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Sunday
Sep242017

Student finds loophole to pass first test of the semester, to teacher's delight

Reb Beatty(ANNAPOLIS, Md.) -- When a Maryland community college student saw on his syllabus that he could bring a “3x5 card” to an exam, he saw a key loophole and took advantage of the opportunity.

Elijah Bowen’s professor at Anne Arundel Community College, Reb Beatty, told students that they could bring a "3x5 card" to aid them during the upcoming exam -- but he meant inches.

Bowen noticed that his professor didn't specify metrics and instead brought in a 3x5 foot card, which helped him successfully pass his first exam of the semester on Tuesday in his Financial Accounting class.

"[Professor Beatty] mentioned it in class first and he said, 'a 3 by 5 note card,' but he didn't say inches," Bowen, 17, recalled. "Then in every email that he sent to the students -- he sends about four to five reminders -- I saw that every single one said '3 by 5' and it never said '3 by 5 inches.' That's what sparked my idea."

And even though he spotted the loophole, the Friendship, Maryland student was unsure if his poster board would actually be allowed into the exam. Still, the night before the big test, he spent more than an hour creating his "card."

When Bowen walked into class the next day, he said his classmates immediately started Snapchatting the moment.

Professor Beatty told ABC News he walked in 10 minutes before the exam was slated to begin. He figured Bowen's poster board "was one of his study mechanisms, and he was using it for the last few minutes to cram," Beatty said.

But when he realized that Bowen intended to use it during the exam, he initially cried foul. Bowen then explained that he never specified "inches" on his syllabus, in class or in the reminder emails.

After Beatty confirmed his student was correct, he allowed him to use the card -- but only in the back of the classroom, where other students couldn't peek over.

"It was fabulous. I was shocked," Bowen said of being allowed to use the card. "I gave it about a 5 percent chance he'd let me use it."

He added that he "did well" on the exam, scoring a 140 out of 150.

And Beatty took the incident in good stride. In the end, he was impressed with Bowen.

"I was actually very happy for him," he said. "You have to have a student with the intelligence to recognize the loophole, and then have the audacity to put it together and come in and try it."

Beatty shared the moment on Facebook, where it went viral, with more than 28,000 people sharing the story. He did, however, then immediately correct his syllabi and test instruction pages.

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Sunday
Sep242017

Uber considers next steps after losing license to operate in London

Uber(LONDON) – Uber’s general manager in London wants to “know what we can do” after the company lost its license to operate in the city.

Tom Elvidge told the Sunday Times that while the company hasn't "been asked to make any changes, we'd like to know what we can do."

"That requires a dialogue we sadly haven't been able to have," he said.

London's transportation authority, Transport for London (TfL), said Uber, whose current license would expire by Sept. 30, was not fit to hold a private-hire operator license due to "public safety and security implications."

TfL cited failures to conduct thorough background checks on drivers and report criminal offenses as the reasons.

Uber has 21 days to appeal TfL's decision. The company can continue operating "until the appeals process has been exhausted."

More than 3 million customers use the Uber app in London, along with 400,000 drivers.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Saturday
Sep232017

Facebook nixes plan to create new class of stock

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(MENLO PARK, Calif.) -- Facebook is dropping a plan to create a class of non-voting stock.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the plan was intended to allow him to fund his philanthropic efforts by selling stock while still continuing to control the company. But he said Facebook has been doing well enough that he can abandon the plan.

“Over the past year and a half, Facebook’s business has performed well and the value of our stock has grown to the point that I can fully fund our philanthropy and retain voting control of Facebook for 20 years or more,” Zuckerberg wrote in a Facebook post.

This comes days before Zuckerberg was expected to testify in court after shareholders sued the company because of the proposed plan.

Within the next 18 months, Zuckerberg said, he would sell between 35 million and 75 million Facebook shares -- between $6 billion and $13 billion -- to fund the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.

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Friday
Sep222017

Uber loses license to operate in London

iStock/Thinkstock(LONDON) -- London is putting the brakes on Uber.

The ride-hailing company won't be issued a new license to operate in London, according to Transport for London (TfL).

TfL said Uber, whose current license would expire by Sept. 30, was not fit to hold a private-hire operator license due to "public safety and security implications." TfL cited Uber's approach to reporting criminal offenses and conducting background checks on drivers.

Uber has 21 days to appeal TfL's decision. More than 3 million customers use the Uber app in London, along with 400,000 drivers.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Sep212017

Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg vows to combat election interference

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- After months of stonewalling, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg agreed to turn over more than 3,000 Russian-linked political ads that ran during last year’s election campaign to Congress.

In his remarks, made in a Facebook Live post from his personal account, Zuckerberg said the company “recently uncovered this activity” and began cooperating with investigators looking at Russian attempts to influence the 2016 presidential election.

“We are actively working with the US government on its ongoing investigations into Russian interference,” Zuckerberg said. “We have been investigating this for many months, and for a while we had found no evidence of fake accounts linked to Russia running ads. When we recently uncovered this activity, we provided that information to the special counsel. We also briefed Congress, and this morning I directed our team to provide the ads we've found to Congress as well.”

ABC News has learned that Zuckerberg called Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va, Vice Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, personally on Thursday to tell him of the company’s decision to offer more information to Congress.

The company conducted an inquiry into Russian election meddling in the spring but did not release its findings, raising concerns among leaders in the House and Senate that the social media giant was withholding information that could help them in the multiple ongoing investigations, according to the Washington Post.

In a recent interview with ABC News, Sen. Warner said Facebook initially denied to Congress that they had posted any ads paid by the Russians.

“When I raised these issues last winter, [they said] couldn’t happen and they privately said, you know, ‘Those are crazy ideas,’” Warner said. “Well, they weren’t crazy ideas.”

Warner was critical of Facebook’s efforts to account for Russian ads bought during the campaign, pointing out that the company’s initial report to Congress only covered ads purchased in Russian currency.

“There were lots of reports of [activity coming from] Albanian, Macedonia, Moldavia -- areas where there are some of these troll factories that were at least indirectly controlled by Russia,” Warner said. “I don't believe they looked at any of that.”

Russian companies spent more than $100,000 on the ads seen by millions of Americans, many of them praising Donald Trump attacked Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, who mentioned the issue in an appearance on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” on Tuesday.

“I don’t think anybody can with a straight face say that the Russians did not set out to influence our election, and they did so,” Clinton said. “This latest revelation about the way they bought ads on Facebook and target them, we’re going to find out a lot more.”

Until Thursday, Facebook had refused to reveal who paid for political ads, but Zuckerberg said the company will now hold itself to "an even higher standard of transparency" than television and other media and "strengthen our ad review process for political ads.”

“Going forward -- and perhaps the most important step we're taking -- we're going to make political advertising more transparent,” Zuckerberg said. “We're going to bring Facebook to an even higher standard of transparency. Not only will you have to disclose which page paid for an ad, but we will also make it so you can visit an advertiser's page and see the ads they're currently running to any audience on Facebook.”

Zuckerberg acknowledged that the company “won’t catch everyone immediately” but can only try to make it more difficult to use “bad content” to influence voters on its platform.

“I don’t want anyone to use our tools to undermine democracy,” he said. “That’s not what we stand for.”


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Thursday
Sep212017

Couple quits jobs and travels the world, ending with book deal and marriage proposal

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- A couple that wanted to follow their passions in life took a leap of faith.

Kyle James and Ashley Grigsby of North Carolina quit their jobs in 2015 and set off for New York City before heading on a worldwide adventure. They booked a one-way ticket to Paris as their first stop to travel the globe and enjoy as many life experiences together as possible.

"We got really wrapped up in those routines, and we needed a change," Grigsby told ABC News.

"We saved every dollar we could get our hands on -- knowing that we were going to be in Greece and all these places," James said.

After 114 days traveling, James and Grigsby had checked off 15 countries and 38 cities, packing in a lifetime of memories and experiences. James realized that he could use his background in writing and publishing to turn their journey into a book, which he titled, "Not Afraid of the Fall."

"Every single one of those cities, we took something from it. This book is built by every single one of those cities," James said.

The pair also found that the experience deepened their connection.

"It was one of those experiences where you go in and you sink or you float, and I think we came out better than ever," James said. "I think we've created something really special here."

Research has found that couples who try something new together experience increased relationship quality.

"One thing we all have to remember is that if you’re in a relationship, it’s either growing or it's dying," relationship expert Paul Carrick Brunson said on Good Morning America on Thursday. "There’s no in-between, so what we have to do is remember that we always want to experience new things. Learn a new dance, a new language, experience new things -- and that’s what Kyle and Ashley did."

Dr. Logan Levkoff, a relationship and sexuality educator, told ABC News that there are highs and lows from this kind of adventurous relationship.

"Traveling can be wonderful, but it can also be very stressful," Levkoff said. "You get to see someone through their best times and also their worst. ... All of these things are clues about not just your partnership, but about your partner."

After Grigsby and James were back in North Carolina and he received an advance copy of his book on their journey, the couple took a hike where he gave her a surprise.

Once they reached the same spot where they had shared their first kiss, James handed Grigsby the book and asked her to read the special dedication to her. James had penned a letter pouring his heart out about their journey around the globe and finished with a marriage proposal.

Grigsby accepted, and the couple has started planning for a wedding in Croatia on July 3, 2018.

"We're hoping to do some traveling before, some traveling after, hopefully some traveling long after that," the bride-to-be said.



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Wednesday
Sep202017

Record closes on Wall Street as Federal Reserve keeps interest rates unchanged for now

tarabird/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Little movement on Wall Street, but record-setting closes for two major indices on Wednesday, as the Federal Reserve announces no change in interest rates.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 41.79 to end the day at 22,412.59. That marked the 42nd record-high this year for the Dow.

The Nasdaq dropped to a close of 6,456.04, losing 5.28 on the day, while the S&P 500 edged up 1.58 to finish the session at 2,508.23. Wednesday was the 37th record close for the S&P 500 this year.

The Federal Reserve said it would leave interest rates unchanged today, but that a hike remains likely before the end of the year. Three additional hikes are possible for next year.

According to the Fed's minutes, economic activity has been rising moderately, job gains have remained solid and the unemployment rate has stayed low. Household spending and business investment growth have both increased.

Fed Chair Janet Yellen said that she expects that Hurricanes Harvey and Irma will impact the American economy, but that those effects are unlikely to damage economic growth long-term.

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Wednesday
Sep202017

Theresa May calls for internet companies to act more quickly to remove terrorist content

Photo by Kevin Hagen/Getty Images(LONDON) -- British Prime Minister Theresa May called for internet companies to take a harder stance against terrorist content on their platforms Wednesday, speaking at an event in New York with major tech companies.

May wants those companies to go "further and faster" to stop the spread of such material, according to a statement from the United Kingdom Mission to the United Nations. After co-hosting a meeting on preventing terrorist use of the Internet with French President Emmanuel Macron and Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, May urged internet companies to remove terrorist content within one to two hours of its posting.

May is also calling for companies to work on technological solutions to prevent terrorist content from being uploaded in the first place.

Facebook, Microsoft and Twitter were among the companies in attendance at the event Wednesday evening.

"Terrorist groups are aware that links to their propaganda are being removed more quickly, and are placing a greater emphasis on disseminating content at speed in order to stay ahead," May's prepared remarks read.

 



Google and YouTube have already announced increasing use of technology to identify potentially terrorist videos.

Twitter suspended nearly 300,000 accounts between January and June of this year, including a large number that were suspended before posting a single tweet.

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Wednesday
Sep202017

Woman wins $133M Powerball jackpot after playing the same numbers for 30 years

Sean Gladwell/Hemera/Thinkstock(GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.) -- One Colorado woman's persistence finally paid off after 30 years of playing the exact same lottery numbers -- she won a $133.2 million Powerball jackpot.

Judy Finchum, 67, purchased a winning Advance Play ticket on Saturday, her dog Tillie's birthday, and woke up stunned to see that she had all five out of the winning numbers, including the Powerball.

After seeing the numbers on her phone and checking her ticket, Finchum ran into the bedroom and woke up her husband Mack to tell him.

"We stumbled down the hallway together and I said, 'Now look at these numbers and look at the numbers on the ticket and are those the same?'" Finchum recalled. "My husband was Mr. calm and says, 'Yes they are.'"

At a press conference on Tuesday, when Finchum was presented with a large check for $133.2 million, she explained the history behind her winning numbers.

She said that her tried and true selections wer comprised of "birthday numbers." Number 17 for her late brother, her own birth date, 18, 24 for her sister Star, 25 for her ex-husband's and 31 for her daughter.

Finchum said she is still imagining how the money could change her life.

"It's hard to fathom," she said.

One thing she knows for sure is that she's officially retired, "as of about 6 o'clock on Sunday morning."

 



Mack told everyone that "his wife is the most generous person; she's my greatest gift."

When asked about their plans, they both agreed it will go to help more than just their own families, citing those suffering in Houston and Florida.

"It's going to bless the men and women and the people ravaged by the hurricanes," Mack said.

The ticket was sold in the town of Grand Junction at a store called Lucky Me on Patterson Road.

Finchum said she will take a cash lump sum payment rather than annual payments, which means she will receive $84,607,397 after taxes.

 

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Sep202017

UK store lets you pay by giving cashier the finger 

Wavebreak Media/Thinkstock(LONDON) -- A grocery store in the UK has become the first-ever to let customers pay by having them give the finger -- their pointer finger, that is, not its naughty neighbor.

Customers at the Costcutter store in London can present their fingertip for a scan, and the unique vein pattern inside each of our fingers can be used to identify each shopper and charge their accounts accordingly.

Incidentally, these are the same veins that are scanned with those fingertip devices your doctor might have clipped on your digit during your last checkup.

In that case, light is used to scan the veins for oxygen saturation; in this case, they're used as a fool-proof form of ID, a biometric link to your bank account.  

The firm that is backing the store's scanners, Sthaler, is looking to expand the service "across thousands of stores," according to The Telegraph. The company said it is in "serious talks" with other major UK supermarkets to adopt hi-tech finger scanners at pay points across thousands of stores.

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