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Twitter CFO Anthony Noto Suffers Apparent Account Hack

Twitter CFO Anthony Noto Suffers Apparent Account Hack

@anthonynoto/Twitter(NEW YORK) -- A Twitter executive may have just been snared by an annoying spambot. An account belonging to Twitter Chief Financial Officer Anthony Noto appeared to have been briefly compromised Tuesday. Several spam-like messages were sent to users offering a link and messages such as "OMG when did you do this?" and "This is too funny of you," to bait the user into clicking. The tweets, which are certainly uncharacteristic for Noto, were quickly deleted. "His account was sending spam Tweets. We've locked the account down and deleted the Tweets. There's no indication any account information was accessed," a Twitter spokesperson told ABC News. It's not the first time Noto has experienced a social media snafu. In November, he accidentally tweeted what was intended to be a direct message about acquiring a company to his thousands of followers. Noto has since deleted the tweet, which was discussed on Twitter as perhaps the first ever mergers and acquisitions fail.

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Millionaire Secretly Giving Away Bottles of Wine to Unsuspecting Diners in San Francisco Area

Millionaire Secretly Giving Away Bottles of Wine to Unsuspecting Diners in San Francisco Area

Purestock/Thinkstock(SAN FRANCISCO) -- Watch out, Bay Area diners – you could be next. Or at least you can hope you’re next. A woman who has chosen to remain anonymous has been sneak attack gifting bottles of wine to unsuspecting diners in her home area of Tri Valley, California, which consists of Danville, Pleasanton, Livermore, San Ramon, Dublin, Amador, Livermore and San Ramon. She’s dubbed herself the “Secret Somm” on Twitter, where she’s been doling out hints to her whereabouts and photos of the people she’s surprised.

Grab your chopsticks, @DublinPIO. I’m headed your way! #wine #comefindme

— SecretSommCA (@SecretSommCA) February 1, 2015

“I am madly in love with this community. I’m so thankful to live here,” she told ABC News. “I just wanted to do something that married my love of this wine country with the community and make people smile and do something fun.” Visiting about 10 restaurants a weekend, the “Secret Somm” has a driver take her and a companion to multiple stops a night, and the reactions are joyful each time.

It's raining, Cellar Door is pouring! Oh what a night in @PleasantonDT @VisitTriValley pic.twitter.com/HTETHsNXZN

— SecretSommCA (@SecretSommCA) February 7, 2015

“The best one was at a restaurant in Danville. I saw a lovely couple having dinner and sent them a bottle of wine and they seemed just really amazed by it. Afterward, the waiter said the wife pulled him aside and said, ‘I can't tell you what this meant to us. My husband was laid off today, so we decided to go out and treat ourselves to a nice dinner and this happened. It was so restorative to our hearts,’” she said. “We just walked out of there on cloud 9. No way could we have planned something like that to happen, and it was much more than wine.” Some guests have asked to send a bottle of wine back as a thank you. Some restaurant owners have tried to get in on the action by not letting the “Secret Somm” pay, but she always insists.

Lovin' @livedowntown tonight! This happy group scored a bottle of @McGrailVineyard #CabernetSauvignon #cheers pic.twitter.com/wh9ZSjnEGT

— SecretSommCA (@SecretSommCA) February 1, 2015

“It’s been spiritless and really incredible,” she said. “I guarantee whatever pleasure people have gotten out of a wine I’ve given them, I’ve gotten so much more back.” So far, she’s gifted over 75 bottles of wine and spent over $4,000. As a woman who made millions in the tech industry, the “Secret Somm” is thankful to, “have the luxury to do this,” she said. While she only plans to continue through Valentine’s Day, the “Secret Somm” hints she could be back next year.

 

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Delta Air Lines Facebook Page Suffers X-Rated Hack

Delta Air Lines Facebook Page Suffers X-Rated Hack

Delta/Facebook(NEW YORK) -- Delta Air Lines is apologizing after an X-rated post briefly appeared Tuesday afternoon on the carrier's Facebook page. While the carrier usually posts about its destinations, a lewd message and link with a reference to a sexual act were added at the top of the page, which has more than 1.4 million likes. In a statement posted to Facebook, Delta apologized for the "objectionable and offensive content that was posted on our Facebook page earlier." "With help from Facebook we were able to remove the unauthorized content shortly after it posted. Delta is investigating the source of the hack. No other social media platforms were affected," the statement said.

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Robust Earnings Lift Wall Street

Robust Earnings Lift Wall Street

r_drewek/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Stocks moved higher on Tuesday, in part due to robust earnings reports.The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished the session on Tuesday at 17,868.76, up 139.55 from its open. The Nasdaq also finished up 61.63 to close at 4,787.65. The S&P 500 rose by 21.85 points to close at 2,068.59.Coca-Cola stock rose after the company reported a better than expected quarter profit on Tuesday.General Motors also revved up its stock price, after an activist investor said he'd seek a seat on the company's board and push for a stock buyback. Harry Wilson disclosed his plan in a meeting with GM CEO Mary Barra last week.  He represents investors who own more than two percent of the company. Kraft Foods is making a big change in its popular Capri Sun drink products.  The company is replacing high-fructose corn syrup with sugar, a move that will reduce the calories from 60 per pack to 50.

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Luggage Company Kicks Off Charity Program to Put Old Bags to Good Use

Luggage Company Kicks Off Charity Program to Put Old Bags to Good Use

Igor Terekhov/Hemera/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A leading luggage company is going to make your old bags do good.Starting Feb. 13, Briggs & Riley will accept your gently used rolling bag at 200 locations around the nation and make sure it gets to someone in need in local communities.Called "A Case for Giving," the company's new program works with more than 100 charitable organizations, including Ronald McDonald House in New York, Atlanta and Denver.“Luggage is very much needed by many organizations such as foster homes, battered women’s shelters, and organizations like local Ronald McDonald House chapters," said Richard Krulik, CEO of Briggs & Riley.The idea for the program, Krulik said, came out of conversations with foster care leaders. The bags could help a child who needs a bag to leave foster care or a family traveling to care for a loved one who is sick.Bring your used bag to one of these locations between Feb. 13 and March 1 and get a $100 credit on a new Briggs & Riley bag if you donate a used Briggs & Riley bag and a $50 credit on a new Briggs & Riley bag if you donate a used bag from another brand.

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Manufacturers Fail to Use Social Media for Recall Safety, Report Says

Manufacturers Fail to Use Social Media for Recall Safety, Report Says

MicroWorks/iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Manufacturers of consumer products who use social media to promote their wares to tens of thousands of Americans are failing to use that same online power to protect customers from potentially dangerous recalled products, a consumer watchdog has found.A majority of companies who have been involved in children’s product recalls have a Facebook page, but the consumer group Kids in Danger said in a new report that less than a quarter of those companies actually use the Facebook accounts to tell their followers when it may not be safe for the products to be in homes.Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, who has backed stronger children’s product safety laws in her state, said it is “absolutely critical” for parents to be educated about recalls.“Manufacturers are not doing enough to inform consumers about recalls,” Madigan said Monday.The finding about Facebook pages was part of a Kids in Danger report, announced Monday, that said that while fewer children are being killed or injured by recalled products, the percentage of faulty products that are properly returned under the current recall system is abysmally low.As an in-depth ABC News investigation found in November, the government considers recovering 20 percent of recalled products a “good” recall. Sometimes, the return rate is as low as 5 percent -- meaning a vast majority of potentially dangerous products may still be lurking in American homes or on store shelves.The failure by manufacturers to alert consumers, including through social media, was a focus of criticism from Elliot Kaye, the head of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.“I think some of them are certainly putting far more effort into sales than they are on the recall side. We definitely see that,” Kaye told ABC News for its original report. “What we see is there’s a quick hit on the recall side, it’s relatively narrow. They don’t use all their resources. They don’t use all their creativity. They don’t use all their social media channels to be able to do this, and that’s what we’re asking for.”A spokeswoman for the Juvenile Product Manufacturers Association said in a statement that it promotes “best practices” such as in-store notifications, the use of social media and direct notification to consumers through product registration cards. The industry group represents 250 companies in the United States, Canada and Mexico that manufacture, import and distribute infant products.“JPMA and its members are committed to utilizing this effective means of recall notification and regularly...educate and inform parents and caregivers of the importance of filling out product registration cards to receive direct notification of product recalls," the group said.There is no specific requirement under federal law for how much effort manufacturers must make to get the word out about recalls.In addition, some product resale websites, critics say, don’t do enough to make sure recalled products are stripped from their listings.“It’s a continuing struggle,” says Nancy Cowles, executive director of Kids in Danger, which released its own report Monday in Chicago. “The Internet is a slippery place to try to find people selling things.”The KID report also found:

Since the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008, injuries and deaths to children related to current recalls have dropped. In 2014, the number of injuries reported prior to a recall dropped to 29, a dramatic drop from the 196 reported in 2013 and the 657 in 2007. Of the products recalled by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission in 2014, 25 percent were children’s products. Clothing recalls made up the largest portion of those recalls. Most recalled children’s products -- almost 80 percent of them -- remain in consumers’ hands.

Kids in Danger has a free mobile app for parents to use to check for recalls in stores, at consignment shops or at home (go to www.kidsindanger.org using your mobile device to install it). Recalls info can also be found at CPSC.gov and SaferProducts.gov.

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How to Know if You’re Financially Compatible with Your Partner

How to Know if You’re Financially Compatible with Your Partner

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- To help prevent inevitable arguments about money and have better financial compatibility, there's one painless thing couples can do together."One of the things I talk about is a financial date night," said Jeff Motske, certified financial planner and author of the upcoming book The Couple's Guide to Financial Compatability."It might sound boring and unromantic, but it’s not about portfolios. Instead, it's about goals and reviewing some of your finances, such as whether you want to take a vacation. It’s a great way to start conversations," he said.Motske, 48, said that a couple can lessen the arguing by talking about their financial compatibility -- over dinner, a bottle of wine or even a cup of coffee and dessert.His book begins with a 34-question financial compatibility quiz to establish how each partner views money-related topics and priorities.Motkse and his wife of 20 years have a monthly financial date night scheduled into their traditional weekly date nights. The second tip Motske offers couples to create financial compatibility is to create a basic budget."Try not to make it too complicated -- that’s the biggest issue. Getting the core expenses down is a big step," he said.Couples can plug in answers to Motske's quiz on his website warofthewallets.com to get a compatibility score.

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Parents Are Crowd-Funding Their Kids’ Birthday Parties

Parents Are Crowd-Funding Their Kids’ Birthday Parties

Elena Schweitzer/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Depending on who you ask, it's either the smartest way to throw a birthday party on a budget or it's the worst possible representation of keeping up with the Joneses. Either way, it's a real thing: Parents are using crowd funding to pay for kids' birthday parties.One such fundraiser on GoFundMe reads: "My pumpkins 2nd birthday is coming around faster than i could ever imagine. I managed to throw an amazing 1st birthday for [name omitted] and would like to follow through with an amazing 2nd birthday for my blue eyed princess!!. . due to a series of unfourtunate [sic] events in our lives recently money is tight. . every dollar helps!! thank you in advance for any donations made <3"“Crowd funding is in the air and on the news, so moms -- along with everyone else -- are more aware of the idea,” said Rebecca Michals, director of BabyCenter’s global community. BabyCenter's parenting experts spotted the trend of crowd-funding kids' parties.The number of birthday-related campaigns within the "Celebrations & Special Events" category on GoFundMe has "skyrocketed," according to a site official. Since the company launch in 2010, nearly $1 million has been raised for birthday celebrations from more than 20,000 donors. There was a 330 percent increase in donation volume for birthday campaigns between 2013 and 2014.“Social media has an influence," said Michals. "Some moms see photos of their friends giving their children amazing birthdays and holidays and just want that for their own child. While it’s not a sure thing that donations will come rolling in, moms feel that it can’t hurt to try. There is also some sense of what goes around, comes around. ...If you give to my child’s birthday party, I’ll give back to yours.”The idea of crowd-funded birthday parties has it's critics."It ridiculous," said Lyss Stern, CEO and founder of Divamoms.com. "There is no reason to put yourself in debt or ask other people to pay for a birthday party.""Children want to be surrounded with their friends and family, smiling and laughing on their birthday," said Stern. "They don't care if the party had all the bells and whistles. They will cherish the happy memories not the excessiveness."

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Samsung Clarifies Privacy Policy: What Your Smart TV Can Really Hear

Samsung Clarifies Privacy Policy: What Your Smart TV Can Really Hear

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- A warning in Samsung's privacy policy to not discuss sensitive information around voice-recognizing smart televisions left many consumers wondering if they had inadvertently welcomed a spy into their living room.Samsung on Tuesday clarified its policy to explain that its smart televisions are not continuously monitoring conversations.The company said in a blog post it will "collect your interactive voice commands only when you make a specific search request to the Smart TV by clicking the activation button either on the remote control or on your screen and speaking into the microphone on the remote control."Some commands may also be sent to Nuance Communications, a third-party service that helps translate the commands to the television, such as recommending a sci-fi movie to watch or switching to a certain channel.Samsung said its smart TVs have an embedded microphone inside the device and another inside the remote control, into which viewers can speak their commands."This interaction works like most any other voice recognition service available on other products including smartphones and tablets," Samsung said.The previous policy warned consumers to "please be aware that if your spoken words include personal or other sensitive information, that information will be among the data captured and transmitted to a third party through your use of Voice Recognition."The warning drew comparisons to George Orwell's dystopian novel 1984. Parker Higgins, an activist with the nonprofit Electronic Frontier Foundation, pointed out on Twitter the similarities between the two.Customers who are still worried about a potential spy lurking in their living room can easily disable voice recognition in the settings menu of their device.

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How Apple Pay Works in JetBlue’s Skies

How Apple Pay Works in JetBlue’s Skies

JetBlue(NEW YORK) -- Apple Pay and JetBlue's new Inflight Service Assistant unveiled on Tuesday may be what JetBlue needs when it comes to differentiating itself from legacy carriers that pile fees on passengers.JetBlue announced that it's the first major domestic carrier to offer Apple Pay in the sky, allowing passengers to make quick on-board purchases for food or amenities.Last November, JetBlue announced that it was eliminating free checked bags on some flights, surprising customers who were swayed by JetBlue's longstanding free policy. Southwest is now the only domestic airline to let all fliers check at least one bag free of charge.JetBlue flights have been cashless since 2007, but the company hopes Apple Pay and other in-flight experiences will woo customers.Here's how it works: Customers with an iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and soon Apple Watch simply hold their phone in front of a crew member. Apple Pay uses NFC technology and works without a Wi-Fi connection. A JetBlue flight attendant will then use a mobile card reader to complete the transaction.JetBlue's free Fly-Fi broadband Internet that uses satellite technology is available on most JetBlue planes and the company says it's working to expand the service to the rest of its fleet. Basic Web browsing through Simply Surf is free while JetBlue's service is in beta testing but a high-bandwidth plan, for uses such as movie streaming, is available for purchase.Along with JetBlue's use of Apple Pay, the airline announced a new app used by flight attendants called the Inflight Service Assistant. More than 3,500 crew members will each carry an iPad mini with access to the customer manifest and updated flight data, pushed wirelessly. The company touts it as a way to provide a "more personalized onboard experience," including wishing a customer a happy birthday and offering flight and connecting gate information.

JetBlue says it is awaiting Federal Aviation Administration approval so in-flight crew members will no longer have to carry a bulky flight attendant manual.Neal Dihora, an analyst with Morningstar who doesn't cover JetBlue, said the airline's move to improve convenience for customers has been a winning business strategy that supplements selling plane tickets."Airlines have been using information technology to show premium seats and packages and that has helped ancillary sales," Dihora said. "I see this as a similar advancement or convenience."

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Home Depot to Hire 80,000 Workers for Spring

Home Depot to Hire 80,000 Workers for Spring

phillyskater/iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(ATLANTA) -- It may be snowy and cold in many parts of the country but things are warming up at Home Depot.The Atlanta-based home improvement retailer announced on Tuesday that it is beginning to hire thousands of temporary workers in time for spring."We've actually begun our push to hire 80,000 seasonal employees for our stores," Home Depot spokesperson Stephen Holmes told ABC News Radio. "Spring is our busiest time of the year -- in fact, we kind of call spring our Christmas." Holmes said the positions range from cashiers to lawn associates to working outside in the garden center. He added that some of these new hires will have the chance to continue working for Home Depot after the season ends."When people come on for a seasonal assignment that typically lasts 90 days, about half of these hires typically stay on with the company," Holmes said.

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Tax Tip: Should You Take the Standard Deduction or Itemize?

Tax Tip: Should You Take the Standard Deduction or Itemize?

Mackon/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- When filing your tax return, is it better to take the standard deduction, or to itemize?"I would hope that most people itemize," says Tom Wheelwright, founder of the CPA firm ProVision. "My guess is a lot of people take the standard deduction.""It's a really easy calculation, though, because you add up your itemized deductions and if they're more than your standard deduction, you take itemized deductions," he adds.Wheelwright's guess is right: more than 60 percent of taxpayers take the standard deduction. But why?"Most people don't itemize, particularly young people just starting jobs. They don't have enough qualified expenses to itemize, so they take the standard deduction," explains Kevin McCormally, of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine.If you own a home, however, that unlocks the door for itemizing."Once you can claim your homeowners insurance and mortgage deduction, you can also itemize your charitable deductions, the medical expenses if you had a lot, personal property tax on your car,” says Kathy Pickering, executive director of The Tax Institute at H&R Block.

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By and Large, American Taxpayers Are Honest

By and Large, American Taxpayers Are Honest

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- At this time of year, there are just three certainties: winter, Valentine's Day and holding off on doing your taxes.According to the IRS Oversight Board's taxpayer attitude survey, Americans are pretty honest when it comes to filing -- at least most of them are.USA Today reports that 1.6 million people will cheat on their taxes annually, which seems like an awful lot, although that's out of an estimated 130 million people who file. The survey says 12 percent of Americans believe it's okay to fudge numbers a little bit, while about one in four of this particular group believe it's perfectly fine to cheat "as much as possible."Meanwhile, 86 percent of respondents to the IRS survey contend that it's not at all okay to be a tax cheat, while 93 percent either mostly or completely agree that anyone who cheats should be held accountable for trying to stiff Uncle Sam.Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Gas Prices Increase Rapidly

Gas Prices Increase Rapidly

photographereddie/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- It began last week when gas prices started inching up, now they are increasingly rapidly.In the past week, the price of regular unleaded has increased over 12 cents a gallon nationwide to $2.91 a gallon, according to new numbers released on Monday from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.Prices are up 15 cents along the West Coast.  Drivers across the country are still paying about $1.12 cents less per gallon than a year ago at this time, but it's the first big increase in gas prices in months.

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Wall Street Suffers Losses over Global Economy Worries

Wall Street Suffers Losses over Global Economy Worries

JaysonPhotography/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Energy stocks rose on Monday, but not by enough to counter drops elsewhere over worries about the global economy.The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished the session on Monday at 17,729.21, down 95.08 from its open. The Nasdaq finished down by 18.39 to close at 4,726. 01. The S&P 500 also fell, dropping 8.73 points to close at 2,046.74.Stocks closed lower on weak trade data out of China, and additional worries over Greece’s finances. Energy stocks bucked the downward trend, edging slightly higher as investors responded to a two percent increase in the price of oil to $52.86 a barrel on the N.Y. Mercantile Exchange.A major trade deal announced on Monday will have European beef sold in the U.S. for the first time since the 1998 ban because of mad cow disease.

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Why LG Is Giving Away This Virtual Reality Headset

Why LG Is Giving Away This Virtual Reality Headset

LG(NEW YORK) -- Virtual reality has hit the mainstream in a huge way. LG announced on Monday that it will give away a Google Cardboard-inspired headset to every customer who purchases a new LG G3 smartphone. The simplistic goggles are designed to mount to the smartphone, giving users access to virtual reality-compatible apps and games on their Android operating system. Google shared its own decidedly low-tech approach to making a virtual reality headset using a piece of cardboard last June. Called Google Cardboard, the simple goggles turn Android devices into basic 3-D headsets. While LG said its virtual reality goggles are inspired by Google's Cardboard, the new headset does not require any "do if yourself" work and simply mounts into the phone. It also includes a magnetic gyroscope sensor that allows the viewer to scroll without having to touch the display. “While still in its infancy, this is just the beginning of the virtual reality movement which until recently was expensive and inaccessible to everyday consumers,” Chris Yie, vice president and head of marketing communications for LG, said in a statement. “By leveraging Google Cardboard, not only are regular consumers able to participate in the VR experience, we’ll be able to introduce this technology to future developers who may one day show us how VR can be used to improve our lives.” The virtual reality experience is expected to be available this month in select market, along with another perk -- a free download of the virtual reality game Robobliteration.

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OnePlus: Why Smartphone Start-Up Is Changing Its Invitation Policy

OnePlus: Why Smartphone Start-Up Is Changing Its Invitation Policy

One Plus(NEW YORK) -- Smartphone maker OnePlus is easing its invitation only policy to allow new customers the opportunity to get their hands on its devices.Getting a hold of the company's flagship OnePlus One smartphone over the past year has required an invitation, leaving some would-be customers shut out of the exclusive club.While the invitation system will still remain intact, the company said in a blog post Monday that it will host invitation-free sales on its website every Tuesday."Although we have an active and supportive fanbase, a lot of people have interest in the One but have told us that it’s just too difficult to buy," the blog post said.The Chinese company, which began at the end of 2013, has used the invite-only system not to establish exclusivity but to instead help keep costs down and pass the savings onto consumers."The overall amount of available invites has increased significantly, but we've also held pre-order and open sales events, allowing for purchases without the need for an invite," OnePlus said. "During these events, we have been collecting data and fine-tuning our production schedules."Both the 16GB silk white OnePlus One model and the 64 GB sandstone black will be available without an invite every Tuesday. People who take advantage of the open opportunity will still be given invitations to send to friends, who can then buy a OnePlus device on any day of the week.

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The Scary Things Hackers Can Do to Your Car

The Scary Things Hackers Can Do to Your Car

Mulecan/iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Nearly all new cars on the market include wireless technology that make drivers vulnerable to hacking or an invasion of privacy, according to a report released on Monday.The report, titled "Tracking and Hacking: Security and Privacy Gaps Put American Drivers at Risk," was released by Sen. Edward Markey, D-Mass.Markey said in his report that he wrote letters to major car manufacturers to try to determine the prevalence of technologies that are intended to improve driver safety and car performance but raise concerns about security.For the report, he used feedback from the 16 major car manufacturers who responded, including BMW, Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai and Jaguar Land Rover.As for the security concerns, one expert expressed sentiments similar to Markey's."Automobiles have become increasingly more connected, creating both opportunities as well as vulnerabilities, through wireless networks," credit security expert Adam Levin, chairman and founder of IDT911, told ABC News Monday.Though Markey and Levin didn't cite actual incidents, here are some things that hackers could do potentially with access to your car and its information:1. Car movementIn a 2013 Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) study cited by Markey, researchers used a laptop to see how they could control two cars from different manufacturers. They were able to cause the cars to "suddenly accelerate, kill the brakes, activate the horn" and more, according to the report.Levin said the frightening scenarios of thieves stealing property or exposing drivers and their children to carjacking by unlocking car doors or imprisoning them by locking the doors are within reach. He adds that exposing drivers to accidents is another malicious activity that could happen.2. Modify car indicatorsIn the same 2013 DARPA study, the researchers could also modify the speedometer and gas gauge readings and control the headlights. Last year, the same researchers analyzed the "hackability" of 21 different car models from 10 manufacturers and found varying levels of security for each car with respect to wireless entry points.Of the 16 car makers that responded to Markey’s letter, 14 provided the percentage of 2014 model year cars that have wireless entry points. Eleven of those 14 said 100 percent of their cars have wireless entry points and some cited the federal mandate for tire pressure monitoring systems as the major contributor.3. Reading dataWhile car manufacturers sometimes collect data from vehicle technologies to improve safety or the customer experience, others could access driver data for malicious purposes, the report states. The report mentions previous research that shows one can "remotely and wireless[ly] access a vehicle's network through Bluetooth connections, OnStar systems, malware in a synced Android smartphone, or a malicious file on a CD in the stereo.""While I understand that vehicle manufacturers have begun the process of exchanging threat assessments and are communicating more with transportation safety officials, it is critical that we treat this matter with urgency," Levin told ABC News.4. Finding a driver's locationMarkey refers to the increasing use of navigation or other technologies that could be used to record someone's location or driving history."A number of new services have emerged that permit the collection of a wide range of user data, providing valuable information not just to improve vehicle performance, but also potentially for commercial and law enforcement purposes," the report states.5. Disabling a carCar dealerships and navigation systems providers also use "remote disabling" to track and disable cars if drivers fall behind on payments, or if cars are stolen.Millions of these devices are on the road, including the PassTime GPS tracker that helped catch Delvin Barnes, accused last year of kidnapping Carlesha Freeland-Gaither of Philadelphia.Corinne Kirkendall, vice president of compliance and public relations for PassTime, told ABC News in November that the company requires dealers to obtain written consent from drivers acknowledging that the device is on the car and how it is used. All dealers must follow laws regulating the collection of personal information, she said.Spokesman for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers Wade Newton said the trade group hasn’t fully reviewed the report but released a statement that said, “Manufacturers today employ a variety of methods to provide consumers with clear notices of their privacy practices, including through owner’s manuals and company websites.”“Auto engineers incorporate security solutions into vehicles from the very first stages of design and production -- and security testing never stops,” Newton said in the statement.In January, the alliance, an association of 12 major manufacturers, signed on as a “Champion of Data Privacy Day 2015.”

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“Fifty Shades” of Valentine’s Day Gifts

“Fifty Shades” of Valentine’s Day Gifts

Vermont Teddy Bear(NEW YORK) -- With the Valentine's Day weekend premiere of Fifty Shades of Grey movie less than a week away, retailers and restaurants across the country are wooing fans of the bondage-theme bestsellers with seemingly endless themed products and promotions.From lingerie-shaped sugar cookies to steamy blindfolded dinner experiences, the gift options are varied, with some intended to raise temperatures and others merely raising eyebrows.Typically, toys sold in relation to feature films are connected to PG-rated children's movies.Not so with Vermont Teddy Bear Company's Fifty Shades of Grey Bear ($90). The plush stuffed animal is covered in "silky, smoky Grey fur," according to the company, with "smoldering Grey eyes, a handsome grey suit and silver tie." Lest anyone confuse this teddy with a stockbroker bear, it also comes with mini mask and handcuffs accessories.If you need a drink after reading that description, consider a bottle of Fifty Shades of Grey author E.L. James' "personally blended” bottles, titled Red Satin and White Silk ($18 each). The wines are sold online as well as through Albertsons and other nationwide retailers.

Having helped to select the lots that Mendocino Wine Company used to produce the juice, James tweeted afterward, "That was the most fun I've had with my clothes on in quite a while."Pants are required at the 19 Sullivan's Steakhouse locations around the country, but those seeking a dining experience in the spirit of characters Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele, can try a new Aphrodisiac Menu offered at the establishments now through Feb. 20. Dishes include shucked oysters ($14), a duo of filet ($42), banana bread pudding ($9) and an "In the Grey" violet cocktail ($14) -- all served as the diner is blindfolded with a silver necktie.If you're looking for more of a laugh with a girlfriend than a lustful evening with a partner, the limited edition “Sweet Surrender” Cookie Collection ($50) by Eleni's NY offers just the right tone. Featuring cookies shaped as different icons inspired by the books and film, such as the Seattle Space Needle, a necktie, red lips, an eye mask, lingerie and grey hearts, the sweets are a little bit naughty but should only inspire calorie guilt at the very most.

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Tax Tip: Getting Your Paperwork Ready

Tax Tip: Getting Your Paperwork Ready

David Sacks/Digital Vision/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Tax season is officially underway. However, before you get started on your return, it's important to prepare and make sure you have everything you need.Kathy Pickering, executive director of The Tax Institute at H&R Block, advises tax filers to take a step back before they begin."One of the best ways to make sure that you've got everything that you need is to look at last year's tax return," she says.Once you've done that, double-check to make sure you have the forms you need."Your W2, your 1099s, your 1098s from the banks -- so, for example, when you have your mortgage payment -- that's all due from them by the end of January," notes Tom Wheelwright, founder of CPA firm ProVision.If you're missing a form, Wheelwright says to pick up the phone and make some calls."If you don't get it by the first week of February I'd be calling back. I'd be calling the employer. I'd be calling HR, whomever," he says.Pickering notes that there could also be ways to get all of your forms online."If you don't get them in the mail, then typically there’s ways that you can download them," she says.

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