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What You Should Know About the New Credit Card Chip Rule

Kenishirotie/istock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Chip-enabled credit cards will now become the standard for consumers and business owners.

Banks and credit companies have been sending consumers new cards, which look like their old cards but are fitted with a small metallic high-tech chip known as EMV, which stands for Europay, MasterCard, Visa — the three companies that created the standard. The chip’s goal: keeping thieves from easily accessing consumers’ personal information. Starting tomorrow, retailers and small businesses who have not yet upgraded their credit card networks will be liable for any Visa, Discover or Mastercard credit card transaction that is fraudulent if the card is EMV-equipped. If fraud occurs when a magnetic stripe card is swiped at a chip-enabled terminal, the bank is still responsible for the fraud. American Express will transfer liability to business owners on Oct. 16.

If the business hasn’t updated to an EMV machine, it’s responsible for fraudulent transactions when the card is EMV-equipped. If fraud occurs when a magnetic stripe card is swiped at a chip-enabled terminal, the bank is still responsible for the fraud.

Credit card fraud is a growing problem in the U.S. About 31.8 million U.S. consumers had their credit card information stolen last year, more than three times the number of consumers affected in 2013, according to a report published by Javelin, a company that studies customer transactions. According to a report from Barclays earlier this year, almost half of the world’s credit card fraud occurs in the U.S.

According to the Electronic Transactions Association, the high-tech chip creates a unique code for each transaction, making it difficult for criminals to duplicate consumers’ information. The new cards have to be inserted and then held in a card reader, which then uploads the information to complete the transaction. The new credit card standards are not a mandate for retailers and credit cards with just magnetic strips will still be accepted.

Here’s what consumers and business owners should know about the shift:

1. Consumers can still use magnetic stripe cards if they have them

Sean McQuay, a credit card expert at personal finance site NerdWallet, said fraudsters are going to bug every non-EMV payment terminal they can to steal credit card information because these terminals will become the path of least resistance for theft.

“Consumers need to be wary of any store that forces them to swipe their card as opposed to dipping the chip — old terminals will be even more susceptible to hacking until they’re upgraded,” he said.

2. It’s been done before

Since 2005, when the U.K. switched to the EMV standard, counterfeit fraud has decreased 63 percent, as noted in NerdWallet’s Consumer Credit Card Report, but that was after peaking in 2008, three years after the roll-out.

“This is a reminder that consumers will not be instantly safer after Oct. 1 but rather once a critical mass of consumers and stores are EMV-ready,” McQuay said.

Due to these limitations, McQuay predicts that credit card fraud will continue to rise in the short term.

3. Tough luck for online shopping

McQuay points out that there are …read more […]

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Business / Financial

Markets Move Higher To Close Third Quarter

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) – The markets moved higher on the final day of a volatile quarter.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average soared 235 points to finish the day at 16,284.80.

The NASDAQ closed up 103 points, finishing at 4,620.16, while the S&P 500 rose 35 points to end the day at 1,920.03.

The markets close out the third quarter with losses. Over the last few months, investor fear has been driven by China’s shaky economy and an impending decision from the Federal Reserve over whether to raise interest rates.

Payroll processor ADP says private employers added 200,000 jobs this month, up from the 180,000 the month before. The government’s jobs report is due out on Friday.

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Facebook’s New Ways to Dress Up Your Profile

Facebook(NEW YORK) — A short looping video showing off your personality could soon be the star of your Facebook profile.

Facebook is beginning tests Wednesday for new ways for users to dress up their profiles, including the addition of a profile video letting users “show a part of yourself you couldn’t before, and add a (literal!) new dimension to your profile,” a newsroom post said.

Facebook product managers Aigerim Shorman and Tony Hsieh said user profiles are viewed more than four billion times per day, making them a crucial part of how a person expresses who they are online.

Along with the option for a fun looping video, the team at Facebook has also decided to focus on profile photos.

“Profile pictures are not just static portraits. They represent what’s going on in your life right now and what’s important to you, and we want to give people the tools to better express themselves in this way,” Shorman and Hsieh wrote in a post.

Facebook will roll out the ability to set a temporary profile photo which can revert back to another at a specified time, making it even easier to support your team leading up to a game or to show support for an important cause.

“It can be a visual status update to let you friends know what’s going on in your life today, or it can be a moment of solidarity for a cause you feel strongly about,” Shorman and Hsieh wrote.

The other big change includes improved profile controls, letting a user do as much or as little as they want with a customizable space at the top of their profile, which will have room for a one-line biography and as many as five featured photos. Mobile users can also expect a big design change with profile photos moving front and center, making more room for the new features, should they choose to include them.

While the word is officially out on the fancy new window dressings, Faceboook said they’re currently only available to iPhone users in California and the United Kingdom and will be rolled out to more people soon.

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Apple OS X El Capitan: Five Reasons to Upgrade

Apple(NEW YORK) — Apple is putting the focus on power users with OS X El Capitan, the latest Mac operating system update which is available Wednesday as a free download.

While the operating system has the design of Yosemite, it packs some changes to help with productivity.

“El Capitan refines the Mac experience and improves performance in a lot of little ways that make a very big difference,” Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering, said in a statement. “Feedback from our OS X beta program has been incredibly positive and we think customers are going to love their Macs even more with El Capitan.”

Available in the Mac App Store, El Capitan supports all Macs introduced in 2009 and later with the ability to support some models from 2007 and 2008. Here are five reasons why getting the update could be worth your while:

Smarter Search

Smarter search capabilities in Spotlight let users ask questions or deliver commands using natural language, such as “Find me John’s resume” or “How did the Yankees do last night?”

Balancing Act

Apple designed this update with power users in mind: You can now work in apps positioned side by side. Mission control springs into action with a simple swipe, arranging everything a user has open in a single layer, saving the nuisance of searching for a window. Lose your cursor on a crowded screen? No problem — just shake it and it will get bigger.

Powerful New Notes App

A more powerful Notes app lets users quickly turn a to-do list into an interactive checklist that can be made on the Mac but accessed on the iPhone, thanks to iCloud. It also includes the ability to add photos, video and maps to your notes, making them useful when you’re out and about.

Your Favorite Sites

Pin your most visited sites in Safari, letting you get to where you want to go even faster.

Mute Audio

It’s even worth appreciating the little things. You can now click a mute button in Safari to keep sound from annoying videos or advertisements from interrupting your workflow.

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Amtrak to Start Charging Passengers Who Exceed Bag Limit

Alex Wong/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — It looks like Amtrak is taking a page from the airline industry’s playbook: It will now start charging passengers for baggage.

Amtrak, starting Thursday, will charge passengers $20 for bags, but only if they exceed the luggage item limit.

Passengers are currently allowed to board free of charge with two personal items — such as a backpack, purse or laptop — that weigh 25 pounds or less, along with two carry-on bags weighing 50 pounds or less. If traveling with children, passengers can bring an additional stroller or diaper bag.

The fee will apply to any passenger exceeding those limits.

Amtrak historically has struggled to earn money, and no doubt the baggage fees are seen as a way to boost its bottom line. It’s certainly worked for the airlines: the Department of Transportation reports last year, baggage fees generated more than $3.5 billion in revenue for U.S. carriers.

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What’s Next After Tesla’s Sporty Model X

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — With Tesla Model X deliveries officially underway, Elon Musk and his team can now look ahead to another big future delivery — the affordable Model 3.

Musk, the CEO of the automotive company, revealed earlier this month that the electric car company will show off the look of its lower-cost Model 3 in March and will begin taking pre-orders around that time. The smaller sedan is expected to cost around $35,000 and will begin production in 2017.

“Demand would be much higher for a vehicle like that because of its price. It puts Tesla right in the meat of the market,” Karl Brauer, a senior analyst at Kelley Blue Book, told ABC News in May after Musk announced the project.

With the Model 3 expected to be around half the price of the Model S, Brauer said he expects some features — such as autonomous driving — likely wouldn’t be included in the cheaper Tesla.

What he does expect, however, is a cohesive Tesla experience that will stand out from the growing competition at the lower price point. That means a long battery life, a large touchscreen display in the car and driver-assist features, such as smart cruise control, and compelling styling.

While the world will have to wait a few more months before getting a first look at the design, the veil was lifted on the sporty Model X on Tuesday night at an event near Tesla’s Fremont, California, factory.

The crossover vehicle is Tesla’s third model and will join the Model S on the market. The signature series Model X will cost in the low six-figure range for customers seeking a fully loaded, top-of-the-line experience.

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Business / Financial

Top Holiday Toys for 2015 Revealed

Angela Williams/ABC News(NEW YORK) — You may be an adult, but the TTPM (formerly Time to Play Magazine) Holiday Showcase is sure to strike a chord with your inner child.

It’s that time to get the first look at what some experts are predicting will be the hottest toys of the season. From preschool tots to big kids, there are some exciting new choices for every age.

Chris Byrne, a.k.a. “The Toy Guy,” travels the world to research toys, and he told ABC News there are a lot of check-offs before a toy can make it on his list as a “must-have.”

“As we see things come out, we like to follow the trends of what people are buying,” Byrne said. “And we look at what’s going to engage kid’s imaginations. This year, we’ve seen a lot of toys for older children. Because people thought the kids were just to play with phones. But no, they like toys!”

Byrne said now is the time to start making decisions on which toys to buy if you want to be certain to get the top picks before they’re sold out. This toy preview is your chance to score a few points with your sons, daughters, nieces and nephews. Here’s your chance to be one step ahead.

It’s a safe bet that young movie-goers will gravitate towards the many new offerings that come along with the release of big screen blockbusters. Hasbro’s Playmation Avengers Starter pack is sure to bring out the superhero inside of the child who snags these toys.

TTPM

Also on the list, the Girl Scout Cookie Oven by Wicked Cool Toys. It appears to offer a new twist on the old time favorite Easy Bake oven. It actually bakes girl scout cookies. It takes just over 30 minutes to bake the cookies, but if they taste anything like the real deal, it might just be worth the wait.

TTPM

Oh baby! The happy dance Snoopy by Just Play Toys may be just what your toddler needs to bust a move. And when he really gets going, his ears even flop to the beat.

TTPM
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Twitter Users Ponder a World Beyond 140 Characters

LUIS ROBAYO/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — What makes a tweet a tweet? One hundred and forty characters or less.

That definition could one day cease to exist. Twitter is reportedly working on a new product that will allow users to share tweets longer than the standard 140-character limit, according to a report in Re-Code citing people familiar with the project.

Twitter representatives did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment. Meanwhile, the possibility of a key change to Twitter had many on the platform wondering about a whether it really needed to become a world extending beyond 140 characters.

Personally, I’d lower twitter’s 140-character limit to 70.

Twice the snark in half the time.

— Dean Clancy (@DeanClancy) September 29, 2015

If twitter does ditch the 140 character limit it’ll be a totally different platform. Perhaps like being cc’d in an email with the world.

— Christian Payne (@Documentally) September 29, 2015

If Twitter ditches the 140 character limit, doesn’t it just become tumblr?

— Peter Chapman (@colossalblue) September 29, 2015

Twitter’s reportedly working on expanding 140-character limit to help people too unimaginative to fit a single thought into the space allowe

— Razor (@hale_razor) September 29, 2015

Twitter is thinking of expanding its 140 character limit. Bad idea. The beauty of Twitter is its succinctness. We have FB for the waffle

— Anne Marie O’Connor (@Kitsgirl1) September 29, 2015

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Mystery No More: Tesla’s Model X Unveiled

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(FREMONT, Calif.) — Tesla’s Model X is no longer a mystery.

Elon Musk, Tesla CEO, officially handed over the first long-awaited sporty electric vehicle Tuesday at an event near the automotive company’s factory in Fremont, California.

Meet Model X. Watch it live here http://t.co/Iag2iwIi0l #ModelX
https://t.co/TkVQL5PP67

— Tesla Motors (@TeslaMotors) September 30, 2015

The crossover vehicle is Tesla’s third model and will join the Model S on the market. The signature series Model X will cost in the low six-figure range for customers seeking a fully loaded, top-of-the-line experience.

With the same options as a Model S, the new car will cost $5,000 more because of its size and body complexity, Musk tweeted. The base Model S starts at $70,000, not including any tax incentives that could be used at the federal and state level for electric vehicles.

The Model X is said to be able to seat seven people in three rows of seats, with the car having wing-like doors instead of opening from the sides. It’s unclear what the final pricing will be for the vehicle, which was first announced in 2012, but it hasn’t stopped Tesla devotees from putting down a deposit to reserve their Model X.

Getting the delayed Model X to customers will help Tesla clear the way for its next project — the lower cost Model 3. Musk revealed the electric car company will show off the look of the vehicle March and will begin taking pre-orders around that time.

The smaller sedan is expected to cost around $35,000 and will begin production in 2017.

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