Facebook

Twitter

iTunes

RSS

HEAR THIS HOUR'S UPDATE

Thursday
Oct302014

NHTSA Calls on Airbag Maker to Provide Documents, Answer Questions

bizoo_n/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is stepping up its investigation of the faulty airbags that resulted in the recall of more than seven million vehicles.

NHTSA Deputy Administrator David Friedman said Thursday that the agency is, "compelling [airbag manufacturer] Takata to produce documents and answer questions under oath relevant to our ongoing investigation into defective airbags they have produced."

The Detroit News reports that Takata must provide those documents by Dec. 1 or face fines of up to $7,000 per day.

The airbags are blamed for at least three deaths and over 100 injuries; in some cases, the canisters holding the bags reportedly shattered as the airbags inflated, sending metal fragments hurtling towards victims. Friedman said he expects the company's "full cooperation."


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Oct302014

Teen’s Present From Dad Turns Her Into Multimillionaire on 19th Birthday 

Ingram Publishing/Thinkstock(CHICAGO) --  A very happy birthday, indeed!

When Deisi Ocampo woke up on her birthday on Oct. 6, she had no idea the gift her father had given her would soon make her a multi-millionaire.

“I rarely play the lottery,” Ocampo, 19, of Chicago, wrote to ABC News. “My dad buys tickets once in a while and thought it would fun to get me two tickets for my birthday.”

The following day, she didn’t think much of it when she scratched off the first set of numbers. But when she finished scratching the second ticket, “I began to shake and sweat out of nervousness,” she said. “I just couldn’t believe it was real.”

The birthday girl had won $4 million dollars.

She called her father, who needless to say, was equally stunned.

“He couldn’t believe it,” Ocampo explained of her dad’s reaction. “He thought I was teasing him. When I told him I had won, he asked if it was $500, and I said, ‘No $4 million!’”

But the newfound millionaire isn’t letting the money go to her head. She plans to continue working at a clothing store because her family "is humble and believes in a strong work ethic."

As for how Ocampo plans to spend the new earnings, she's being reasonable about that, as well.

“I will share with my dad so he can buy a new home for my mom, dad and sister,” she said. “I plan to use a portion to pay for college since I want to become a nurse and take care of babies.”

When asked if this was the best birthday she’s ever had, Ocampo simply replied, “Definitely!”


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Oct302014

Wall Street Soars on Positive Earnings Report

vichie81/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The markets rallied from a down day Wednesday on the back of positive earnings reports.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average soared 221.11 point, climbing to 17,195.42.

The Nasdaq jumped to 4,566.14, gaining 16.91 on the day, while the S&P 500 climbed closer to the 2,000 mark, gaining 12.35 to close at 1,994.65.

The Department of Commerce announced on Thursday that the national gross domestic product increased at an annual rate of 3.5 percent in the third quarter -- exceeding private-sector forecasters' expectations.

"Today's advance estimate of real GDP shows that America's economy is coming back," Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker said. "Recent data show that the U.S. economy has rebounded more strongly than most others around the world, leading the global recovery."


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Oct302014

Feds Fine Dating Sites for Alleged Use of Fake Dating Profiles

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- In a settlement just reached, the Federal Trading Commission is fining more than 12 online dating sites about $600,000, saying those sites created fake profiles to lure users into upgrading to paid memberships.

According to the FTC, the sites, all run by parent company JDI Dating, created fake profiles to send messages to users, enticing them to upgrade to paid memberships in order to continue the conversation.

The FTC also said the sites did not disclose that the subscriptions would be renewed automatically, often without the users’ consent.

JDI’s dating sites boast more than 12 million users.

"The websites committed wrongdoing by failing to disclose the automatic renewal terms and they baited and switched by claiming these are the people who like you but they were really fake profiles," legal analyst Mark Eiglarsh told ABC News.

While browsing a site’s members may sometimes be free of cost, paying to send messages to members is standard and legal in the online dating industry.

For example, Match.com requires that people subscribe before they can send messages to people, but, according to the FTC, other sites, such as FlirtCrowd.com, which is run by JDI Dating, almost always used fake, computer-generated profiles that were designed to trick users into believing they had attracted the attention of an actual person.

In its press release, the FTC says, “The fake profiles and messages caused many users to upgrade to paid subscriptions.”

This is the first time that the FTC has taken legal action for alleged dating deception.

Couples therapist Dr. Mike Dow told ABC News there are two things dating site users should look out for.

"Make sure you're not looking at a picture that is too good to be true," Dow said. "If a site is trying to up-sell you at every turn, that may be another red flag."

JDI Dating did not reply to ABC News' request for comment.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Oct302014

Apple CEO Tim Cook 'Proud to Be Gay'

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Tim Cook is “proud to be gay.” The Apple CEO makes this declaration in an essay titled “Tim Cook Speaks Up” for Bloomberg Businessweek.

While Cook has never been secretive about his sexuality, he admits in the written piece, “this wasn’t an easy choice,” and that he has not publicly acknowledged the subject either -- until now.

“So let me be clear,” he writes, “I’m proud to be gay, and I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me.”

Cook says privacy remains important to him and does not consider himself to be an activist, but “I realize how much I’ve benefited from the sacrifice of others.”

“So if hearing that the CEO of Apple is gay can help someone struggling to come to terms with who he or she is, or bring comfort to anyone who feels alone, or inspire people to insist on their equality, then it’s worth the trade off with my own privacy,” he continues.

Earlier this week, Cook encouraged lawmakers in his home state of Alabama to move toward equality for all people, insisting the state had moved too slow on LGBT and racial issues.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Oct302014

Microsoft Unveils New Wearable Fitness Device

Microsoft(NEW YORK) -- Microsoft introduced a new wearable health and fitness device that is on sale Thursday.

The Microsoft Band is $199 and works with Windows Phone, iOS and Android.

The device joins the competitive health wearables market with the likes of Fitbit, providing calorie counts and sleep quality measurements.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Oct302014

Windowless Planes to Hit Skies in Next Decade

Centre for Process Innovation(NEW YORK) -- Imagine flying on an airplane and being able to see the clouds all around you. That’s what one company plans on achieving in the next 10 years -- an airplane without windows.

The Centre for Process Innovation (CPI), a U.K.-based cutting edge technology association, envisioned the next generation aircraft in an effort to conserve fuel, while drastically transforming the customer experience.

“Removing the windows will significantly reduce the weight of the aircraft, saving fuel and therefore reducing operational costs,” says Matthew Herbert, marketing manager for CPI. “The windows will be replaced by high quality flexible OLED displays that are connected to digital cameras integrated into the exterior of the plane.”

Lower operational costs, the company claims, will in turn result in reduced airfares.

In addition to the windowless element, passengers can surf the web, enjoy in-flight entertainment, or change the views from different angles of the plane.

A few months ago, Spike Aerospace, Inc. introduced the concept behind the "world's first supersonic jet," called the Spike S-512, which also has a windowless feature.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Oct302014

101-Shot Latte Takes Biggest Starbucks Drink Record

Courtesy Bill Lewis(NEW YORK) -- With the last drink clocking in at a measly 60 espresso shots, this 101-shot drink is definitely now the biggest free Starbucks drink on record.

Bill Lewis, a credit repair and identity theft expert in Florida, has over 10,000 Facebook followers and wanted to make the drink for them.

“Everybody always makes fun of my coffee selections on my Facebook page,” Lewis told ABC News.

Lewis typically orders an extra-hot 6-shot venti latte with vanilla and mocha syrups and heavy cream instead of milk. People often comment that it’s an expensive daily drink (nearly $10), so he wanted to have some fun with it.

He went to a dozen Starbucks before he found one in Fort Lauderdale that would make him such a large drink.

Starbucks has spoken out against these record-setting drinks in the past, telling ABC News that drinks like these are “excessive and something that we do not encourage. We want to ensure our customers receive the highest quality and most delicious tasting food and beverage products from us and, we don’t believe that [these] particular beverage choice[s are] reflective of that.” The company discourages stores from offering these beverages, which is why Lewis had difficulty finding one to participate.

“I went in yesterday morning at 6 a.m. and ordered the grande which has 2 shots in it,” Lewis said.

But that was only the beginning of filling his 160-ounce novelty mug. Lewis then added 99 shots of espresso, 17 shots of vanilla, 6 shots of mocha, and some matcha powder to add an extra 60 cents to the check.

“It tasted good,” he said of the final result. “It was a little strong.”

His total rang up at a whopping $0, because of the “My Starbucks Rewards” loyalty program, which allows customers to receive a free beverage or food item on their birthday as well as a free item after earning 12 Stars (earned through purchase). Customers can then customize the beverage however they wish. Without the rewards, the drink would have been $83.75.

Lewis shared his drink with friends and a homeless man who was outside the store.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Oct302014

Hasbro Makes Move to Help Pay for 'Operation' Creator's Surgery

M.L. Gray/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/MCT via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Toy giant Hasbro has stepped forward to help the creator of one of it’s most popular board games, Operation, pay for an operation of his own.

John Spinello, who created what would become Operation, the classic board game that allows players to test their fine motor skills using a tweezer, is in need of a reported $25,000 in oral surgery.

When Spinello -- who sold his game for $500 in the 1960s to a toy company that would then license it to game giant Milton Bradley -- was unable to pay his medical costs, his friends, toy designers Tim Walsh and Peggy Brown, started a fund on CrowdRise.com to raise the money.

After the fundraising drive went viral, Hasbro stepped forward Wednesday to announce they will purchase the original Operation game prototype that Spinello had planned to put up for auction.

Hasbro took ownership of Operation in the 1980s when it purchased Milton Bradley.

“Today we informed Mr. Spinello that Hasbro plans to purchase the prototype with the hope that the funds will help to defray his medical costs,” the company said in a statement to ABC News. "We plan to proudly display it at Hasbro’s global headquarters in Pawtucket, RI to honor his contribution to Hasbro’s gaming history.”

In Operation, players carefully guide a tweezer through the body of a “patient” to remove his illnesses. If their tweezer motions aren’t precise and they go out of bounds they could set off the dreaded buzzer.

Spinello and his wife, Madeline, said in a statement to ABC News that they feel “really good” that Hasbro has purchased the prototype.

“It will have a happy home in their museum. That’s where it belongs,” the pair wrote. “As for medical costs -- everything that is contributing to the success of the campaign is going to make life easier for John [Spinello] and what he needs medically. We feel positive about Hasbro purchasing the prototype -- we’re very happy about it.”

The CrowdRise page created by Brown and Walsh has now received over $26,000 in donations, exceeding its $25,000 goal.

“What can we say? We woke up this morning to $25,200!,” Walsh posted on the website Thursday morning. "We can’t thank you all enough.”

“We’re working on a special video thank you coming soon,” he wrote.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Oct302014

Jobless Claims Jump to 287K

iStock/Thinkstoc(WASHINGTON) — Jobless claims were higher last week, increasing by 3,000, according to the latest figures released Thursday by the Labor Department.

For the week ending Oct. 25, the number of people filing for benefits jumped to 287,000. The previous week claims stood at 284,000, revised up from 283,000.

The Labor Department said there were no "special factors" impacting that week's figures.

The four-week moving average decreased, however, falling by just 250 to 281,000.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio