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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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Visit Ithaca Throws in the Towel on Tourism, Temporarily

Visit Ithaca Throws in the Towel on Tourism, Temporarily

iStock/Thinkstock(ITHACA, N.Y.) -- It appears the people charged with enticing travelers to Ithaca, New York, have thrown in the towel.VisitIthaca.com has decided to direct all people to its website to "visit The Florida Keys this week."A pop-up photo of palm trees complete with a link to a Florida Keys tourism site reads:

That's it. We surrender. Winter, you win. Key West anyone?Due to this ridiculously stupid winter, Ithaca invites you to visit The Florida Keys this week. Please come back when things thaw out. Really, it's for the birds here now. (Still want to Visit Ithaca? Are you sure? Ok, click here.)P.S. Send us a postcard.

Director of the Visitors Bureau Bruce Stoff said, "We just reached the breaking point this last weekend. The skiing is great now, the best Ithaca has had in years, but we don't blame people for dreaming of palm trees."When he contacted people at the Keys website to which the Ithaca site links, Stoff said, they were "taken aback.""They didn't really take us seriously," he said.But Stoff was quite serious and changed the Visit Ithaca site Sunday evening. And the idea to tell people to stay away from the destination has resulted in far more attention than the destination's used to getting in the winter months.Temperatures in Ithaca this week will dip into the single digits. The Keys? Tuesday's high is 76."Come see us when we thaw out," Stoff said.

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Car Shortages Possible Amid West Coast Seaports Labor Dispute

Car Shortages Possible Amid West Coast Seaports Labor Dispute

iStock/Thinkstock(SAN FRANCISCO) -- U.S. businesses are already feeling the pinch from the West Coast seaports dispute. And now, consumers might be next. Unless there’s a breakthrough soon, car shortages are possible. Honda has already ordered a production slowdown at its U.S. and Canadian plants because of a shortage of parts from Asia. Employers say backlogs of cargo at over two dozen ports from Southern California to Seattle are because of a worker slowdown. The workers' union, meanwhile, says there are issues with the supply chain.The White House has stepped in to help resolve the dispute, which has disrupted billions of dollars in trade. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez is scheduled to talk to shipping businesses and labor union officials on Tuesday.

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Tax Tip: Filing Electronically vs. by Mail

Tax Tip: Filing Electronically vs. by Mail

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Want to receive your tax return faster? This might be the year to consider switching to electronic filing.Internal Revenue Service spokesman Eric Smith says agency budget cuts could cause delays for taxpayers who file through the mail. "Paper return processing is going to take longer this year," Smith notes.If you file the old-fashioned way, you could have to wait seven weeks for your refund, while e-filers could see refunds in just 21 days."The fastest way to be able to file your return and get your refund is to file electronically," says H&R Block's Kathy Pickering, "and then take your refund as an electronic deposit into your bank account or onto a prepaid debit card."The IRS says they're seeing fewer paper filings, with as many as 80 percent of taxpayers now filing online.

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Presidents Day: How Uber Riders in DC Got to Cruise Like Obama on Monday

Presidents Day: How Uber Riders in DC Got to Cruise Like Obama on Monday

Uber(WASHINGTON) -- Uber riders in the nation’s capital got a Presidents Day treat Monday when they logged on to the app: In honor of the holiday, the ride service offered Washingtonians the chance to cruise around town just like the president.By selecting the “Ubercade” option, riders (along with up to three of their closest “advisers”) could summon their own personal motorcade, consisting of a Cadillac STS escorted by two Suburbans (adorned with U.S. flags) with the entourage completed by Uber “Secret Service” Agents, according to Uber’s D.C. blog.Of course, that’s still nothing compared to Obama’s motorcade, where two or three marked police cars take the lead and flank the president. The president also rides in an armored stretch sedan with bulletproof glass and tinted windows, along with two limos as decoys.Demand was “off the charts” for the limited-time service, which was priced like Uber's most discounted ride and ended at 3 p.m., according to Uber. But the lucky Beltway customers who snagged an Ubercade naturally took to social media to show it off.

Yep. Feeling presidential. My motorcade has arrived. #Ubercade pic.twitter.com/Q4uTnRK9So

— David Brown (@davidclbrown) February 16, 2015

Felt important this morning in our UberCADE. We even had @Uber Secret Service agents! #OnlyAtGW #PresidentsDay pic.twitter.com/uRDRO6RMEr

— Ian Tang (@iantangprvte) February 16, 2015

This is the third year Beltway residents could ride like POTUS. Ubercades were also available at two different events in November: the G-20 Summit in Brisbane, Australia, and Gov. Bruce Rauner’s inauguration in Springfield, Illinois.Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Short and Sweet Seen as Key to Startup Success

Short and Sweet Seen as Key to Startup Success

Oli Scarff/Getty Images(CAMBRIDGE, Mass.) -- What causes so few startups in Silicon Valley to grow and prosper and 90 percent of them to wither away on the vine?It certainly has to do with more than dumb luck, as Scott Stern, Massachusetts Institute of Technology study author, and his team, analyzed the success and failure of startups in Menlo Park, Mountain View and Palo Alto.The benchmark for success was whether a firm either achieved an IPO or was acquired six months after being created.After analyzing data for a 10-year period that went as far back as when the companies were first founded, Stern and his colleagues learned three important points, one being the fairly obvious fact that operating in a region linked with "high quality" ventures was certainly an advantage.However, the other two things that stood out seemed almost trivial. The more successful firms tended to be those with names containing three or fewer words and businesses not named after the founder.This would explain a study from the career site TheLadder in which workers make higher salaries at places with shorter first names. Stern goes on to say, "Firms are looking for names that are easy to remember, that will come up in a search. If you have a smaller number of letters and you’re missing a vowel, you will have that distinctive search pattern."However, Stern says what separates the winners from the losers has to do a bit more than with just names and locations. He adds, "It's that ambitious startups with ambitious founders tend to do the things that the ultimately successful companies do...so that those choices make sense in their overall business plan."Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Nutella Founder, Michele Ferrero, Dies at 89

Nutella Founder, Michele Ferrero, Dies at 89

iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Michele Ferrero, the richest man in Italy, passed away over the weekend.While his name may not be all that familiar to Americans, one of his company's products will ring a bell: Nutella.The Ferrero Group also makes Tic-Tacs, Ferrero-Rocher chocolates and Kinder eggs.Forbes ranked Ferrero and his family 30th on their list of the richest people in the world. The magazine described him as the "richest candyman on the planet."The Times of London reports that Ferrero died at home in Monaco "after months of illness." He was 89.Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Why FAA Drone Regulations Are a Blow to Amazon

Why FAA Drone Regulations Are a Blow to Amazon

Robert Mandel/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Amazon won't let the Federal Aviation Administration kill its dream of a drone delivery service, despite new proposals released over the weekend that seem to shoot down the e-commerce giant's aerial ambitions. The FAA released a set of proposals on Sunday for commercial drone operations, but with several caveats that would keep Amazon Prime Air from become a reality. Operators of commercial drones must keep the devices in their eyesight and not fly over crowds of people, according to the FAA proposals. While the rules could take as long as two years to be adopted, they seem to be a significant roadblock on Amazon's plans to create a drone delivery network that CEO Jeff Bezos has said he hopes will one day be as common as seeing a mail truck. "Based on the proposal, even then those rules wouldn't allow Prime Air to operate in the United States," Paul Misener, vice president of global public policy at Amazon, said in a statement to ABC News. "The FAA needs to begin and expeditiously complete the formal process to address the needs of our business, and ultimately our customers. We are committed to realizing our vision for Prime Air and are prepared to deploy where we have the regulatory support we need," he said. Amazon has conducting drone tests inside one of its Washington state facilities and has been lobbying the FAA to receive approval to fly the aircraft outdoors, moving it one step closer to its dream on a drone network that delivers packages in 30 minutes or less.

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Tax Tip: Minimizing Taxes on Retirement Funds

Tax Tip: Minimizing Taxes on Retirement Funds

Mackon/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Taxes may eat up more of your retirement savings than you anticipated -- but there may be ways to deal with that. "It's very important to realize that when you retire, your taxes may very well go up," said Tom Wheelwright, CEO and founder of CPA firm ProVision. "You don't have your business deductions. You don't have your employment deductions," Wheelwright said. "If you're really lucky, your kids have moved out. Right? And so you don't have them as dependents, and you may have paid off your house ... so you have a lot fewer deductions." A little extra planning can go a long way toward reducing your post-retirement tax liability. Internal Revenue Service spokesman Eric Smith said enrolling in a Roth IRA or a company 401k may be the answer -- particularly a Roth IRA, which, unlike a 401K, includes funds that already have been taxed. "What you're essentially doing is putting in money up front," Smith said. "You're not getting a tax deduction, but the money grows tax free. And if you withdraw it properly, it's tax free."

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GM Recalling Nearly 70,000 Vehicles in US

GM Recalling Nearly 70,000 Vehicles in US

decisiveimages/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- General Motors is recalling nearly 70,000 vehicles in the United States due to a power steering problem.According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the recall is an expansion of a previous recall related to Cheverolt Malibu, Malibu Maxx and Pontiac G6 vehicles from the 2006 and 2007 model years. These vehicles, the NHTSA says, "may experience a sudden loss of power steering assist." The issue, caused by minor damage to an electrical terminal during assembly insertion, could happen at any time.The agency notes that if power steering assist is lost, steering control would be maintained, but "would require greater driver effort at low vehicle speeds." The issue could increase the risk of a crash. Dealers will be advised to replace the assembly and reimburse owners for repairs.

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Researchers Offer Tips to Improve Your Twitter Skills

Researchers Offer Tips to Improve Your Twitter Skills

manaemedia/iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Researchers have found a handful of ways that can improve your Twitter skills and garner more retweets.According to a study conducted by researchers at Cornell University, there are a handful of tricks you can use to improve your odds of getting retweeted. Among their findings, tweets that ask others to share, including the words "retweet," "spread," and "please" or using more detail and/or numbers to be informative are more likely to be passed along by Twitter users.The researchers also found that popular messages imitated news headlines, used words described as emotionally strong -- positively or negatively -- and using easier-to-read words could increase your retweet rate.The researchers also created a website where users can input two tweets on the same subject, written differently, to determine which is more likely to be retweeted.

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Michele Ferrero, Owner of Nutella Company and Richest Man in Italy Dead at 89

Michele Ferrero, Owner of Nutella Company and Richest Man in Italy Dead at 89

Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Michele Ferrero, the owner of the company that makes Nutella, as well as Tic-Tacs, Ferrero-Rocher chocolates and Kinder eggs died on Saturday at the age of 89.The landing page on the Ferrero website on Sunday read simply "we are proud of you. Thank you Michele." Ferrero, a billionaire, was described by Forbes as the "richest candyman on the planet." The Times in London reports that Ferrero died at home in Monaco "after months of illness."The Ferrero Group is currently run by Giovanni Ferrero, Michele's son.

Forbes ranked Ferrero and his family 30th on their list of the richest people in the world. He was also ranked the richest person in Italy.

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Brands Celebrate Valentine’s Day on Twitter

Brands Celebrate Valentine’s Day on Twitter

seewhatmitchsee/iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- On Valentine's Day Saturday, a number of brands took to Twitter to offer their take on the love-filled day.

Hershey's told gift-givers to add a flavorful touch to top off their Valentine's present.

 

Add one last touch of sweetness to your Valentine's gift. pic.twitter.com/xThscLOisO

— HERSHEY'S KISSES (@HersheysKisses) February 13, 2015

 

Dunkin' Donuts recommended a sweet treat and a latte as part of Saturday's festivities.

 

The best love stories start with lattes. Happy Valentine’s Day! 😍 #BeMine pic.twitter.com/iR77wx5P9W

— Dunkin' Donuts (@DunkinDonuts) February 14, 2015

 

 

Send your valentine something sweet. Happy #ValentinesDay! https://t.co/fp9tnnJ5lG

— Dunkin' Donuts (@DunkinDonuts) February 14, 2015

 

On the donut front, Krispy Kreme agreed that donuts are the way to go.

 

Happy Valentines Day! #XOXOKrispyKreme pic.twitter.com/Zy5JZMfueq

— krispykreme (@krispykreme) February 14, 2015

 

Starbucks spent the day tweeting romantic poems.

 

Roses are red, Violets are blue, Coffee that needs sugar, Has never met you.

— Starbucks Coffee (@Starbucks) February 14, 2015

 

 

Your love is more tingly, Than anything I’ve ever felt. Coffee warms the heart, But you make me melt.

— Starbucks Coffee (@Starbucks) February 14, 2015

 

 

Sugar & cream, A stir or two, Coffee makes me smile, But never like you.

— Starbucks Coffee (@Starbucks) February 14, 2015

 

DiGiorno's Pizza made their thoughts clear, go with something savory, not sweet.

 

🍕 > 🌷

— DiGiorno Pizza (@DiGiornoPizza) February 14, 2015

 

KFC chimed in with its definition of true love. Sharing really is caring.

 

True love is splitting the last 2 Popcorn Nuggets. #ValentinesDay pic.twitter.com/l3JY4MYngx

— KFC (@kfc) February 14, 2015

 

Intel sent tweets to both Microsoft and Dell proclaiming their strong feelings.

 

We need 1080p to show our feelings for you. Happy Valentine’s Day @Microsoft pic.twitter.com/Hm6N63sjYF

— Intel (@intel) February 14, 2015

 

 

Our feelings for you are immeasureable. Happy Valentine’s Day @Dell pic.twitter.com/nhyqC5GbBD

— Intel (@intel) February 14, 2015

 

Oreo recommended its new flavor, red velvet, in time for the special day.

 

There’s something in the air…it might be this flavor. Check it out. #RedVelvetOreo flavored cookies #ValentinesDay https://t.co/uzFbtgzsYk

— Oreo Cookie (@Oreo) February 14, 2015

 

Charmin's message was very open and honest, perhaps a bit too much so.

 

The best things come in 2s. #ValentinesDay #tweetfromtheseat pic.twitter.com/z8NOWp0Ors

— Charmin (@Charmin) February 14, 2015

 

Crest chipped in a tip for those hoping to enjoy a Valentine's Day kiss.

 

Reminder: You may want to rinse before your #ValentinesDay kiss! pic.twitter.com/3ZSpJUNxFH

— Crest (@Crest) February 14, 2015

Even some sports leagues got in on the action. Major League Baseball shared a cute kiss cam moment between Mr. Met and his wife, Mrs. Met, while Major League Soccer and its teams shared pun-tastic tweets featuring U.S. Men's National Team members DaMarcus Beasley and Jermaine Jones.

Celebrate your Valentine’s Day with these romantic kiss cam moments: http://t.co/oU6ewcFQrp pic.twitter.com/ip9AH3eAml

— Cut4 (@Cut4) February 14, 2015

Da 🐝🐝🐝 (cc: @DaMarcusBeasley @MLS) #SoccerGrams pic.twitter.com/EocreboOof

— Houston Dynamo (@HoustonDynamo) February 14, 2015

We're Jonesin' for some more #Soccergrams submissions: http://t.co/Ayj2z6LBsX pic.twitter.com/qXbyg7FDAB

— Major League Soccer (@MLS) February 14, 2015

For those who may not have big plans or a special date, though, Netflix feels your pain.

 

When you see all the posts about how much people love each other on #ValentinesDay. https://t.co/t81i3SnEIp

— Netflix US (@netflix) February 14, 2015

 

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YouTube Turns 10: The Moments We Never Imagined

YouTube Turns 10: The Moments We Never Imagined

Ryhor Bruyeu/iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Happy birthday, YouTube!What ballooned to become a billion dollar video sharing juggernaut and one of the most-visited websites was founded on February 14, 2005.Three of PayPal's earliest employees, Chad Hurley, Steve Chen and Jawed Karim were the masterminds behind the site and spent months building it before the first public preview in May 2005. The site made its official debut later that year.In celebration of YouTube's 10th birthday, here are ten moments we never dreamed would have been possible until YouTube came along and changed the landscape of how people watch, create and share online videos:Anyone Can Be a StarLook no further than Bethany Mota, whose beauty videos are so popular on YouTube that it landed her a spot on ABC's "Dancing With the Stars."Whether it's singing, dancing, a cooking show or pulling stunts like bathing in cereal (we're talking about you, GloZell Green) anyone with a niche can find and grow a following.

They'd Host An Interview With the PresidentMota, Green and Hank Green got the opportunity to grill President Obama last month on issues important to them and their audiences. The interview was streamed live on YouTube.

Huge Repository of VideoPeople are hungrier than ever for online video. YouTube said more than 300 hours of content is uploaded to its site every minute.Embarrassing Moments Live ForeverEveryone has a camera now making it easier than ever to capture moments on the fly -- no matter how embarrassing.Make Money From Your Home VideosThe people behind YouTube's most viral videos can take home a huge pay day thanks. Who can ever forget the adorable "Charlie bit my finger" kids?

Movie MomentsIt's insanely easy to dig up favorite moments from many old TV shows and movies.It's the New Office Water CoolerInstead of congregating around the coffee maker and water machine, we now huddle up at a colleague's computer to check out the latest cute cat video.

Learn How to Do AnythingYou can learn to do almost anything -- whether it's hair, make-up or even the proper way to open a bottle of beer.We Watch Videos on Our SmartphonesLet this marinate with your 2005 self: Half of all views on YouTube now come from mobile devices.Billion Dollar BusinessWhen Google bought YouTube for $1.65 billion in 2006, many people were wondering if the search giant had wildly overpaid for the site. Now, the website is said to be valued as high as $40 billion. Good call, Google.

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April Auction to Feature 100 Carat ‘Internally Flawless’ Diamond

April Auction to Feature 100 Carat ‘Internally Flawless’ Diamond

stocksnapper/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A 100-carat perfect diamond will be brought to auction in New York later this year.According to Sotheby's auction house, the diamond, which is classified as internally flawless, is estimated to sell for between $19 million and $25 million. The diamond "joins an elite group of just five comparable-quality diamonds over 100 carats that have ever been sold at auction worldwide."The diamond, originally bined by De Beers in southern Africa at a weight of over 200 carats, was studied, cut and polished for over a year. It will be exhibited in Dubai, Los Angeles, Hong Kong, London and Doha prior to the auction beginning on April 21.

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