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Tuesday
Sep022014

Apple May Enter Payments Business

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Apple and American Express are getting into the iPhone payments system, according to sources cited by Recode.net.

The tech website, the first to announce Apple's upcoming Sept. 9 event, said the company may announce its plans next week at Apple headquarters in Cupertino, California.

Customers may be able to use their iPhones as a credit card to make payments, according to Recode.

Apple did not respond to a request for comment.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Sep022014

Exports Supported 11.3M Jobs in 2013

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- American goods and services exports, “directly and indirectly supported an estimated 11.3 million U.S. jobs” in 2013, the U.S. Commerce Department said in a report released Tuesday.

This is the first time the Commerce Department has estimated export jobs.

Houston led all U.S. metropolitan areas in exports with $115 billion in 2013, the Department announced in another report on exports by metro area.

Seattle, however, saw the most export growth in dollars, jumping from $50.3 billion in 2012 to $56.7 billion in 2013.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Sep022014

The Home Depot: Latest Victim of Data Breach?

David McNew/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The Home Depot is investigating “some unusual activity” after a number of banks reported evidence that the retail chain may be the source of a new data breach.

“Protecting our customers’ information is something we take extremely seriously, and we are aggressively gathering facts at this point while working to protect customers,” a company spokesperson said.  “If we confirm that a breach has occurred, we will make sure customers are notified immediately.”

Cybercrime expert Brian Krebs, of the site KrebsOnSecurity, says it’s not clear how many Home Depot stores may be impacted by the possible breach but, he said, “indications are it's a lot of them, if not all of them.”

It's unknown if the possible breach is contained or ongoing.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Sep022014

How Hackers Targeted Celebrities' Apple Accounts

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(CUPERTINO, Calif.) -- Hackers gained access to leaked nude photos purporting to be of dozens of A-list celebrities by an "all too common" tactic, according to Apple.

"After more than 40 hours of investigation, we have discovered that certain celebrity accounts were compromised by a very targeted attack on user names, passwords and security questions, a practice that has become all too common on the Internet," Apple said in a statement Tuesday.

The targeted celebrities included Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton, and their purported photos were leaked online late Sunday.

The investigation found that none of the leaked photos were the result of any breach of Apple's systems, including iCloud and Find My iPhone, the company noted in its statement.

Apple said it is "continuing to work with law enforcement to help identify the criminals involved."

The FBI said on Monday it is "aware" that someone has leaked nude photos purporting to be pictures of a dozen Hollywood starlets.

Apple immediately released a statement saying it takes any breach of user privacy seriously and would actively investigate the report.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Sep022014

Cleveland Browns Linebacker Shrinks About 6 Feet in "Madden NFL" Video Game

Joe Robbins/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Christian Kirksey, linebacker for the Cleveland Browns, stands at 6-feet-2 but in the recently released Madden NFL 15 video game, he barely reaches the shins of his opponents.

Madden NFL 15 was launched on Microsoft's Xbox One on Aug. 26, and Kirksey is the biggest topic in social media commentary about the game. In the new video game, Kirksey is not only wearing a Tennessee Titans uniform, he is only a few inches tall.


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Electronic Arts did not respond to a request by ABC News for comment. A version of Madden NFL 15 is also available for the Xbox 360 console and the PlayStation 3 system.

At least Kirksey, who weighs 235 pounds, can laugh at his tiny avatar. He tweeted with his reaction just after celebrating his birthday on Sunday. The former University of Iowa Hawkeye turned 22 years old on Sunday.

 

 

 

 

 

 



Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Sep022014

How to Measure and Reduce Your Digital Footprint

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Mopping up your digital footprint may be nearly impossible, but there is a way to take charge of it.

The naked photos purported to be of Hollywood starlets -- some said to have been taken years ago -- that were leaked in a massive breach this week have many people trying to dust off the cobwebs of their digital pasts.

Even more troubling, at least one of the hacked stars, Mary E. Winstead, said she deleted the leaked photos from the cloud "long ago."

"I'm sure you've cleaned out a drawer or a closet to find something that you didn't know you had or thought was gone," Robert Siciliano, a McAfee online security expert, told ABC News.

"Storing data in the cloud is no different than storing data on your local drive," he said. "In the cloud it's just remotely but the folders are all the same and they all look the same and function the same way. But as our devices get more cluttered and we then create duplicates of content, then we lose track."

Pressing the delete button on confidential photos and documents isn't an immediate panacea, Siciliano said. He explained that back-up services usually keep data from three to six months by default, however "after that, it's not in their interest to hold onto it."

While authorities are investigating the celebrity photo hack and how it happened, here's an easy way for users of iOS5 and later to see what they're storing in their cloud -- and what they'd like to delete.

Go to settings, then iCloud, Storage & Backup, then tap Manage Storage.

Under Documents & Data tap the app from which you want to delete data. This will then bring up any documents associated with that app that are in iCloud. Tap edit, select the item to delete, and then choose delete or delete all.

Apple says the documents are removed from your iCloud storage and all of your devices.

However, a person's digital footprint extends beyond what's in their cloud.

All it takes is one person to dredge up a social media post you made years ago, Betsy Sigman, a professor at Georgetown University and an information systems expert, told ABC News.

"The little tweets we think are so small and innocuous -- it's so easy to send out to millions of people," she said.

While deleting that embarrassing old Myspace profile or trollish tweets from years ago may seem to shrink your footprint, Sigman said that it's vital to remember that copies are likely to exist -- somewhere.

"It's a very public world and you have to take precautions," she said. "Don't post anything you might find embarrassing later."

Even the mundane activities you don't think about -- using a credit card to pay for coffee or swiping your ID card to get into the office -- leave digital bread crumbs that can't simply be swept away, Sigman said.

"Your only option for not increasing your digital footprint is to go off the grid," she said.

The takeaway, she said, is to be mindful of your privacy settings put also assume that nothing is ever truly private.

"We used to live in towns with a Main Street where everything people did was seen in public," she said. "Our Main Street is now the Internet."


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Sep022014

Dunkin' Donuts Opens First 'Full Expression' Locations in California

Oliver Hoffman/iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(SANTA MONICA, Calif.) -- Dunkin' Donuts opened its first traditional stores in California on Tuesday, bringing its full assortment of coffee and baked goods to West Coast residents for the first time.

"Today we continue to celebrate our highly anticipated expansion to California, starting with the opening of our new restaurants in Modesto and Santa Monica," said Paul Twohig, President of Dunkin' Donuts U.S. and Canada.

The company plans to open approximately 200 new restaurants in California over the next several years, and perhaps over 1,000 in the long-term.

Dunkin', an East Coast staple, had locations in California, but the new restaurants are the brand's first "full expression locations on the West Coast."


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Sep022014

More Women Renting Wedding Gowns

Wavebreak Media/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- What bride-to-be would actually rent her gown for the big day?

More than you think. With an increasing number of women shifting away from preserving gowns for family heirlooms, many of today's brides are more interested in saving some money on the way from the boutique to the chapel.

Longstanding designer rental website Rent the Runway offers 4- and 8-day rentals of upscale gowns by designers ranging from Badgley Mischka to Monique Lhiullier.

"I think some women value the experience over the ownership of their gown," said a representative for Rent the Runway. "If they already use Spotify or Uber, services where you’re not necessarily owning something versus experiencing it, they will also feel comfortable with renting a wedding gown."

For instance, a sleek, long-sleeved, cocktail-length wedding dress by Dsquared that would normally retail for approximately $830 can be rented for $125 on Rent the Runway.

Big discounts leave lots of funds still in the wedding budget for food, music or other desirable decor elements. It stands to reason that if the groom isn't planning to keep his morning jacket, proponents say his betrothed should be able to follow suit with her tulle.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Sep022014

Revel Casino in Atlantic City to Close Doors Tuesday

iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(ATLANTIC CITY, N.J.) -- Revel Casino and Hotel in Atlantic City will close its doors Tuesday at 6 a.m., marking the fourth Atlantic City casino to shut down in recent weeks.

The city, which had 12 casinos when August began, now has just eight.

Revel announced that hotel guests had to be checked out on Monday morning, and that all reservations for stays beyond that date had been cancelled. Room deposits on such reservations were to be refunded.

The casino would remain open for an additional day, with all free slot play and gift cards required to be redeemed before 6 a.m. Tuesday. Casino chips and slot vouchers will still be able to be redeemed at the Revel General Cashier Office during weekday business hours until Sept. 30.

Revel also cancelled all events and concerts beyond Sept. 1.

The casino and hotel, which had been open just about two years, warned its employees earlier this summer that they could be out of a job if a buyer wasn't found in bankruptcy court.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Monday
Sep012014

Top Tips to Ease Back Into the Office After Summer Vacation 

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- What may be worse than a "case of the Mondays?" The day after a three-day weekend. Here are some steps to help ease the transition back to work.

Returning to the office on Tuesday morning will feel to many like the last day of beaches, pools, and sunshine itself. (But take heart: the last day of summer is technically weeks away.)

Tom Gimbel, president and CEO of LaSalle Network, a staffing firm based in Chicago, offers easy steps to take both during the weekend to provide a healthier transition after your time away from the office.

Here are healthy things to consider for a smooth transition back into the workplace after a vacation.

Before Returning to the Office:

1. Create a Task List

"Employees should write down where each project stands and the immediate steps they need to take once upon return. No one wants to stress during a break, so plan everything ahead of time," Gimbel said. "Coming back to a to-do list will allow you to hit the ground running."

2. Scan Emails

"The employee may resent the fact that they have to work outside of the office, but at the end of the day, the pros outweigh the cons in dedicating an hour for managing an inbox or checking voicemails," Gimbel said.

Upon Returning to the Office:

1. Get to the Office Earlier

Gimbel suggests at least an hour earlier on their first day back to get organized.

"That way they are prepared to meet as soon as their managers get in to recap anything they’ve missed," he said. "Employees have to be laser-focused, which means putting phones away and not constantly checking social media updates or looking at the trip's photos. They shouldn’t set themselves up for distractions."

2. Consider the Week Ahead

Before going home that first day, employees should create an agenda of what the rest of the week will entail, he suggests.

3. Consider Office Social Dynamics

It's important that employees are empathic to their teams who may have picked up their slack while out, he said.

"It wouldn't hurt to write a quick thank-you note to team members who did work on their behalf. Appreciation goes a long way," he said.

4. Stay on top of Updates

If the employee works directly with clients, they should make calls to each when they return to simply catch up and recap where projects stand, regardless if coworkers filled them in or not, Gimbel said.

5. Use the Energy!

With the exception of diverted planes due to belligerent passengers, hopefully your vacations allow you to rest and recharge.

"Being on a vacation revives an employee who may have spent months at the office without taking a trip," Gimbel said. "Bring that fresh energy into the office and apply it to current projects."


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio