Virgin America(NEW YORK) — After the auctions for Nike’s auto-lacing MAG sneaker, straight out of Back to the Future 2, made headlines -- and $6.75 million for Parkinson's Research -- Virgin America has stepped up, literally, with its one-of-a-kind First Class Shoe.
The collaboration between the company, the marketing folks at Eleven Inc. and the Italian design firm SearchnDesign outfitted a fine white Italian leather high-top with high-tech, first class amenities like a USB port, mood lighting, Wi-Fi, and a small LED screen on the upper. What's more, in another nod to the company's super-luxe First Class cabin seat, the shoe closes with a stainless steel airplane seat buckle.
They're auctioning off the one-and-only pair, with all the proceeds going to charity -- specifically, Soles4Souls, which is dedicated to fighting poverty and clothing the needy around the world.
Toby Jorrin/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- AT&T has reached a deal to buy Time Warner for $85.4 billion, with the phone company paying $107.50 per share.
The new cable giant will rival Comcast Corp.'s purchase of NBCUniversal in 2011, but the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights will hold a hearing on the deal in December, according to a spokesperson for Sen. Mike Lee, the chairman of the subcommittee.
AT&T would have access Time Warner's media portfolio including HBO, Warner Bros. Entertainment, and multiple cable networks (TNT, TBS, CNN and Cartoon Network/Adult Swim).
AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson called the proposed merger a "perfect match."
“Premium content always wins," he said in a statement. "It has been true on the big screen, the TV screen and now it’s proving true on the mobile screen. We’ll have the world’s best premium content with the networks to deliver it to every screen."
Jennifer Treece(LAVONIA, Mich.) -- One fairy tale-loving mom couldn't resist painting a mural inspired by the Disney film Tangled on her 8-year-old daughter's wall.
"I just love fairy tales," Jennifer Treece, of Lavonia, Michigan, told ABC News. "I love the movies so much; the music and the artistry and the beauty of them."
Treece was inspired to paint the 2010 film, centered on the classic story of Rapunzel, because she heavily identified with the long-haired princess, who's locked away in a tower alone.
Treece, 39, added: "We're both artists and she's always painting all over her walls and I'm always painting all over my walls. I identify with the feeling that she knows she's meant for more."
The mother said she spent 60 hours creating her daughter Gianna's mural. Initially, she painted the background -- a dark blue castle. Then painted all of the details, including a boat with Princess Rapunzel and her prince inside.
Treece said that's not the only mural in her home. She's also painted trees in her bedroom, a mural inspired by Cinderella and even a quote by Disney creator Walt Disney that reads, "If you can dream it, you can do it."
Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- If you still plan to fly at Thanksgiving, I only have two words for you: Shop now. Flying the cheapest days for Turkey Day travel can save you as much as 65 percent on airline tickets.
Remember, there are no good fares at Thanksgiving; it’s a matter of finding the best of the bad deals and this has a lot to do with the itinerary a traveler chooses. So, using my airfare comparison site’s proprietary data to analyze 1.8 million holiday airfares for 100 of the top U.S. domestic markets, here are the best and worst days to fly and what they might cost you.
Note: Results are averages, so your fares may differ (depending on such things as departure and destination cities and when you buy tickets). The fare analysis was conducted in mid-October.
Thanksgiving: Most Expensive Days to Fly Basically, these are the days to avoid:
- $662 - Wednesday to Sunday (Nov. 23-27) - $649 - Sunday to Sunday (Nov. 20-27)
Traditionally, the Wednesday/Sunday itinerary is the most popular (especially for parents who need to fly kids away at school back home), and that’s why it’s expensive. But as you will see, moving that itinerary by a day or two can make a huge difference ticket costs. Thanksgiving: Cheapest Days to Fly Again, there’s no such thing as truly cheap days to fly at Thanksgiving but these itineraries will save some money.
- $367 - Thursday to Friday (Nov. 24-25) - $395 - Thursday to Tuesday (Nov. 24-29) - $406 - Tuesday to Friday (Nov. 22-25) - $420 - Monday to Friday (Nov. 21-25) - $425 - Tuesday to Tuesday (Nov. 22-29)
The very cheapest itinerary is an overnight trip, which won’t work for everyone, but if you only need to put in an appearance at the big dinner, it’s perfect. Notice the two cheapest itineraries require flying on Thanksgiving Day itself (Nov. 24). No big deal; fly early in the day you won't miss out on the festivities; plus, holiday airports tend to be calm and crowd-free.
Other Ways to Save on Thanksgiving Flights - Compare airfare prices: This is the smartest thing a traveler no matter when they plan to fly and that’s to always compare airline ticket prices. If you only search fares at a favorite airline site you risk paying too much (maybe way too much) because no airline always has the cheapest flights.
- Add a stop to your flight/route: A connecting flight is often significantly cheaper than a nonstop flight. This isn't always true but often enough that you should always compare prices for different routes.
- Use a carry-on: This is free on most airlines but even more important, a bag that travels with you is a bag that cannot get lost. You'll also get out of that crowded holiday airport a lot faster.
Toys R' Us(NEW YORK) -- A run-of-the-mill trip to Toys "R" Us is resulting in a big change at toy giant Fisher-Price.
Gina Zuk Gerber, a Baltimore mom of two and public relations executive, was shopping for her 1-year-old daughter when she came across one of Fisher-Price's Little People toys that she initially "thought was a joke," she told ABC News.
The Little People toy SUV features a "mom figure," according to the product description. And on the box it reads, "Time for yoga and a smoothie!" The toy also has an audio chip that says this, among other phrases.
More like "dirty diapers and screaming babies," Gerber said with a laugh.
Outraged, Gerber posted a photo to Facebook, calling out the company for the toy. "Today when shopping for toys for Anna I was disgusted to see the 'girl' versions of Little People," she wrote in part. "The only ones with all girl figures were all smothered in pink and purple, they worked in interesting places like the 'home,' and they all lacked the multiple educational elements the 'boys' toys had."
The post ultimately caught the attention of Fisher-Price. The company told ABC News, "As a result of Ms. Gina Gerber’s advocacy, we are planning to make a running change to both the package and audio chip."
The company also pointed out it has a female firefighter, dentist, mailwoman and more in its Little People collection.
Gerber said she doesn't have anything against yoga. In fact, she brings in a yoga instructor for her staff every other week. But she said working moms and stay-at-home moms alike were offended by the insinuation that yoga and smoothies is a major part of motherhood.
"Maybe it's one relaxing moment in a day, but it's definitely not representative of being a mom," she said.
iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The FBI and Department of Homeland Security are investigating a widespread internet disruption Friday that appears to be the result of repeated attacks on a critical internet infrastructure service -- attacks that caused hours-long disruptions of major sites like Twitter, Reddit and Spotify for many users in the U.S.
Dyn, Inc., a firm that provides some hosting services for the internet's Domain Name System (DNS), posted online that its engineers are working to "mitigate several attacks" aimed at their DNS infrastructure.
The DNS, in the simplest terms, works like the phone book for the internet. When a user types an internet address into a browser, the DNS converts the name into a numeric IP address and sends the user on its way. Dyn said the first attack Friday morning was a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack, which overwhelms its target with traffic until it's paralyzed.
Kyle York, Chief Strategy Officer at Dyn, told ABC News that DDoS attacks are daily occurrences, but this one is "just incredibly sophisticated and complex." York said "tens of millions" of I.P. addresses -- meaning an incredibly large botnet or network of botnets -- appear to be involved in attacking the firm.
The first attack on Dyn appeared at least temporarily to have trickled down to some of the internet's most popular websites. Within a few hours, Dyn reported service had been restored, but then the next wave appeared. It's unclear which, if any, major sites have been affected by the follow-on attacks.
York said the second attack has "ebbed and flowed" since it began early Friday afternoon.
Last week the Department of Homeland Security's U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team warned users of a "heightened DDoS threat" as more and more internet-connected devices are being surreptitiously used as part of botnets to flood target systems. The last few weeks have seen record-setting DDoS attacks, DHS said, and source code for one major type of attack was recently released online, meaning anyone with a little know-how might be able to command a very large army of bots.
York said Dyn suspects one infamous botnet described in the DHS alert, known as Mirai, is being used in the current attack.
DDoS attacks are generally unsophisticated in nature and Martin McKeay, security advocate at online content delivery firm Akamai, said that while knowing to target and somewhat successfully strike a DNS host service is a step up from the run of the mill attacks, it's a small step.
McKeay said that it's impossible to know at this point who's behind the attack, but it could be anyone from a young hacker messing around, to hackivists, to a criminal organization or even a nation state.
York declined to speculate on who might be behind the attack, but described it as much more advanced than the average DDoS assault. Dyn, he indicated, is not exactly an easy target and they've "been dealing with this all day."
iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- New York has passed a law that will make it hard for Airbnb to do business in one of the rental company's largest markets.
It is now illegal in New York to advertise property rentals on sites like Airbnb, expanding on an existing law that prohibits tenants and landlords from renting out their units for less than 30 days.
Anyone found violating the law could face a $7,500 fine from the local government.
"This is an issue that was given careful, deliberate consideration, but ultimately these activities are already expressly prohibited by law," a spokesman for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a statement. "They also compromise efforts to maintain and promote affordable housing by allowing those units to be used as unregulated hotels, and deny communities significant revenue from uncollected taxes, the cost of which is ultimately borne by local taxpayers."
Airbnb said it would file a lawsuit immediately in response.
"In typical fashion, Albany back-room dealing rewarded a special interest -- the price-gouging hotel industry -- and ignored the voices of tens of thousands of New Yorkers," Josh Meltzer, head of Airbnb's public policy, said in a statement. "A majority of New Yorkers have embraced home sharing, and we will continue to fight for a smart policy solution that works for the people, not the powerful. We are filing a lawsuit in New York this afternoon.”
iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- U.S. stocks closed mostly flat Friday while some individual stocks posted gains from good earnings reports.
The Dow fell 16.64 (-0.09 percent) to finish at 18,145.71.
The Nasdaq jumped 15.57 ( 0.30 percent) to close at 5,257.40, while the S&P 500 finished at 2,141.16, down 6.18 (-0.01 percent) from its open.
Crude oil gained less than 1 percent with prices hitting over $50 a barrel.
Time Warner: After news that AT&T was reportedly "in advanced talks" to buy Time Warner, the media conglomerate's shares soared nearly 8 percent. According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, a deal could happen as early as this weekend and the new cable giant would rival Comcast Corp.'s purchase of NBCUniversal in 2011.
McDonald's: All-day breakfast helped McDonald's beat investors' expectations in the third-quarter with global comparable sales increasing 3.5 percent. In the quarter three report, McDonald's CEO Steve Easterbrook said the burger chain was "evolving the McDonald's experience to provide more high quality, affordable food and beverage options and convenient solutions for customers on the go."
Don Riddle(ORLANDO, Fla.) -- It’s on Walt Disney World Resort property, but in many ways feels like its own world. For fans of the Four Seasons and Disney -- two superstars in the world of travel -- this partnership that was more than a decade in the making may certainly feel like dreams really do come true.
With views of the fireworks, a shuttle to the main Disney parks and character breakfasts just for them, guests of the Four Seasons enjoy many, but not all, of the same perks as guests who stay at one of the Disney properties. The main difference is the absence of extra magic hours in the parks.
The Walt Disney Company is the parent company of ABC News.
But there’s plenty of perks: a complimentary kids' club that runs eight hours a day, free dining for kids 5 and under, an on-site coordinator for Disney tickets and experiences, a five-acre water park for guests and a spa.
Guest room rates start at $379 per night and run all the way up to $14,000 per night for the Royal Suite -- the hotel suite of the week -- which has up to nine bedrooms, a 1,000 square-foot terrace. pantry kitchen, media center and more.
Jack Taylor/Getty Images(CUPERTINO, Calif.) — Apple is warning customers to stay clear of counterfeit products sold on Amazon.
The tech giant says that a company is selling fake Apple products such as chargers and cables on Amazon that could be dangerous because of fire.
Apple conducted its own undercover online sting to figure out the source of the counterfeit cables. The company revealed in a new lawsuit that it bought Apple chargers and cables labeled as genuine on Amazon, but 90 percent of the products shipped turned out to be fakes.
According to that lawsuit, Apple shared its findings with Amazon and the online retailer pinpointed the source as a New Jersey company named Mobile Star which they claim imprinted the Apple logo on products that pose a significant risk of overheating, fire and electrical shock. One customer review says after just a few hours of use on the very first day, the charger caught on fire.
Amazon, which is not named in the lawsuit, told ABC News overnight, the retailer has “zero tolerance for the sale of counterfeits on our site, and work closely with manufacturers and brands and pursue wrongdoers aggressively.”
ABC news reached out to that New Jersey company in the lawsuit, but have not heard back.
David M. Benett/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Target has a new partner in Victoria Beckham. The former Spice Girl-turned-fashion designer is joining forces with the chain on its latest collaborative fashion line.
Beckham took to Twitter to announce the limited edition collection.
“For a while now, I have been thinking how great it would be to work on clothes for a customer that either doesn’t want to pay or can’t pay designer prices,” Beckham said on the Target blog of her new collaboration. “I loved the idea of opening the brand up to a wider audience and being able to share my vision with a broader customer base.”
Over 200 pieces for women and children are set to hit the Target racks in Spring of next year.
Nieman Marcus(NEW YORK) -- Holiday gift-giving is always a nightmare.
What do you get your sister-in-law? The neighbors? After all, they did let their dog run around your yard all year.
Well, Neiman Marcus has a solution for you: Thursday it published the 90th edition of its annual holiday gift-giving guide, replete with ideas and products for that person in your life you're willing to drop a cool five or six figures on.
For that new nephew you might have, how about a “curated collection” of first edition or early-printed children’s books that span 80 years? It’ll set you back $100,000, but it’s good to introduce them to the finer things early on in life.
While Christmas Day is full of cheer for most, your curmudgeonly uncle can be such a drag. “For the pessimist,” Neiman Marcus' 2016 Christmas Book recommends a $25,000 mattress that features a built-in lockbox.
“To the pessimist, the end is always near,” the store advises. “Stock your valuables away in a fire proof and impenetrable lockbox built inside a king-size mattress with matching foundation.”
Finally, what does Dad want? He's always been an enigma, but he loves football.
For a mere $65,000, you can let him and three friends train with famed quarterback Joe Montana for a single day.
While it’s easy to poke fun at the prices and the products, each purchase of one of the outlandish gifts sees Neiman Marcus make donations to its charity, The Heart of Neiman Marcus Foundation.
ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Wende Zomnir embodies her brand, Urban Decay. The company’s committed litmus test -- to be feminine, dangerous and fun -- is likely inspired by her personal style and character. She’s a self-described beauty junkie who set the bar high with the company’s first tagline, “Does pink make you puke?”, and pushed the cosmetics industry to boundaries that 20 years ago seemed outrageous -- but today are the new, fabulous norm.
“When we started Urban Decay, if you walked into a department store, it was basically a sea of pink, beige and red and that was all you had the options for,” said Zomnir. “Then you could go to the drugstore and find cool blue, purple, green, but the quality wasn’t there.”
So like many wise entrepreneurs, Zomnir took advantage of what she saw as a consumer need and filled that demand with quality cosmetics outside the typically offered neutral color palette. This meant breaking into the $18 billion makeup industry -- but instead of simply creating a brand, she built an empire.
“We wanted to make a fundamental change in how people viewed beauty,” Zomnir said in a recent interview of "Real Biz with Rebecca Jarvis."
Her co-founders, Sandy Lerner and David Soward, teamed up with Zomnir to start Urban Decay in 1996, taking somewhat unconventional titles.
“We came up with ‘co-conspirators’ because our original vision was, ‘We aren’t going to knock on the door of the cosmetics department, we’re going to knock it down.’”
Today, Urban Decay has somewhat of a cult following that has grown over decades of being bold. Sometimes, that can mean receiving backlash on some of their racier product names that seem to never stick to convention.
“Our last mascara, Perversion, there was a lot of controversy -- should we call it something else or should we keep it?” Zomnir said. “You know the whole idea with Perversion: it’s bigger, blacker, badder, it’s this dark, thick volumizing mascara, and some people thought that was pushing the envelope too much.”
Urban Decay, which was bought by L’Oréal in 2012 for an estimated $350 million, didn’t become a household name by being timid, and there’s no reason to believe that will ever be the case. It may all be pretty on the outside, but Zomnir has learned it takes more than aesthetics to build an internationally renowned brand.
“There’s this perfect marriage of art and commerce that has to happen in beauty, and I think it’s a really rare thing,” she said.
To find out more about Urban Decay and hear Wende Zomnir’s unique story, watch her on "Real Biz with Rebecca Jarvis" and look out for her podcast episode coming soon. For a look behind the scenes, follow Rebecca Jarvis at facebook.com/RebeccaJarvis.
Desiree Navarro/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — MetLife just put Snoopy in the dog house.
For over 30 years, Snoopy has been the face of MetLife Insurance, appearing on sales and marketing materials and even the company's blimps. On Thursday the "Peanuts" character was given the pink slip.
The insurance company announced that it was ending its 31-year relationship with the beloved cartoon character in 2017, as it shifts its brand strategy toward “a clean, modern aesthetic.”
"We brought in Snoopy over 30 years ago to make our company more friendly and approachable during a time when insurance companies were seen as cold and distant. Snoopy helped drive our business and served an important role at the time," said Esther Lee, global chief marketing officer of MetLife, in a statement.
“As we focus on our future, it's important that we associate our brand directly with the work we do and the partnership we have with our customers," Lee added.
The company said it wanted to bring “contemporary blue and green colors together in a symbol of partnership to form an M for MetLife” in its new branding.
Snoopy’s exact age isn’t known, though he came onto the scene when his first cartoon was reportedly published in October of 1950. He's the creation of cartoonist Charles Schulz.