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Apple Pay: What to Expect at the Checkout Counter


iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- With the roll out of Apple Pay next Monday, the checkout experience is expected to evolve at some of the biggest retailers and restaurants in the United States.

Apple's mobile payment product, which works on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus for online and brick and mortar store purchase, could very well be a credit card killer, according to industry observers.

There's no need to reach for a wallet, swipe a credit card or wait for a cashier to make change. Even if you're not set up on a device equipped with Apple Pay, but others queuing in front of you are, it's possible the simplicity of the transaction could make waiting in line faster for everyone.

What to Expect When You Step Up to the Checkout Counter

Checkout counters in more than 220,000 stores, including Whole Foods, McDonald's and Chevron, will be equipped with contactless readers.

All users have to do is position their iPhone near one of the readers at a store, hold their finger on their Touch ID and they're good to go. The simple, swift checkout motion is made easy due to the the Near Field Communication antenna in the iPhone 6, which connects with the payment point to complete the transaction.

A vibration and a beep will let users know that checkout was successful. There's no need to do anything else.

Behind the Scenes

With Apple Pay, neither Apple nor merchants see or store any of your private information.

Instead, users take a photo of their credit card and add it to their phone's Passbook, where it is assigned an unique device account number, encrypted and stored in the phone's Secure Element Chip.

When it's time to check out, the device account number and a dynamic security code are used to complete the transaction. Apple will never know what you purchased, the company said, and you'll still get rewards points on the credit cards you use.

Online Purchases

The two new iPads unveiled on Thursday -- the iPad Air 2 and the iPad Mini 3 -- also come equipped for making online Apple Pay purchases.

Users can add their debit or credit card information from their iTunes account or snap a photo with the tablet's camera. Select Apple Pay when it's time to check out, lightly touch the home button with your finger and the transaction is complete. Entering shipping or billing information -- perhaps the most tedious part of online shopping -- is no longer necessary.

Apple Pay works in a slew of popular apps, including Target, Uber and OpenTable.


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How Six-Year-Old Boy's Wish to Attend the World Series Came True


iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A man has been raising money to send his 6-year-old neighbor, a huge Royals fan who suffers from a cancerous tumor in his spine, to see his favorite team play at the World Series -- and all the hard work and effort has worked.

In just one day, Ryan Zimmerman, of Olathe, raised more than $8,000 and counting through online crowdfunding -- plenty of cash to send young Noah Wilson and his family to the game.

At the same time, Zimmerman said Friday that StubHub has decided to donate six tickets so that the entire family can go to a game. The money raised, Zimmerman said, will go towards Noah's hospital bills.

But the offers didn't end there.

Moments after the StubHub offer was made, former New York Yankees manager Joe Torre, who now works for Major League Baseball, invited Noah to the World Series.

Torre tweeted, "On behalf of @MLB we would like #NoahWilson to be our guest @ the 2014 #WorldSeries. Save the money for school! @RyanZOnline DM @DanScavino"

Noah will be at the hospital when the World Series starts Tuesday, so Zimmerman had been trying to get tickets for Wednesday's game.

"When you look online, the cheapest tickets are $750, and that's standing room only," Zimmerman said before StubHub made its generous offer.

Noah is about halfway through cancer treatment at Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, with 14 more weeks of chemotherapy left.

"So far he's been responding well to it," Wilson said. "The tumor hasn't spread. It's gotten smaller so we're moving forward with high hopes."

Noah made headlines last month when he developed a program for the hospital to replace the boring brown bandages with bright colors and superhero patterns.

"It's a lot of fun. We just got a letter in the mail from a family that received some of the Band-Aids," Wilson said. "And he just smiles real big. It melts our hearts."

Zimmerman, who coaches soccer for one of Noah's sisters, said he's impressed by the boy's selflessness even while battling cancer.

"That's just another part of what makes this kid so special -- that he's dealing with things that I couldn't even fathom and he's still thinking about other kids in the hospital with him," Zimmerman said.

Noah couldn't be happier, his dad told ABC News.

"We're overwhelmed with appreciation," Scott Wilson said on Friday from the hospital, where Noah was getting his last radiation treatment. "I keep telling people I don't have enough words to say thank you."

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Microsoft CEO Says Company Needs to Recruit More Diverse Talent


David Becker/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The head of Microsoft has a new message for his employees following a gaffe last week regarding women asking for raises.

When Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella was asked at a technology conference last week how women should ask for a raise, he said they shouldn't ask, and they should just trust the system to pay them what they're worth.

He later said that was wrong.

Now, in a memo to employees, Nadella says Microsoft shouldn't only focus on equal pay for equal work, but also on the opportunity to do equal work. He also says, going forward, Microsoft needs to recruit more diverse talent and foster a more inclusive culture.

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Snapchat to Add In-App Advertisements This Weekend


Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Snapchat announced on Friday that it would begin placing advertisements for American users this weekend, the first time the app will feature ads in its "recent updates" space.

According to a post on the Snapchat blog, the ads won't involve collecting user data to find ads that interest individual users. Instead, "an advertisement will appear in your Recent Updates from time to time, and you can choose if you want to watch it." The ads will even disappear from the "Recent Updates" feed within 24 hours.

The company promised in its post that ads wouldn't appear in users' personal communications -- their normal snaps or chat conversations, as "that would be totally rude."

Snapchat says it hopes to "deliver an experience that's fun and informative, the way ads used to be, before they got creepy and targeted."

The decision was made, the post acknowledges, to make money, but the company believes it can do so in a way that will avoid detracting from its product.

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Mark Cuban Tweets He's Buying Netflix Stock


ABC/Bob D'Amico(NEW YORK) -- Billionaire and star of Shark Tank posted to his Twitter account Friday saying that he intended to buy stock in Netflix, just one day after the company reported disappointing earnings.

On Thursday, Netflix reported worse-than-expected subscriber growth, which led to a big drop for the company's stock in after-hours trading. Nonetheless, Cuban believes the company has tremendous value.

"I'm buying NFLX stock," Cuban's tweet read. He went on to note Netflix's size compared to other Internet and media companies.

 

I'm buying NFLX stock. At half of YHOO, 10B<Twitter and small pct of major media companies, Someone will try to buy them. #GetLongGetLoud

— Mark Cuban (@mcuban) October 17, 2014



In a reply tweet to a follower, Cuban stated his belief that Netflix's value far surpasses its current price.

 

 

.@ChartProphet imho the value of nflx is so much more than its price that even if a buyer wrote a 8b check to pay it off its a bargain

— Mark Cuban (@mcuban) October 17, 2014

 

Cuban, the 223rd wealthiest person in America, according to Forbes magazine's latest ranking, is worth an estimated $2.7 billion.

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Wall Street Closes the Week Strong Following Positive Report on Residential Construction


iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Wall Street closed the week on a positive note with all three major indices posting significant gains on Friday, after a Commerce Department report indicated increases in construction on both single-family homes and apartments.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 16380.41, up 263.17 from where it started the day.

The Nasdaq gained 41.05 to a close of 4258.44, while the S&P 500 rose 24 to 1886.76.

A Commerce Department report released Friday showed that residential construction is up over the last year. However, slow economic growth and stagnant wages led to a 30 percent increase in apartment construction, compared to just 11 percent on single-family homes.

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Craft Beers Land on More In-Flight Beverage Carts


iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Craft beer continues to be one of the fastest-growing brew segments in the country, posting annual growth of 17.2 percent by volume in 2013, according to the Brewer’s Association. And with demand steadily climbing higher, smaller-batch suds have found their way to the skies as well.

In the last year, an increasing number of airlines have added regional craft brews to their in-flight offerings, giving passengers a tasty new reason to flag down that beverage cart.

Leading the way is Southwest Airlines, which added New Belgium's Fat Tire to beverage carts in 2013. While the carrier declined to comment on whether the upgraded brew translated to a bump in in-flight sales, a representative did say that it’s been a hit with passengers.

“Introducing Fat Tire to our on-board beverages was a great addition,” Michelle Agnew, a Southwest Airlines spokesperson, told ABC News. “The response has been great and we love having a Colorado-based beer on board for our customers to enjoy.”

Over the summer, Chicago-based United Airlines began offering Goose Island’s 312 Urban Wheat Ale craft beer on flights worldwide and in U.S United Clubs as part of a larger revamp of the carrier’s food and beverage program.

“312 Urban Wheat Ale has proven to be a popular choice among our customers since we added it to our in-flight beverage menu, and its on-board sales continue to grow,” said Lynda Coffman, United’s vice president of food services. “We’re pleased that we were able to work with another company with strong Chicago roots to meet our customers’ demand for craft beer.”

Named for one of the Windy City’s largest area codes, the brew is described as having “a spicy aroma of cascade hops, followed by a crisp, fruity ale flavor delivered in a smooth, creamy body that is immensely refreshing.”

Minneapolis’ own Sun Country Airlines offers three brews produced by local favorite Surly Brewing Co. Passengers have a choice of the Furious IPA, an Oatmeal-based brown lager named Bender, and Hell, an unfiltered German-style lager -- just the type of refreshment one might require after a frustrating pass through airport security checkpoints.

But Midwest carriers aren’t the only ones getting in on the craft trend. Hawaiian Airlines recently announced it will be serving up Maui Brewing Company’s Bikini Blonde Lager on flights en route to and from the islands, with a plan to expand the range of craft options soon.

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Twitter to Show You Tweets from People You Don't Follow


ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Twitter says it's trying to improve users' timelines by showing them tweets from people they don't follow.

Until now, users of the social network have only seen posts from people they follow, with the exception of a few sponsored tweets. But Twitter fears users might be missing out on interesting posts.

"[T]here are times when you might miss out on Tweets we think you’d enjoy," the company said in a blog post Friday. "To help you keep up with what’s happening, we’ve been testing ways to include these Tweets in your timeline -- ones we think you’ll find interesting or entertaining."

As with some timeline experiments, Twitter says not all users may end up seeing out-of-the-ordinary tweets pop up on their feeds.

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Apple Pay: What to Expect at the Checkout Counter


Apple, Inc.(NEW YORK) -- With the roll out of Apple Pay next Monday, the checkout experience is expected to evolve at some of the biggest retailers and restaurants in the United States.

Apple's mobile payment product, which works on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus for online and brick and mortar store purchases, could very well be a credit card killer, according to industry observers.

There's no need to reach for a wallet, swipe a credit card or wait for a cashier to make change. Even if you're not set up on a device equipped with Apple Pay, but others queuing in front of you are, it's possible the simplicity of the transaction could make waiting in line faster for everyone.

What to Expect When You Step Up to the Checkout Counter

Checkout counters in more than 220,000 stores, including Whole Foods, McDonald's and Chevron, will be equipped with contactless readers.

All users have to do is position their iPhone near one of the readers at a store, hold their finger on their Touch ID and they're good to go. The simple, swift checkout motion is made easy due to the the Near Field Communication antenna in the iPhone 6, which connects with the payment point to complete the transaction.

A vibration and a beep will let users know that checkout was successful. There's no need to do anything else.

Behind the Scenes

With Apple Pay, neither Apple nor merchants see or store any of your private information.

Instead, users take a photo of their credit card and add it to their phone's Passbook, where it is assigned an unique device account number, encrypted and stored in the phone's Secure Element Chip.

When it's time to check out, the device account number and a dynamic security code are used to complete the transaction. Apple will never know what you purchased, the company said, and you'll still get rewards points on the credit cards you use.

Online Purchases

The two new iPads unveiled on Thursday -- the iPad Air 2 and the iPad Mini 3 -- also come equipped for making online Apple Pay purchases.

Users can add their debit or credit card information from their iTunes account or snap a photo with the tablet's camera. Select Apple Pay when it's time to check out, lightly touch the home button with your finger and the transaction is complete. Entering shipping or billing information -- perhaps the most tedious part of online shopping -- is no longer necessary.

Apple Pay works in a slew of popular apps, including Target, Uber and OpenTable.

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New Starbucks Barista Dress Code Allows Tattoos, Nose Piercings


Starbucks(SEATTLE) -- Your next morning latte may be served up with a little more personality -- and maybe even some attitude.

Starbucks is relaxing its dress code to allow baristas to bare tattoos and even sport modest nose piercings.

In its updated dress code policy, effective Oct. 20, the coffee chain says tattoos will be allowed so long as they are not on a barista's face or throat.

"Treat tattoos as you treat speech -- you can’t swear, make hateful comments or lewd jokes in the workplace, neither can your tattoos," the policy notes.

As for piercings, "Yes to ear gauges, ideally no bigger than 10mm and a small nose stud is allowed (no septum or rings)," the policy says. Baristas are also allowed to wear up to two small or moderately-sized earrings per ear. All other visible piercings are prohibited.

Starbucks is making the move after months of internal discussions and a Facebook backlash from critics who called the company's old dress code too archaic.

Other changes to its updated policy include allowing baristas to wear black jeans, colored ties and neck scarves.

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Census: More than 48 Million Americans Live in Poverty


iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- More than 48 million Americans were living below the poverty line in 2013, the U.S. Census Bureau reported in its supplemental poverty measure Thursday.

But in a bit of good news, last year's poverty rate -- 15.5 percent -- was actually down from 0.5 percent from 2012.

The supplemental poverty measure, as opposed to the national poverty rate, takes into account various benefits, expenses and resources faced by and available to families.

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Most Parents Who Work Say It's About More than Just the Money


iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Juggling a career and a family is now an American way of life but is it really something most parents want to do if they really had the choice?

A FlexJobs survey of 1,500 people ages 20-to-69 found that nearly nine in ten have to work because they need the income. Yet, almost two-thirds of parents admit they actually want to work because it enhances overall life satisfaction.

In terms of managing kids and a career simultaneously, 92 percent claimed they could be great at both jobs while only two percent didn’t believe it could be accomplished.

Despite their optimism, parents with jobs admit they could use help. That’s why close to three quarters of respondents with kids in school say flexibility is important to them.

If they did have a choice, 79 percent would prefer to work from home full-time while 45 percent said they’d like the option of working part-time from home.

Job flexibility also provides another advantage, according to parents. A majority said if they could find the time, they'd volunteer at their youngsters’ schools or outside activities.

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Seniors Often Fall Victim to Financial Abuse


iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The elderly are vulnerable to what’s being termed as “financial abuse,” that is, having their well-earned nest eggs pilfered by unscrupulous con men or even worse, relatives.

A new survey by the insurance firm Allianz Life says that although five percent of Americans 65 and up claim to have been victims of this crime, close to 20 percent of people between the ages 40 and 64 say they have a family member or know somebody whose savings have been ripped off.

In any event, of those who say they were victims of financial abuse in the survey, just over half allege they were taken by a relative, friend or caregiver and 20 percent blame a stranger for their monetary loss, which on average is about $30,000.

As huge a loss as that is, 12 percent of elderly financial abuse victims says they’ve had more than $100,000 stolen from them.

The two biggest thefts are funds missing from accounts or unauthorized purchase of goods or services.

Walter White, president and CEO of Allianz Life, says financial abuse is usually under-reported because of the shame older people feel about it happening to them.

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Firm Charged with High-Frequency Trading Settles with SEC for $1 Million


zhudifeng/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- New York-based trading firm Athena Capital Research agreed to pay a $1 million penalty after being charged with fraudulent trading by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

According to an SEC press release, the company allegedly placed "a large number of aggressive, rapid-fire trades in the final two seconds of almost every trading day during a six-month period." This action, the agency said, allowed the company to "manipulate the closing prices of thousands of NASDAQ-listed stocks."

Athena allegedly used an algorithm to engage in the fraudulent trading, and the SEC says that the company was aware of the price impact its actions had.

"When high frequency traders cross the line and engage in fraud," SEC Chair Mary Jo White said, "we will pursue them as we do with anyone who manipulates the markets."

Athena's fraudulent activity took place between June 2009 and December 2009, and made up over 70 percent of the total NASDAQ trading volume in the final seconds before market closing.

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NY Attorney General Issues Report Saying Most Airbnb Reservations Illegal


Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman issued a report on Thursday finding that the majority of Airbnb reservations made in New York City in the last several years have been in violation of New York law.

Of more than 35,000 private, short-term listings on Airbnb, the Attorney General's Office suggested that over 25,000 violated either New York State's Multiple Dwelling Law and/or New York City's Administrative Code. Illegal listings are believed to have generated about $304 million in revenue for hosts and $40 million for Airbnb.

Schneiderman's office also said that more than 100 users were each controlling more than 10 different apartments regularly rented on Airbnb.

The report also says that "numerous units appear to serve as illegal hostels," as "multiple, unrelated guests shared the same unit on the same night."

The report "raises serious concerns about the proliferation of illegal hotels and the impact of Airbnb and sites like it on the City of New York," Schneiderman said. "We must ensure that, as online marketplaces revolutionize the way we live, laws designed to promote safety and quality-of-life are not foresaken under the pretext of innovation."

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