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Girl Scout Cookie Fans May Have to Wait Because of Thin Mints

Girl Scout Cookie Fans May Have to Wait Because of Thin Mints

Photo by John Moore/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Attention Girl Scout cookie fans: Your Tagalong and Samoa orders might take a little longer than expected. The culprit for a slight delay on deliveries to a small percentage of customers is the ever-so-popular Thin Mints, which are back ordered this season. Little Brownie Bakers, the Kellogg-owned company that makes and manufactures Girl Scout cookies, are behind in producing the minty, chocolate-coated cookies, which have been in high demand since they made their debut in 1940. Because of Thin Mint production shortages, Little Brownie Bakers has rescheduled deliveries of all cookie varieties to the affected troops from March 16 to March 21. "During our busiest point in the season, our bakers make about 9 million Thin Mints," Girl Scouts USA told ABC News. The organization, which began in 1912, reportedly sells around 200 million boxes of cookies each season. About 25 percent of boxes ordered are the popular Thin Mints. As of now, Girl Scouts USA said 6 percent of its 112 Girl Scout councils are affected by the back order. Jennifer Thompson, senior director of marketing and communications of Girl Scouts Heart of New Jersey, told ABC News that all customers who bought Thin Mints from the 2,000 troops in her council will be experiencing a delay. "Little Brownie saw they weren’t able to keep the initial delivery dates," she said. "The only cookie affected right now is the Thin Mint cookie. We’ve been told by Little Brownie that the cookies will be a little delayed, but they are assuring that they are working 24-7 to fulfill every order." Kris Charles, a Kellogg company spokeswoman, issued the following statement to ABC News: “While overall demand for Thin Mints has been greater than expected this season, we are working to ensure every order is delivered in a timely manner.” The overwhelming amount of cookie sales aren't upsetting the Girl Scouts Heart of New Jersey troops, though. "It is a function of exceeding what we thought they'd do this year, which is great for the girls," Thompson said. Because they're fulfilled differently than traditional orders, cookies ordered online through Digital Cookie will not be impacted by delivery delays.

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Samsung Going Head to Head with Apple Pay

Samsung Going Head to Head with Apple Pay

Prykhodov/iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Samsung is ready to challenge Apple Pay. The Korean electronics company announced Wednesday it is buying mobile payments start-up LoopPay, setting up another head-to-head match-up with its perennial rival. In its current form, LoopPay is available as a phone case or a key fob. However, the acquisition sparks the possibility that the technology could be integrated into one of Samsung's future smartphones. "Our goal has always been to build the smartest, most secure, user-friendly mobile wallet experience, and we are delighted to welcome LoopPay to take us closer to this goal," said JK Shin, president of Samsung, said in a statement. Here's a breakdown on how LoopPay, in its current form, differs from Apple’s mobile payments solution. What the Customer Needs Using Apple Pay for purchases at brick-and-mortar stores requires an iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus. For LoopPay, the user will need a card retailing for $49.95. Various phone cases can also be purchased to hold the card. How It Works For Apple Pay, 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 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. When checking out, LoopPay users can either press a designated button on their device or open the LoopPay app. From there, they select the card of their choice, tap it on the credit card reader and they're all set. While Apple's rollout requires stores to have NFC readers, LoopPay can work on most infrastructures already in place, according to its website. Security With Apple Pay, a device account number and a dynamic security code are used to complete the transaction. LoopPay said it encrypts all customer data and stores it behind a locked PIN and password.

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Mixed Day on Wall Street as Stocks Inch Back from Records

Mixed Day on Wall Street as Stocks Inch Back from Records

JaysonPhotography/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A mixed day on Wall Street, after an explosion at a West Coast refinery has analysts predicting an increase in gas prices in California. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished the session on Wednesday at 18,029.85, down 17.73 from its open. The Nasdaq, though, finished up 7.10 to close at 4,906.36. The S&P 500 fell by 0.66 points to close at 2,099.68. Exxon Mobile shares hit trading-session lows on Wednesday, after an explosion at a refinery in Torrance, California. The incident has industry analysts already predicting California gas prices could jump by ten cents this week.Under Armor clothing still thinks Muhammad Ali has a lot of commercial fight left in him. The company announced on Wednesday a brand of Ali's branded and inspired products with another company that bought the fighter's estate and licensing rights two years ago. The company is already selling a limited-edition Under Armor T-shirt with Ali’s image.

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Samsung Galaxy S6: You May Be Able to Charge It Anywhere

Samsung Galaxy S6: You May Be Able to Charge It Anywhere

Samsung(NEW YORK) -- Samsung is showing off its advances in wireless charging, weeks before the company is set to reveal "what's next" at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.The electronics company hasn't revealed what is on the agenda, but the invitation included a shadowy profile shot of what appeared to be a curvy device -- sparking the possibility that Samsung could unveil its Galaxy S6 smartphone with a design change on March 1.The timing of a blog from Seho Park, Samsung's principal engineer, has led to speculation that the new Galaxy S6 could include multiple wireless charging standards, allowing users to juice up their devices almost anywhere."Samsung will accelerate to democratize this wireless charging technology with compelling smartphones. With our upcoming Galaxy smartphones, users will be able to enter a new wireless world like never before," Park wrote.Given the release of a new chip last year to support multiple charging standards, Park said he expects 2015 will be a game-changing year for wireless smartphone charging."Two or three years ago, wireless charging was only twenty to thirty percent as fast as wired charging. But since then, we have been able to double the charging speed," he wrote.While Samsung hasn't commented on whether the technology may be in the mystery product they're set to unveil next month, the company's Twitter dropped a big hint that consumers can expect something faster:

 

I discover more when I make fewer stops. I am #TheNextGalaxy. pic.twitter.com/6MjAnX8czj

— SamsungMobile (@SamsungMobile) February 17, 2015

 

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Housing Starts Drop 2% in January

Housing Starts Drop 2% in January

sculpies/iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Housing starts dropped to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.07 million last month, a 2 percent drop from December, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday.Bad weather was partly to blame for the decline, especially in the Midwest."We saw a big drop in single family construction in the Midwest. And consistent with our builder confidence measure, that was almost certainly weather related," Robert Dietz of the National Association of Home Builders said.Despite the drop, Dietz said he expects a good year ahead."The January numbers were down but we consider ourselves in a good position because the weather-related impact should be temporary and the growth that we see going forward is good because we see demand-side growth and builders remain confident," he said.

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DeLorean iPhone Case Lets Your Phone Fly “Back to the Future”

DeLorean iPhone Case Lets Your Phone Fly “Back to the Future”

Bandai(NEW YORK) -- The fictional Marty McFly would surely be first in line to purchase a Back to the Future inspired iPhone case that turns an iPhone 6 into the movie's flying DeLorean.Bandai, a Japanese company, showed off its miniature DeLorean iPhone case in a new video teasing the product, which is expected to go on sale this summer for around $50.True to form, the DeLorean has neon blue lights. When the user receives a call, the car's headlights will flash, prompting them to pick up the call and speak into the undercarriage of the DeLorean.The release of the new case is timely, since in the movie Back to the Future Part II, Marty McFly travels way into the future, to Oct. 21, 2015.

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Apple Watch: What We Know About the Wearable

Apple Watch: What We Know About the Wearable

Apple Inc.(NEW YORK) -- The wait for the Apple Watch is almost over -- but there are still plenty of unanswered questions about the highly anticipated wearable device."One of the biggest surprises people are going to have when they start using it is the breadth of what it will do," Apple CEO Tim Cook said last week at a conference, according to the Wall Street Journal.The watch comes equipped with Apple Pay and a rich ecosystem of apps that can help keep the wearer informed with nuggets of information throughout the day, about things such as a dinner date or a flight delay.While there are still some unknowns, here is what we know so far from Apple about its flagship wearable:When Does It Go on Sale?Apple has not specified the exact date consumers will be able to finally strap the highly anticipated wearable on their wrists, but we know it's coming sometime in April.What Are the Different Choices?The Apple Watch is expected to begin at a price point of $349 and will come in three editions: Apple Watch Sport, the standard Apple Watch and a luxury gold edition. Consumers can expect to pay more for the high-end versions.Apple is reportedly working on a redesign of its stores that will create an even more alluring environment for people browsing for an Apple Watch, according to a New Yorker profile of Jony Ive, Apple's senior vice president of design.What Makes It Different from Other Smart Watches?While other wearables focus on a touch screen, Apple is making navigation on the watch head easier by letting the users move the digital crown to toggle between apps.The wrist is "a very interesting place" because users can glance at it while "you can't glance at a lot of other places on your body," Cook told ABC News' David Muir in an exclusive interview after the watch was announced last year."You can measure a lot of things from there and you can just get, honestly, a tidbit today of what all it can do," Cook said. "But I think it's huge."How Big of a Hit Could It Be?Apple could sell as many as 20 million of its watches this year, according to a forecast from CCS Insight, a technology analysis company."This highly anticipated smart watch will create a frenzy of demand, catapulting it almost instantaneously to be the most successful smart watch ever," a CCS Insight blog post predicted.

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Google Doodle Celebrates Italian Physicist Alessandro Volta

Google Doodle Celebrates Italian Physicist Alessandro Volta

Google(NEW YORK) -- Happy birthday, Alessandro Volta!A geeky Google Doodle showing an animation of a battery honors one of the forefathers of electrical science.Volta is widely credited with having invented the modern battery -- a discovery he made around 1799 when he put strips of zinc and silver metal on a disc of damp cardboard and learned it created an electrical current. The Italian physicist's voltaic pile was instrumental in paving the way for the modern battery.Even if you haven't heard of Volta, his impact is evident in our daily battery-powered lives. The term volt, a measure of electrical potential, is a wink to Volta's contribution to electrical science.

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Tax Tip: What You Need to Know About the Alternative Minimum Tax

Tax Tip: What You Need to Know About the Alternative Minimum Tax

robynmac/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The alternative minimum tax affects some 23 million higher-income taxpayers, but do you know what it means for you?"The alternative minimum tax is a tax that was put into effect a number of years ago, and it's designed to make sure that most people pay at least some tax," says Internal Revenue Service spokesman Eric Smith.The idea first came about in 1969, when the Treasury secretary announced more than 150 high-income households hadn't paid a dime in taxes. Those households had taken advantage of benefits and deductions to the point they brought their tax liability to zero.Under the alternative minimum tax, those households now have to pay, though on a non-graduated rate."When you think of alternative minimum tax, think of the whole idea that people have been proposing for years and years called a flat tax," says Tom Wheelwright, CEO and founder of CPA firm ProVision."It's a flat rate. It's not graduated rate like we do for the regular income tax."

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North America’s Best Airport Is Run by Hoosiers

North America’s Best Airport Is Run by Hoosiers

Digital Vision/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- New York's JFK Airport, Chicago's O'Hare Airport, and Los Angeles International Airport appear to have nothing on Indianapolis International Airport, according to an annual survey by the Airports Council International.The ACI asked its users to rank some 300 airports across the globe on nearly three dozen metrics that included general atmosphere, comfort, and courtesy.Coming in first of all airports in North America was Indianapolis, which caters to seven million passengers daily.Proud airport executive director Mario Rodriguez said the key to success was "Hoosier hospitality."Rounding out the top five North American airports are those in Tampa, Florida; Jacksonville, Florida; Sacramento, California; and Ottawa, Ontario.Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Age Dictates What Features People Want in Self-Driving Cars

Age Dictates What Features People Want in Self-Driving Cars

Justin Sullivan/Getty Image(PITTSBURGH) -- Americans' attitudes about the apparent eventuality of self-driving cars range from excitement to sheer terror.However, among those who accept the fact that there'll be vehicles on the road maneuvering themselves within the next ten years, there's also a wide difference of opinion on the features they feel will be most valuable. And as usual, those opinions depend upon the generation to which they belong.In a survey conducted by the College of Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, "self-adjusting performance based on weather conditions" was the top response of the 1,000 respondents ages 18-70 when the answers were taken in their entirety.However, about two-thirds of those 18-24 and 66-70 chose "self-parking to find a space" as their number-one priority.The youngest respondents were also hot for features like "TV or computer in the dashboard," and a valet that picks them up in the rain, more so than any other age groups.As for how they would use their free time while being shuttled around, about 37 percent of people under age 35 expressed a desire to turn their vehicle into a moving office so they could get work done. However, as self-driving car owners get older, their desire to work also wanes.In fact, seniors 66 and older said they would prefer reading over any other activity.Respondents aged 25-34 favored watching TV or putting on makeup more than any other group.

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‘Billionaire Broker’ Lives in $18M Apartment With New Husband, New Baby and Her Ex

‘Billionaire Broker’ Lives in $18M Apartment With New Husband, New Baby and Her Ex

Courtesy Carol Levy(NEW YORK) -- Carol E. Levy, one of New York City’s top real estate brokers, imagined that her extravagant, $18 million apartment in the iconic Beresford building would be the perfect place to live with her husband, Joel Goron, and their newborn son. “You know, it has a magical castle feel,” she told ABC News. “It really is a ‘wow’ apartment, as soon as you walk into it. I saw it as the perfect dream home.” But she didn’t expect that her ex-husband, Chris Lipmann, whom she separated from four years ago and divorced two years ago, would refuse to move out. “Unfortunately, until he has the funds from the sale of the apartment, he doesn't have the ability to move on," Levy said. Before she married Goron in August 2014, Levy, who bills herself as the “billionaire broker” because of expertise in ultra-luxury property sales, shared the 5,000-square-foot duplex overlooking Central Park with Lipmann and their two teenage daughters. Lipmann declined to speak with ABC News, but he told the New York Post earlier this year that he hopes his presence will force Levy to more quickly sell the apartment. A sale, he told the paper, would garner him “45 percent of the profit.” Today, Levy, Goron, their son, and Levy’s two teen daughters with Lipmann live on the upper floor of the duplex. Lipmann lives on the floor below, sleeping in a guest room he has since protected with a lock, Levy said. “There are some times when his presence there, I do feel, is intrusive on my life,” Levy said. “If I am in the kitchen and I want to go in there, and he’s there ... I would rather be in the kitchen by myself and not, you know, with my ex-husband there.” In their divorce agreement, Levy said, it was mapped out who gets which rooms and which areas are shared spaces. The kitchen, where everyone is allowed to enter, has become an awkward battleground. “He marks his food, each of it, with an X,” Levy said. “He doesn’t clean up after himself, and I do pay for the housekeeper. So there is a little resentment there.” But the bizarre arrangement may soon come to an end. Levy listed her Beresford apartment for sale at close to $20 million. “It’ll happen soon,” Levy said. “I would say, within the next few months, there should be a deal on it.”

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This Is What a $120K-Per-Month, One-Bedroom Apartment Looks Like

This Is What a $120K-Per-Month, One-Bedroom Apartment Looks Like

TOWN(NEW YORK) -- A just-listed New York City apartment costs more to rent for one month than twice the annual median household income in America. But the views are phenomenal. An 1,100-square-foot, one-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment at The Pierre Hotel at 2 E. 61st Street in Manhattan is priced at $120,000 per month. Aside from the "panoramic corner views" of Central Park, the Park Suite at The Pierre "features a decorative fireplace, large Murano glass chandeliers, high ceilings, original detailing, curated art selections, and luxurious bespoke fabrics throughout," according to a rental listing.

It has a foyer, a king-sized master bedroom with en suite bathroom, and a living-dining room, the listing adds.Because it's an apartment inside a hotel, there's also a 24-hour concierge, twice-daily maid service, and access to the hotel's chauffeur-driven Jaguar XJ. Plus, it comes with a professionally-trained butler.

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Wall Street Edges Higher, Brings Market to Record

Wall Street Edges Higher, Brings Market to Record

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Stocks edged higher in trading on Monday after markets took Presidents' Day off.The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished the session on Tuesday at 18,047.58, up 28.23 from its open. The Nasdaq also finished up 5.43 to close at 4,899.27. The S&P 500 rose by 3.35 points to close at 2,100.34, a new record. Apple shares rose on Tuesday, after reports the computer company may be developing an electric car to compete with Tesla and the big three automakers. The slowly growing housing market hit a speed bump this month. The National Association of Home Builders released its builder sentiment survey on Tuesday, showing contractors confidence dropped  slightly.This winter’s brutal weather has slowed homebuilding across much of the nation.

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Wall Street Edges Higher, Brings Market to Record

Wall Street Edges Higher, Brings Market to Record

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Stocks edged higher in trading on Monday after markets took Presidents' Day off.The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished the session on Tuesday at 18,047.58, up 28.23 from its open. The Nasdaq also finished up 5.43 to close at 4,899.27. The S&P 500 rose by 3.35 points to close at 2,100.34, a new record. Apple shares rose on Tuesday, after reports the computer company may be developing an electric car to compete with Tesla and the big three automakers. The slowly growing housing market hit a speed bump this month. The National Association of Home Builders released its builder sentiment survey on Tuesday, showing contractors confidence dropped  slightly.This winter’s brutal weather has slowed homebuilding across much of the nation.

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Gas Prices On The Rise

Gas Prices On The Rise

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The national average for a gallon of regular gas is $2.27, up eight cents from a week ago, but still $1.11 lower than this time last year, according to the Department of Energy. Gas prices typically rise at this time of year because of refinery maintenance. Another reason for higher gas prices may be a slight rise in the oil prices in recent days. Oil and gas prices are still considerably lower than they have been in recent years and are expected to stay around those lower levels.

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Gas Prices On The Rise

Gas Prices On The Rise

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The national average for a gallon of regular gas is $2.27, up eight cents from a week ago, but still $1.11 lower than this time last year, according to the Department of Energy. Gas prices typically rise at this time of year because of refinery maintenance. Another reason for higher gas prices may be a slight rise in the oil prices in recent days. Oil and gas prices are still considerably lower than they have been in recent years and are expected to stay around those lower levels.

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Hello Barbie: Internet Connected Doll Can Have Conversations

Hello Barbie: Internet Connected Doll Can Have Conversations

Mattel(NEW YORK) -- Mattel unveiled "Hello Barbie" on Tuesday, an Internet-connected version of the popular doll that is able to carry on a conversation with her owner using WiFi and a partnering app.The high-tech makeover of the doll was done in collaboration with ToyTalk, a San Francisco-based entertainment company."Hello Barbie is the first fashion doll that features continuous learning to develop a unique relationship with you," Mattel said in a statement.Mattel's Barbie, perhaps the most iconic doll of the past five and a half decades, has come in life-size form. She's also starred in animated movies and even her own work out video, but Hello Barbie is the closest she has ever come to talking with her owner.The $74.99 doll will be available this fall and includes the ability to play interactive games with Barbie and let her tell jokes and stories.Hello Barbie is also a good listener and is able to adapt over time to her owner's preferences. The doll's content is also able to be updated.

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Sony Releases Google Glass Alternative

Sony Releases Google Glass Alternative

Sony(NEW YORK) -- With Google back at the drawing board for Glass, Sony has seized the opportunity by releasing its own version of augmented reality glasses.Perhaps the biggest difference between both pairs of futuristic eyewear is the price. At $840, Sony's developer version of its SmartEyeglass is about half the price Google Glass was sold for until sales were halted in January.The group behind Glass announced a reorganization and plans to re-imagine the next iteration of the product, which had been dogged by everything from privacy concerns to a perceived dorkiness.A Sony spokesperson did not immediately respond to ABC News' request for comment. In an email to PCWorld, a Sony spokesperson said the company chose to release the developer's version now because "as a hands-free device, SmartEyeglass can be a promising product with many practical uses.""But since we recognize the need to explore applications at this stage, we're releasing this developer edition," the spokesperson said.While Sony's offering is a relative bargain compared to the first edition of Glass, there are similarities between the two that Sony will have to overcome.Like Glass, the thick-rimmed SmartEyeglass can be worn at all times as they superimpose images into the wearer's field of view, however they're no more aesthetically appealing than Glass.Sony is marketing the glasses to many workplace use cases, such as getting hands-free assembly instructions before your eyes -- something that could benefit mechanics. However, the company has also touted entertainment uses, such as getting sports stats in real-time while the wearer enjoys a baseball game.While Google integrated its full functionality into the eyewear, SmartEyeglass has an extra controller component that provides touch navigation and allows users to speak commands into it.Perhaps the biggest issue Google Glass was a concern for privacy. The recording capability of the eyewear led to it being banned in many locations, including some movie theaters, restaurants, strip clubs and bars.It remained unclear what, if anything, Sony would do to knock down the biggest barrier Glass faced.SmartEyeGlass uses Bluetooth to connect to a user's Android apps -- including the camera, according to a video on Sony's website demonstrating the glasses.

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Why Scannable App Will Make You Want to Throw Everything Away

Why Scannable App Will Make You Want to Throw Everything Away

Photodisc/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Need to clean up your desk? There's an app for that.Scannable, an iOS app from the team behind digital work space app Evernote, aims to help people de-clutter their lives by creating a digital catalog."Without you having to spend lots of time sorting through documents and figuring out what to keep and what to get rid of, you can scan the most important things and make them searchable and recycle the paper when you're done," Joshua Zerkel, a director at Evernote and a certified professional organizer, told ABC News.Users simply have to open the app and hold the scanner over a document they want to capture. Scannable will automatically crop it and enhance the scan before depositing it in an easily searchable database.Ronda Scott, director of communications for Evernote, told ABC News that the app lets users have full control of their digital lives without worrying that they could inadvertently be shared with someone else.After scanning a document, "you decide where it goes," she said. "You can send it to Evernote, Dropbox. You can send it to several different services. It's not being shared anywhere you don't want it to be shared explicitly."

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