may matter most to them.

"We've already seen that people who use this new feature tend to Retweet and Tweet more, creating more live commentary and conversations, which is great for everyone," Jahr wrote.

To check the feature out now, go to the timeline section of settings and choose "show me the best tweets first."

Twitter's team will be turning on the feature for everyone in the coming weeks, Jahr said, and will make it clear with a timeline notification.

"We love it and think you will too. If you don't, send your thoughts our way, and you can easily turn it off in settings," Jahr said.

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Tax Tip: It Pays to Be a Parent During Tax Season

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- All those long nights of lost sleep will finally pay off for moms and dads when it comes time to filing their taxes.

New York tax accountant Janice Hayman says kids can be helpful, "especially if they're young."

Each child you claim as a dependant earns you a tax credit of up to $1,000. That's called the Child Tax Credit -- and there are even more savings if you've been paying for child care.

"If they're under age 13 and both parents are working, there is a child and dependent care credit if you are spending $3,000 per child with after school or other dependant care expenses," Hayman explains.  

You can also claim an in-law or your own mother or father if you're responsible for their housing.

"If you do have an aging parent living with you and they are your dependent, there can be some variety of tax savings, including if they have medical deductions," she says.

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Pennsylvania Woman Searches for Legal Location for Tiny House

iStock/Thinkstock(WEST VIEW, Pa.) — A Pennsylvania woman is facing big obstacles in her plan to move into a tiny house.

Rachel Ford of West View, Pennsylvania, wants to move into a tiny house, however, borough laws are holding her back, she said. The problem is that many municipalities in western Pennsylvania do not allow homes as small as hers, which is 306 square feet.

Ford told ABC News that she began considering moving into a tiny house because it would give her the financial freedom she has been craving for a long time. Ford, who currently works two jobs, noted that the cost of the construction of a tiny house would be significantly cheaper than other housing options she's considered.

"If I were to buy a traditional house, I would be paying $1,200 to $1,300 dollars a month -- that's more than half my income," Ford said. "Just for me, [a tiny house] seems like such a better transition."

Ford estimated that the cost of her tiny house would range from $20,000 to $25,000.

Ford, 29, has been documenting her process to moving into a tiny house on her blog called Tiny House Big Dreams, and noted that among the difficulties she's faced, her toughest challenge has been locating a permanent location for the tiny house once it's been built.

Many of the local municipalities in Pittsburgh have zoning laws that require a foundation or a house to be much larger than Ford's 306-square-foot tiny house.

"Every borough has its own zoning rules and regulations," Ford said. "It's crazy."

Ford revealed that while she has found a couple of boroughs that "don't have square foot requirements," she hasn't made any final decisions because she is still researching to find other possible locations for her tiny house.

"I'm keeping my options open" Ford said.

Ford said that after she figures out where she will move her tiny house to, she is looking forward to less stress and the financial freedom she will have.

"My expenses will be way down after the first year so I will be able to travel and experience new things," Ford said.

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Burberry Sues J.C. Penney for Copying Famous Check Design

Matthew Peyton/Getty Images)(NEW YORK) -- Burberry is suing J.C. Penney for allegedly using the luxury brand's iconic tartan-check design.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the lawsuit, filed by Burberry Group PLC in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, claimed J.C. Penney Co. sold a quilted jacket and a “scarf coat” featuring the pattern and continued to sell the items for two months despite warnings from the British brand.

The lawsuit said the items were sold by J.C. Penney in an attempt to “deceive and mislead consumers into believing that defendants’ or their products are authorized, sponsored by or connected to Burberry,” reported Fortune.

Both articles were made by New York distributor Levy Group Inc., which was also named as a defendant, according to WSJ.

Burberry's check design is recognized around the world as a symbol of high-fashion next to Chanel's interlocking C's logo and Louis Vuitton's monogram print. The check pattern was trademarked by founder Thomas Burberry in the 1920's.

"Used as a badge of origin since at least the 1920s, the iconic check is synonymous with our heritage," reads a description on the fashion house's website.

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Stocks Close Slightly Lower as Oil Prices Fall to $28

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- After switching between gains and losses during the day, the major indexes closed slightly lower on Tuesday as oil prices and global stocks tumbled.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 12.06 to close at 16,014.99.

The Nasdaq fell 14.99 to end the session at 4,268.76. The tech-heavy index could be headed to a "bear market" if it drops 20 percent from its last record high (currently it's down nearly 18 percent from its high in July).

The S&P 500 closed at 1,852.21, down 1.23 from its open.

Crude oil was hit hard, sinking over 4 percent as prices fell to $28 per barrel.

Global stocks didn't end much better. Japan's Nikkei 225 dropped over 5 percent, so far the worst repercussion almost two weeks after the Bank of Japan decided in January to introduce a negative interest rate that would charge commercial banks for some deposits. European markets dropped about 1 percent at the close. Markets in China were closed for the New Year holiday.

LinkedIn shares flopped over 8 percent as the business social-networking site continued to feel investors' concerns with its weak outlook reported last week. In its fourth-quarter report, LinkedIn said that revenue in quarter one would hit the $820 million mark, lower than the Wall Street-anticipated $867 million.

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen will give a two-day testimony to Congress starting Wednesday for her first public appearance since interest rates were raised at the end of last year. Investors will be listening closely if she mentions any concern about another possible recession.

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