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Apple Pay Launches on Monday

Apple Pay Launches on Monday

Apple, Inc.CUPERTINO, Calif.) -- Get ready to tap your iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus everywhere to pay for groceries or that burger in the McDonald's drive-thru.Apple CEO Tim Cook announced Thursday that Apple Pay -- the company's mobile payments system -- will launch on Monday.Eddy Cue, Apple's senior vice president of Internet software and services, showed how easy it is to pay at Apple's media event last month. All users have to do is position their iPhone near a payment point at a store, hold their finger on their Touch ID and they're good to go. A vibration and a beep will let users know the transaction was successful. There's no need to do anything else.With Apple Pay, Apple and merchants don't 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 make a purchase, 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.If an iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus is misplaced or lost, users can go to Find My iPhone where they can put the device in "lost mode" or wipe it completely -- making sure their private information never falls into the wrong hands.

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Amazon Ramps Up Holiday Hiring

Amazon Ramps Up Holiday Hiring

Amazon(SEATTLE) -- Amazon is gearing up for the holiday shopping season by hiring more seasonal workers than it did last year. The online retail giant announced on Thursday it will create 80,000 seasonal positions at its fulfillment and sortation centers across the U.S. "in order to meet an increase in customer demand."Last year, Amazon hired 70,000 workers during the holidays.The company says it expects to convert many of this year's seasonal workers into full-time employees.“So far this year, we have converted more than 10,000 seasonal employees in the U.S. into regular, full-time roles and we’re looking forward to converting thousands more across our growing network of fulfillment and sortation centers after this holiday season,” Mike Roth, Amazon’s vice president of North America operations, said in a statement. “We’re excited to be creating 80,000 seasonal jobs, thousands of which will lead to regular, full-time roles with benefits starting on day one and innovative programs like Career Choice for employees to further pursue their education,” Roth added.

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Netflix Shares Plummet Following Third Quarter Report

Netflix Shares Plummet Following Third Quarter Report

Netflix(NEW YORK) -- Netflix took a hit from investors Wednesday after reporting worse-than-expected subscriber growth in the U.S.Shares of the company plunged 25 percent in after-hours trading upon news that Netflix only added 980,000 streaming customers in the third quarter, falling short of its expectations.

Last year during the same time period, the company added nearly 1.3 million customers.Netflix said price increases were partly to blame for the disappointing growth.

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Unemployment Claims Drop to Lowest Level in 14 Years

Unemployment Claims Drop to Lowest Level in 14 Years

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Jobless claims slumped lower last week, decreasing by 23,000, according to the latest figures released Thursday by the Labor Department.For the week ending Oct. 11, the number of people filing for benefits fell to 264,000 -- the lowest level for initial claims since April 15, 2000 when it was 259,000, the Labor Department says. Last week's claims stood at 287,000. The Labor Department said there were no "special factors" impacting that week's figures.The four-week moving average was down as well, falling by 4,250 to 283,500. This average is also at its lowest level in more than a decade. In June of 2000, the four-week moving average was 283,500.

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2015 College Grads Can Expect Robust Job Market

2015 College Grads Can Expect Robust Job Market

iStock/Thinkstock(EAST LANSING, Mich.) -- Timing is everything, it’s been said, and perhaps that adage is particularly applicable in the case of college students.For instance, anyone who had the misfortune of graduating during the height of the Great Recession left school at precisely the wrong time.But fast forward to a year from now and it’s like 1999-2000 all over again when the nation was in the throes of one its best economic expansions.While some economists would dispute that we’re not at the level yet, don’t tell that to employers who expect to boost hiring for 2015 graduates for all degrees by 16 percent compared to last year.That’s according to Recruiting Trends, an annual survey of 5,700 companies compiled by Michigan State University economist Phil Gardner.Leading the way in terms of hiring are information services and finance along with insurance by a whopping 51 percent and 31 percent, respectively.Meanwhile, virtually all type of degree holders can expect easier times in the job market as those with an MBA can expect hiring to increase by 38 percent followed by graduates with a doctorate seeing a 20 percent boost.Gardner cautions that while the employment picture looks rosier for grads in 2015, there’s no way of knowing whether this is a trend or just a one-year blip before hiring slows again.

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What to Expect from Apple’s Special Event Today

What to Expect from Apple’s Special Event Today

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(CUPERTINO, Calif.) -- Apple's year of revelations isn't over just yet.As if two new iPhones and a smart watch weren't enough, Apple has scheduled big announcement Thursday at 10 a.m. PT at its campus in Cupertino, California.While Apple has kept the agenda for today's event under wraps, industry observers expect the "executive presentation" mentioned on the invitation to include announcements on new hardware, software and products.Much of the speculation has centered on the release of a new iPad, just in time for the holiday shopping season. The company released its latest version of the tablet, the iPad Air, around this time last year.Along with the speculated new iPads, it has also been suggested that Apple may unveil updates to its Mac line of desktop computers.The company was characteristically coy in its invitation sent to industry insiders and members of the media, teasing that "It's been way too long." Thankfully, the hours are ticking away and we'll soon find out what Apple has to announce.The gathering will be held at the Apple campus in Cupertino, providing a more low-key venue than the 2,405-seat Flint Center, where Apple held its glitzy September launch of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.It will also be live-streamed on Apple's website beginning at 10 a.m. PT/1 p.m. ET. In order to view it, you'll need a version of the Safari browser 5.1.10 or later on a Mac with OS X v10.6.8. You can also view it on your iPhone with Safari on iOS 6.0 or later.

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How Google’s New Nexus 6 Smartphone Compares to Apple, Samsung’s Products

How Google’s New Nexus 6 Smartphone Compares to Apple, Samsung’s Products

triloks/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- If size matters, it's fair to say that Google has one-upped Apple and Samsung when it comes to smartphones.The company unveiled its new Nexus 6 smartphone on Wednesday, built in partnership with Motorola. The Android device is equipped with the latest version of the operating system, which Google code-named "Lollipop."It's now a game of big, bigger and biggest in the smartphone market.Which gigantic one is right for you? Here's a quick breakdown of what to expect before you decide.Nexus 6The biggest of the three devices, the Nexus 6 has a display that is 6 inches diagonally.The phablet is packed with features, including dual front-facing stereo speakers and a 13-megapixel camera. A "Turbo Charger" is also included, allowing users to get as much as six hours of use with just 15 minutes of charge, according to Google.The Nexus 6 will be available for pre-order later this month and will arrive in stores in November, with the option for a monthly contract or installment plan through carriers, including AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, Verizon and U.S. Cellular.iPhone 6 PlusApple has sold millions of the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus -- and it appears the frenzy has yet to subside.The iPhone 6 Plus screen is 5.5 inches diagonally. It's also thin, measuring just 7.1 mm. The phone comes in three colors: gold, silver and space gray.Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide product marketing, introduced a "brand new gesture" for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, called “reachability.” Schiller said a double-touch, “not even a press,” slides the whole display down so you can reach “anything” at the top of the phone, making it a dream for multi-taskers.The phone also comes with Apple Pay -- Apple's new payment service that could very well be a credit card killer.The iPhone 6 Plus starts at $299 (16 GB), $399 (64 GB) and $499 (128 GB) with a two-year contract.Galaxy Note 4The Galaxy Note 4 keeps with Samsung's tradition of building gigantic phones with a 5.7-inch display that is able to reproduce clearer images and better viewing angles. It also boasts a response time of as fast as a millionth of a second.The device comes with an "S Pen" that has what Samsung calls a "natural brush effect" allowing the user to take notes on the screen as though they were writing on a piece of paper.One distinguishing factor between the Galaxy Note 4 and its predecessors is the Snap Note feature, which allows users to take a photo of their notes and easily convert them into an S Note.Audio note-taking is also top notch. The Note 4 includes several microphones for taking audio notes and the ability to tag voices -- allowing specific voices in a group conversation to be isolated and played back seamlessly.The Galaxy Note 4 is currently available for pre-order through AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, Verizon and U.S. Cellular.

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Markets Give Back Tuesday Gains Despite Positive Fed Report

Markets Give Back Tuesday Gains Despite Positive Fed Report

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Wall Street rebounded from a poor early session on Wednesday, but still gave back all of Tuesday's gains and more, despite a positive report from the Federal Reserve.The Dow Jones Industrial Average slid down 173.45 to a close of 16,141.74, though it had been down about 400 in earlier trading.The Nasdaq dropped 11.85, ending the day at 4,215.32, while the S&P 500 gave up 15.21, finishing at 1,862.49.The Federal Reserve released its October "Beige Book" on Wednesday, which showed improvement and growth in many aspects of the economy, including banking conditions, consumer spending, manufacturing and employment. In addition to national economic improvement, the report also indicated that each economic indicator had improved in many regions around the country.

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HBO to Launch Netflix-Like Streaming Service in 2015

HBO to Launch Netflix-Like Streaming Service in 2015

HBO(NEW YORK) -- HBO announced on Wednesday it will follow in Netflix's footsteps and launch a stand-alone streaming service next year.Addressing the millions of homes in the U.S. that only have a broadband connection, HBO CEO Richard Plepler said, "That is a large and growing opportunity that should no longer be left untapped. It is time to remove all barriers to those who want HBO.""So, in 2015, we will launch a stand-alone, over-the-top, HBO service in the United States," Plepler continued at the Time Warner Inc. investor meeting.He said HBO will work with its current partners to launch the service and explore models with new partners."All in, there are 80 million homes that do not have HBO and we will use all means at our disposal to go after them," Plepler said.

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GM Reports Best Third Quarter Sales Since 1980

GM Reports Best Third Quarter Sales Since 1980

General Motors(DETROIT) -- General Motors on Wednesday reported its best third quarter sales since 1980, despite a litany of recalls for assorted problems and defects including a faulty ignition switch now linked to 27 deaths.Between July and September, the automaker said it sold 2,449,595 vehicles worldwide, up 2 percent from 2013.In the U.S. and China -- GM's largest markets -- third quarter sales were up 8 percent and 14 percent, respectively.“GM delivered its best third quarter global sales in 34 years thanks to solid growth in the United States and China, and steady improvement in Opel’s market share,” GM CEO Mary Barra said in a statement. “We have launches now underway, including the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon in North America, the Opel/Vauxhall Corsa in Europe, and the Buick Envision and Cadillac ATS-L in China, that will keep our momentum going.”So far this year, GM has sold 7,371,743 vehicles through September -- an increase of 2 percent.

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Whole Foods Launches Program to Rank Produce and Flowers

Whole Foods Launches Program to Rank Produce and Flowers

Whole Foods Market®(AUSTIN, Texas) -- To help its customers become more environmentally responsible, Whole Foods is rolling out a new program Wednesday that ranks its fruits, vegetables and flowers based on their environmental impact.The rating system, called "Responsibly Grown," is split into three tiers: "good," "better" or "best." It takes into account the use of pesticides, how farm workers are treated, and what practices are being used to conserve water and reduce waste, among other things.“After three years of research and planning, Responsibly Grown is the result of our collaboration with suppliers, scientists and issue experts to continue our strong commitment to organic, while embracing additional important topics and growing practices in agriculture today,” Matt Rogers, the global produce coordinator at Whole Foods Market, said in a statement Wednesday. “We are excited to broaden the conversation to recognize additional growing practices and drive more transparency in the industry.”Shoppers can find the rankings at stores nationwide Wednesday next to where prices are listed.

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Apple Has a Few More Surprises to Unveil on Thursday

Apple Has a Few More Surprises to Unveil on Thursday

Apple, Inc.(CUPERTINO, Calif.) -- The past month has been an Apple bonanza, with the release of two new iPhones and the unveiling of a smart watch. Still, the company has a few more surprises up its sleeve.While Apple is keeping the agenda for its Thursday event under wraps, industry observers expect the "executive presentation" mentioned on the invitation to include announcements on new hardware, software and products.The company was characteristically coy in its invitation sent to industry insiders and members of the media, teasing that "It's been way too long."The gathering will be held at the Apple campus in Cupertino, California, providing a more low-key venue than the 2,405-seat Flint Center, where Apple held its glitzy September launch of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.Much of the speculation has centered on the release of a new iPad, just in time for the holiday shopping season. The company released its latest version of the tablet, the iPad Air, around this time last year.Along with the speculated new iPads, it has also been suggested that Apple may unveil updates to its Mac line of desktop computers.The safest bet may be a new operating system, OS X Yosemite, which is due out in Fall 2014. The operating system is not only more "powerful" than ever, according to Apple, but it's expected to enhance the relationship between a user's Mac and iOS devices.It's also possible Apple could use the event to announce the official debut of Apple Pay. The mobile payment system, which was shown off last month, lists a "Coming in October" date on Apple's website, however it's still not available to the public.MacRumors reported that Apple Pay could launch this weekend, according to a memo said to be from the retailer Walgreens that was leaked to the website.A wildcard for Thursday is the Apple Watch. Since it was shown off to the public last month, the smart watch has stolen the show at Paris Fashion Week and even appeared on the cover of Chinese Vogue. However, there are still plenty of lingering questions about the device -- the biggest of all being when it will be available to the public.The stream will be hosted live on Apple's website beginning at 10 a.m. PT/1 p.m. ET. In order to view it, you'll need a version of the Safari browser 5.1.10 or later on a Mac with OS X v10.6.8. You can also view it on your iPhone with Safari on iOS 6.0 or later.ABC News also will be live blogging the event.

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Stocks Take Sudden Nosedive in Early Trading

Stocks Take Sudden Nosedive in Early Trading

Spencer Platt/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- U.S. stocks opened with a rough start Wednesday.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged more than 350 points in the first few minutes of the trading day.  The nosedive in shares were likely due to some disappointing economic figures, notably retail sales, which fell to a lower level than expected. Add Middle East distress and weakness in the European economy to concerns over the global Ebola outbreak, and the combination can make consumers uncomfortable with the general outlook.The Producer Price Index also reflected some slack in the economy.Still, Pierre Ellis, a senior economist with Decision Economics, tells ABC News the future doesn't look so bad."Out general trend is that the economy looks good over the long-term, which should be reflected over the long term in improvement in stock prices," he says.

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New Kickstarter Luggage Concept Includes a Seat Too

New Kickstarter Luggage Concept Includes a Seat TooneXstep Luggage(CHICAGO) -- The next time you find yourself the victim of massive flight delays with nowhere to sit, neXstep luggage might come in handy.A Kickstarter created by Chicago-based Brian Gibson has 41 days to raise $119,000 to make his bagga...

Gas Prices Down Nine Cents Per Gallon

Gas Prices Down Nine Cents Per Gallon

FeelPic/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The U.S. Energy Department released their latest gasoline and diesel fuel price update on Tuesday, with the cost of the average gallon of gas dropping nationwide.The report, which typically comes out on Monday, was released a day late because of Columbus Day. The report indicated that the average cost of a gallon of gas nationwide is $3.21. That figure is down about 9.2 cents from last week.California remains the most expensive state in the country to buy gas, with the average gallon costing $3.60, while the Gulf Coast remains the cheapest region for gas, with the average gallon setting drivers back just $3.01.

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Chrysler Recalls Nearly 200,000 Vehicles with Restraint System Flaw

Chrysler Recalls Nearly 200,000 Vehicles with Restraint System Flaw

Design Pics/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Chrysler Group announced a recall of nearly 200,000 vehicles around the world with a fault in the occupant restraint control module that can cause electrical short-circuits.The vehicles, model year 2014 Dodge Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs, "may exhibit internal electrical short-circuits," the company said. That flaw could cause air-bag warning lamps to light up, which often indicate systems including air bags and seat-belt pretensioners are disabled.Chrysler Group says it is unaware of any crashes or injuries related to the problem.The company was alerted to the issue by the component supplier, prompting additional investigation. In total, 184,215 vehicles are subject to recall, including 126,772 in the U.S. market.

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Apple, Facebook Will Pay for Employees to Freeze Their Eggs

Apple, Facebook Will Pay for Employees to Freeze Their Eggs

tetmc/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) --  As enrollment for next year's health benefits goes on in workplaces around the United States, Apple and Facebook say they're willing to pay for employees to freeze their eggs.Apple said it will offer the perk to employees based in the United States beginning on Jan. 1."We want to empower women at Apple to do the best work of their lives as they care for loved ones and raise their families," the company said in a statement to ABC News. "We continue to expand our benefits for women, with a new extended maternity leave policy, along with cryopreservation and egg storage as part of our extensive support for infertility treatments."Apple said it also offers an adoption assistance program, where the company reimburses employees for eligible expenses related to the legal adoption of a child.Facebook confirmed to ABC News that it began offering egg freezing to all employees covered under its Aetna insurance plans, including spouses and domestic partners, as of Jan. 1, 2014.Given the lack of females in positions of leadership in Silicon Valley, it's possible the incentives could serve as a model to help both companies attract and retain top talent.Apple revealed earlier this year in its diversity report that its workforce was 70-percent male, while Facebook reported its workforce was 69-percent male.Glenn Cohen, a professor at Harvard Law School and an expert in the intersection of bioethics and law, said the perk could be perceived in several different lights."The good is that it empowers women and gives them more choices they might not have afforded otherwise," Cohen told ABC News. "The bad is it communicates a message to women that their workplaces may not be tolerant to women who decide to have children on the job and potentially also has more women undergoing a procedure that carries risks that they might not in the end need."A woman's best reproductive years are in her 20s, according to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. When a woman turns 30, her fertility begins to decline, making it more difficult to become pregnant after the age of 35, ASRM reported.The process of storing eggs allows a woman to have them reinserted into her uterus at a later date -- even after her fertility has declined.The American Society of Reproductive Medicine lifted the "experimental" label from the procedure in 2012.

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Facebook CEO Zuckerberg to Donate $25 Million to Fight Ebola

Facebook CEO Zuckerberg to Donate $25 Million to Fight Ebola

ROMEO GACAD/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Mark Zuckerberg will donate $25 million to help fight Ebola, the Facebook CEO said in a post on the social networking site on Tuesday.Zuckerberg and his wife will donate the money to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Calling the current state of the Ebola epidemic "a critical turning point," Zuckerberg highlighted the need to "get Ebola under control in the near term so that it doesn't spread further and become a long term global health crisis that we end up fighting for decades at a large scale, like HIV or polio."

 

Post by Mark Zuckerberg. Noting that the grant will "directly help the frontline responders" doing what he calls "heroic work," Zuckerberg said he was hopeful that his donation would help to save lives and reign in the spread of the disease.

 

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Markets Post Small Gains, Chrysler Recalls More than 180,000 Vehicles

Markets Post Small Gains, Chrysler Recalls More than 180,000 Vehicles

tarabird/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Tuesday was a positive day on Wall Street, as two of the three major indices posted gains, albeit small ones, after three consecutive days of trading losses.The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 5.88 points to a close of 16,315.19, after dropping triple digits on Monday.The NASDAQ climbed 13.51, ending the day at 4,227.17, while the S&P 500 gained 2.96, climbing back towards the 1,900 mark, but finishing at 1,877.70.

Chrysler is recalling over 180,000 vehicles worldwide after the company discovered a problem involving the Occupant Restraint System, which could cause electrical short-circuits that may signal to a driver that their airbags are disabled.The Bureau of Labor Statistics released a report on Tuesday naming Washington, D.C. the most expensive place to live in, citing high costs of housing-related items. San Francisco, New York, San Diego and Baltimore were also among the most expensive cities to live in.

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Skype Releases New Video Messaging App Qik

Skype Releases New Video Messaging App Qik

Skype(NEW YORK) -- Skype has long connected family, friends and colleagues who are sprinkled around the globe via video chat. However time zones, schedules and busy jobs can make it difficult sometimes to schedule a "Skype date."Enter Skype Qik. The company released its new app Tuesday, which allows users to send 40-second videos of "can't miss" moments to individual contacts and groups, allowing the conversation to flow throughout the day.The app, which is available for iOS, Android and Windows devices, operates like a sophisticated version of Snapchat. Facebook Messenger offers a similar video feature allowing users to send 15 second videos with the push of a button, which can then easily be forwarded to other contacts.Skype Qik distinguishes itself from the pack by giving users control over their media even after they've sent it.The app displays the eight most recent videos in a conversation via a film strip -- with the videos disappearing from devices and the Skype servers after two weeks, the company told ABC News. There's also a delete function that allows a sender to remove their video from the devices of recipients even sooner, if they choose.Once you've downloaded the app, enter your phone number and you're free to send a message to anyone who is in your phone contacts, meaning there's no need to add friends to the app.Friends who don't have Skype Qik will receive a text message with a link to download the app. They'll then be able to retrieve their video message.Tech neophytes don't have to worry, either. The design and functionality of the app is simple -- making it likely to appeal to a large swath of people looking to stay in the loop with friends and family.

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