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Friday
Sep152017

Wall Street hits new records as tech stocks climb

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Wall Street closed in the green on Friday, led by technology stocks, despite North Korea's latest missile launch.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 64.86 (+0.29 percent) to close at 22,268.34 for a fourth record close.

The Nasdaq jumped 19.38 (+0.30 percent) and finished at 6,448.47, while the S&P 500 closed at a new record of 2,500.23, 4.61 (0.18 percent) higher than its open.

U.S. crude oil prices remained flat at about $50 per barrel.

Winners and Losers:  Shares of Apple Inc. climbed 1.01 percent after the company's iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus pre-orders began.

A weak earnings outlook for Oracle Corporation caused shares of the computer software company to tumble 7.67 percent.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Sep152017

Canoe unearthed by Hurricane Irma could be hundreds of years old

Randy Shots(COCOA, Fla.) -- A Florida photographer on an early-morning bike ride the day after Hurricane Irma ravaged the coast stumbled upon an exciting find: a dugout canoe that may be hundreds of years old, according to officials.

“As soon as I saw it, I knew exactly what it was,” Randy Lathrop, a self-proclaimed history buff, told ABC News of his unusual discovery.

The canoe washed up from the Indian River, north of Cocoa, Florida, along what locals have dubbed Florida’s “Space Coast” for its proximity to the Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

“I can look across the river and see the launch pad and the vehicle assembly building. It’s a real contrast,” Lathrop said of the area where the canoe was found, which is steeped in Native American history.

He immediately contacted the Florida Division of Historical Resources before someone could mistake it for debris and throw it away.

“It looked just like a log,” said Lathrop. “My main concern was to secure it from harm’s way. I was able to go half a mile away and get my friend with a truck and we struggled to get into the back of the truck. It weighs almost 700 pounds, but to me, it might as well have weighed 1,000 pounds. It’s been water soaked for years.”

The 15-foot-long canoe could be anywhere from several decades to several hundred years old, according to Sarah Revell, a spokeswoman with the department. Carbon dating will help to narrow down the boat's age.

“Florida is a treasure trove of unique history and we are excited about the recent discovery of the dugout canoe,” Revell told ABC News. “As we continue to evaluate and learn more about the canoe, our goal is to ensure it is preserved and protected for future generations in the local community and across Florida to learn from and enjoy.”

The canoe has a squared off form, which Revell said is commonly seen in the historic period (from 1513 to about 50 years ago in Florida), but there are several uncommon features on it too: compartments, square nails and what appears to be a seat.

“The compartments are a bit out of the ordinary,” she said. “The square nails are cut nails. Cut nails were first in production in the early 19th century so that helps to indicate it is a historic canoe.”

Lathrop said he was excited to get the canoe off the road to save it for the public.

“It belongs to the state, it belongs to the people of Florida. That’s the law,” he said.

Revell said the canoe was evaluated by a professional archaeologist based in Canaveral on Sept. 14. It is currently being kept wet in an undisclosed safe place.

“I’m still giddy,” Lathrop said of his thrilling find.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Sep152017

Textbook showing Brock Turner's mug shot next to section on rape will be revised, publisher says

Stanford Univ Dept of Public Safety(NEW YORK) -- A publisher is planning to revise one of its criminal law textbooks after it included a picture of Brock Turner next to a section about the definition of rape.

Turner, a former Stanford University student who was found guilty on felony assault charges, was never charged with rape. California law specifies that for a crime to be categorized as rape it must involve sexual intercourse, and Turner's crime did not meet that standard.

He spent three months in jail for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman on the university's campus, sparking outrage for what was viewed by some as a lenient sentence. He was released in September 2016.

The textbook in question, "Introduction to Criminal Justice: Systems, Diversity, and Change," printed Turner's mug shot next to a section about rape, but now the authors "have reviewed the text" and will be making changes in the next edition, according to the publisher.

The change comes after a college student posted a picture of the page from her textbook featuring Turner online, which went viral likely due to the controversy of the case and the three months that Turner served as punishment.

"He may have been able to get out of prison time but in my Criminal Justice 101 textbook, Brock Turner is the definition of rape, so he's got that goin for him," the student wrote.

Turner's case created national uproar in 2015 when he was arrested after assaulting an unconscious woman after a college party.

Turner, now 22, was found guilty in March 2016 of three felony charges: assault with intent to commit rape of an intoxicated/unconscious person, penetration of an intoxicated person and penetration of an unconscious person.

He was facing up to 14 years in prison and prosecutors had asked for six years, but Judge Aaron Persky sentenced Turner to just six months in jail and three years of probation, as recommended by the probation department. Turner ended up serving three months.

The textbook's publisher, SAGE Publishing, released a statement Thursday to address the future changes.

"The statutory definitions of rape in the State of California (where Turner was convicted of three charges of felony sexual assault) differ from those of the FBI. Turner’s actions, as determined by the California jury, fit the standards for the FBI definition of rape, as well as certain other state definitions, but not the California definition as of the time of the final book manuscript. The authors and publisher will further clarify the differing definitions of rape in California compared to the FBI in future reprints of the book," the publisher's statement reads.

Turner's lawyer and parents did not return ABC News's requests for comment.

The Facebook post that has a picture of the current version of the textbook shows that the caption beneath Turner's mug shot raises questions for the reader.

"Some are shocked at how short this sentence is. Others who are more familiar with the way sexual violence has been handled in the criminal justice system are shocked that he was found guilty and served any time at all. What do you think?" the end of the caption reads.

The Facebook post has been shared more than 100,000 times since it was first published on Sept. 7 and has prompted more than 4,400 comments.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Sep152017

Michigan dad builds lavish 2-story playhouse for his daughters

Flashes of Life Photography(DETROIT, Mich.) -- These little girls from Highland, Michigan, are the queens of their castle, literally.

Their dad, Adam Boyd, president of Atb Building Inc., built them this amazing two-story playhouse in their backyard.

“My wife and the girls went up there and ate lunch in it all summer. She’s a teacher so they spent a lot of time out there,” Boyd, 39, told ABC News.

It has a rock wall, a slide and a loft. Boyd said he plans to add a zip line.

Boyd said his daughters, Avery, 5, and Violet, 2, love the purple wall color. The darker shade is Avery’s favorite, and the violet shade was, obviously, chosen for Violet.

And the 8-foot ceilings provide plenty of room for tea parties.

“Photographing them was just a big playdate. I had to take breaks to have tea parties,” Boyd’s sister, Rachel Goldsworthy of Flashes of Life Photography, told ABC News of their fun photo shoot.

The playhouse is about 24 feet tall at its peak and took Boyd “quite a while” to complete, working on it mostly on weekends and during his free time.

The proud father said Avery loved helping him on the project.

“That was the most rewarding part of it,” he said of the DIY daddy-daughter design. “She was sanding the crown molding with me. She loved it.”

Boyd said he’s gotten so much positive feedback on the elaborate playhouse that he is now starting a new business, Spoiled Rotten Homes, which will focus on over-the-top playhouses for children.

“A lot of people, friends and family included, thought I was nuts for doing what I did, but I’m very satisfied with the outcome,” he said. “I’m happy to watch them play in it, and play in it with them. It’s worth every penny I’ve spent and it’s gonna be there forever.”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Friday
Sep152017

Trying out three popular clothing re-sellers

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- While retail brick-and-mortar sales are struggling, resale is booming. Value-conscious millennials have helped drive secondhand sales to become a booming multibillion-dollar industry, according to some estimates.

“Now resale clothing is even bigger and better,” said Marshal Cohen, the chief industry analyst for retail with the N.P.D. Group. “It’s amazing how many products you can buy that have the expression 'new with tags' that basically means you’re buying used clothing that has never been worn."

Today’s secondhand buyers can shop dozens of online sites for everything from accessories to formal wear. The average discount on items of 80 percent off retail has lured shoppers to online and traditional brick-and-mortar resale stores, which are also expanding their presence on the web.

Dana Avidan Cohen, executive style director at Pop Sugar, a lifestyle website, calls shopping secondhand the green approach to shopping.

“It is becoming such a huge market for people who want a really savvy customer experience,” Avidan Cohen said.

The growth in resale outlets has created a market for buyers and sellers. Many consignors and resellers rely on their customers to support their inventory. ThredUP adds that 50 percent of their shoppers also sell with them.

“This is a way you’re sort of taking the stuff that you’re not using anyway and you’re getting cash for it or credit to shop for more stuff,” Avidan Cohen said. “I think that’s really exciting to women because you’re not just refreshing trends your body changes your lifestyle changes.”

With so many re-sellers vying for your new or barely used castoffs, "Good Morning America" wanted to see where we could potentially make the most money. We asked Avidan Cohen to help with our experiment, looking at three re-sellers: thredUP, one of the largest online markets for secondhand clothing, Tradesy, an app that makes reselling entirely mobile, and Beacon’s Closet, a New York City–based re-seller, has four locations and offers cash on the spot.

Avidan Cohen selected three items that "GMA" purchased brand new: a Kate Spade handbag, which "GMA" bought for $178, a pair of J. Crew pumps for $160 -- both on sale -- and a little black dress "GMA" bought from Zara for $39.90.

We sent one set to thredUP, posted another set on Tradesy and took our items to Beacon’s Closet.

The instant payout at Beacon’s, which they say is based on 30 percent of their selling price, and netted us a total of $25 for the shoes and the purse. They refused to take the Zara dress even though it was brand new, citing the store already had too many of the same kind of dress.

“There is no waiting to receive cash or store credit the same day when sellers come in. We buy items outright on the spot,” said Carrie Peterson, president and founder of Beacon’s Closet, Inc. “We are happy that the secondhand market is thriving, and that people understand that something doesn't have to be shiny and new for it to have value.”

ThredUP took all of our items and paid us a total of $114.55. But it took, nearly two months to process our bag and get paid. The company now has a new policy of charging an optional $10 to process your bag in a week.

A ThredUP spokesperson said, “There are places where you earn more money but nowhere that’s more convenient.”

It took us about the same amount of time to sell our items on Tradesy. Over time we dropped our asking price several times to attract buyers, but in the end, Tradesy came out on top in our experiment, earning us $148.42 for all three items, after fees.

“Our systems are designed so that sellers earn more, while buyers pay less,” said Tracy DiNunzio, Tradesy founder and chief executive officer.

When it comes to cleaning out your closet, “Don’t hang on to what you’re not using,” said Avidan Cohen. “There’s no expiration date on clothes or shoes but current items with tags will fetch better prices.”

And keep tags and shoe boxes, as they help authenticate the things you want to sell and that helps make you more money.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Sep142017

Iconic Charging Bull statue on Wall Street vandalized with blue paint

Spencer Platt/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The Charging Bull statue on Wall Street in New York City was vandalized with paint early Thursday morning.

A worker at a nearby office building spotted an unidentified woman throwing blue paint on the head of the iconic bull statue and tying a blue ribbon around the neck of the Fearless Girl statue.

The vandalism was discovered at 5:50 a.m. and a nearby cleaning crew was called in to clean off what they said they believed to be water paint.

The workers gave responding NYPD officers a description of a middle-aged blonde woman who they said walked away from the scene. NYPD told ABC News that no arrests have been made.

The vandalism is believed to be a response to the U.S. pulling out of the Paris Agreement climate accord.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Thursday
Sep142017

Woman receives $4K in vouchers to give up seat on overbooked flight

Delta Air Lines(ATLANTA) -- A Georgia woman who recounted how she received $4,000 in Delta Air Lines vouchers when she gave up her seat on an overbooked flight said she is now considering taking a free trip with her entire family in tow.

"It was like a live auction on the plane," Tracy Smith told ABC News of the moment airline staff began asking for someone to give up their seat. "The instruction from the crew was to press your button -- your flight attendant button -- if you were going to take the offer."

Smith said she boarded her flight from Atlanta, Georgia, to South Bend, Indiana, on Sept. 8 with her husband and son because they had tickets to the Georgia vs. Notre Dame football game. She first heard the flight was overbooked when she arrived at the gate, and said that Delta Air Lines workers began offering compensation for people to give up their seats.

"My husband and I boarded the plane and got into our seats, buckled in," she said. "And they are on the speakerphone announcing the bidding is going up."

"They started at $1,500, $2,000. Then it went to $2,200. It just kept going," Smith added, referring to the amount in airline credit vouchers being offered. "I looked over at my husband, and I said, 'You know, I really think that if they get to $4,000, I'm going to get off this plane.' "

Smith said that when they announced a $4,000 credit voucher, "without a flinch, I pressed the flight attendant button."

She adds that the competition was fierce, describing how "within a few seconds," "the guy right behind me also pressed his button."

"The flight attendants were, like, 'No, she pressed it first,' " she added.

Smith said as she exited the plane, "I felt like I was on a game show." She added, "Everybody was clapping and cheering and smiling."

Zach Klein, a reporter at local ABC News' affiliate WSB-TV, was on board the flight and live-tweeting throughout the bidding process, and snapped a quick selfie with Smith as she deplaned.


Smith's account, which she called a "fun, pleasant experience," comes at a time when the airlines industry has courted controversy for the treatment of passengers on overbooked flights. Earlier this year, video of a bloodied passenger being forcibly dragged off an overbooked United Airlines flight went viral, garnering widespread backlash, and starting a nationwide conversation about what your rights are as a passenger.

Delta Air Lines declined ABC News' request for comment Wednesday night.

Smith said she boarded a later flight and still ended up making it in time for the football game. She is still deciding what she plans to do with her voucher.

"At first I was, like, 'Me and my husband are going to go on a round-trip flight to Hawaii together,'" she said, but added her son protested that he wanted to come too. "I think we're going to take the $4,000 and figure out a way that everybody gets to go somewhere together and have a great time."

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Sep132017

Augmented reality: What to know about the cutting edge technology in the new iPhones

Apple/Polaris(NEW YORK) -- Apple hopes it has turned its new iPhone devices into magic wands.

On Tuesday, when the company debuted the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus (on sale Sept. 15 for $699 and $799 respectively) and the iPhone X (on sale Oct. 27 for $999) it unleashed to the masses an augmented reality (AR) toolbox known as ARKit.

This technology gives users the means to digitalize their physical world in real-time.

Tech and digital experts agree the move is a big deal.

"Apple needed something to energize both consumers and the developer community," Kevin Burden, vice president of mobility at 451 Research, a research and advisory company focused on innovation and disruption in enterprise technology, told ABC News. "They raised awareness of augmented reality to the masses."

With AR, Apple has placed in the palm of the user's hand a way to shed its 2D past. Users can begin to manipulate surroundings by overlaying the physical world with virtual 3D emojis, faux furniture and storybook characters that come to life.

"We believe augmented reality has the potential to become the next killer app that accelerates smartphone upgrades and drives increased services monetization and growth," Katy Huberty, an Apple analyst with Morgan Stanley, wrote in a report released on Tuesday, praising the company's new batch of AR games like Warhammer 40,000 and The Machines.

Now that the secret is out, the key for Apple is to create a new market that wasn't there before.

In this case, the company is banking that iPhone owners will start to demand AR applications and developers will gravitate away from gaming applications and begin building utilitarian ones.

And Burden points out that AR can enhance peoples' daily lives too.

He believes the technology can give future jet plane mechanics who may be colorblind ways to detect particular wires or allow medical students to perform surgeries without relying on cadavers.

AR innovators have been playing with the technology well before Apple's big product reveal.

Some of these workshopped samples run the gamut in the Twitter handle called "Made With ARKit".

For instance, the dining experience at a restaurant may be changing.

Say you're hungry for a bowl of steamed veggies.

Presto, the dish appears on a virtual turnstile.

 



Launching virtual rockets from your pool is possible.

 

 



Or creating a door into another dimension in the middle of a busy city street.

 

 



Burden foresees a kind of AR app race that could spark the same kind of fervor that the viral game Pokémon Go did a year ago.

"People realize now they have an augmented reality camera on their phone," he said. "Now people want to know what [it] is and the apps have to be there."

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

 

Wednesday
Sep132017

Small gains on Wall Street on positive day for retailers

JaysonPhotography/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Slow trading late in the session stunted gains, but Wall Street still finished in the black on Wednesday, with retailers and energy companies among the top performers.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 39.32 to end the day at 22,158.18.

The Nasdaq jumped to a close of 6,460.19, 5.91 higher than it opened, while the S&P 500 gained 1.89 to close trading at 2,498.37.

U.S. crude oil prices climbed to $49.38 per barrel, about two percent higher than at the open.

Winners and Losers: One day after unveiling its newest iPhones, Apple saw its stock dip. Investors seemed concerned about the prices of the new devices -- ranging from $800 to more than $1,000.

Other retailers, including Nordstrom, Gap and Best Buy, saw their stocks rise.

Credit bureau Equifax hit an 18-month low in trading Wednesday, that as concerns continue over an information breach that could impact millions of the bureau's customers.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Sep132017

Google reveals the most frequently searched 'how to' questions by users

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Google has revealed the most popular "how to" search trends over the past 13 years.

The Google Trends team has developed a site that analyzes the most-asked questions on the search engine, and global searches that begin with "how to" are on the rise.

Searches revealed that many people don't know how to make pancakes or boil an egg, according to Google Trends.

"How to" searches are up more than 140 percent since 2004, Google's data editor Simon Rogers told UK Esquire.

Here is the list of Google's top "how to" searches from 2004 to 2017:

1. How to tie a tie
2. How to kiss
3. How to get pregnant
4. How to lose weight
5. How to draw
6. How to make money
7. How to make pancakes
8. How to write a cover letter
9. How to make French toast
10. How to lose belly fat
11. How to write a resume
12. How to boil eggs
13. How to draw a rose
14. How to gain weight
15. How to get rid of fruit flies
16. How to tie a bow tie
17. How to make slime
18. How to love
19. How to hard boil eggs
20. How to get rid of acne
21. How to play poker
22. How to get rid of bed bugs
23. How to save money
24. How to write a check
25. How to get a passport

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