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Google Fiber: Here's What the Hype Is All About


Google(NEW YORK) -- When Google announced Tuesday plans to bring its high-speed Internet service to a handful of cities in the southeastern United States, residents of the areas went into full-on celebration mode.Google's gigabit Internet service is coming to the Atlanta, Charlotte, Nashville and Raleigh-Durham metro areas, covering a total of 18 cities. Google Fiber is coming to the Atlanta, Charlotte, Nashville, and Raleigh-Durham metro areas: http://t.co/l0spJrIiSk pic.twitter.com/NFgOSw

Mixed Economic Reports Lead to Down Day on Wall Street


iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Wall Street posted losses on Tuesday, one day after a massive winter storm struck the Northeast, shutting down transportation and knocking out power to thousands, and amidst mixed economic reports.The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 291.49, finishing the session at 17,387.21.The Nasdaq dropped 90.26 to a close of 4,681.50, while the S&P 500 dipped to 2,029.55, 27.54 off its open.Durable goods orders decreased by $8.1 billion in December, according to t

SpaceX Shares Animation of Rocket That Could Send Humans to Mars


Spacex(NEW YORK) -- Elon Musk's private space company showed off a sexy new animation Tuesday demonstrating how its Falcon Heavy rocket could one day send humans on long-haul missions to Mars.SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket is so powerful it can blast off carrying a load as heavy as a commercial jetliner packed with hundreds of passengers, luggage and fuel.A new animation from SpaceX shows how the Falcon Heavy, called the "most powerful rocket in the world," would operate from liftoff to booster re

Why Stranded Airline Passengers Don't Get to Go Home First


iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- If you're one of the more than 400,000 travelers who were displaced by the snowstorm that hit the Northeast this week, you might think you'll have first priority when planes start flying again.But you would be wrong.Flight operations, according to flight tracking site FlightAware, are likely to resume Wednesday. Only 465 U.S. flights have been cancelled so far for Wednesday, while more than 10 times that number -- 4,699 -- have been cancelled for Tuesday.But the pe

Google Translate Gets Rid of Gay Slurs


Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- When Andre Banks typed the word "gay" into Google's translation tool he said he was dismayed to see several anti-gay slurs were suggested as synonyms.Banks, the executive director of All Out, an advocacy organization, spearheaded a petition that gained 51,000 signatures in less than a day and quickly caught Google's attention."People use Google translate every day to make sense of the world, learning languages, trying to communicate," Banks told ABC News. "What we wante

French Alps to House Cable Car-Turned-Hotel


iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — For die-hard skiers, it could be the ultimate in slope side accommodations. A cable car in the French Alps is set to become a hotel room -- but only for one night.Airbnb has commandeered the lift in the resort town of Courchevel and the hotel room will be suspended 2,700 meters over the Combe de Saulire, Courchevel's highest point.During the night of March 6, the car will be equipped with a bed and small living room for up to four guests traveling together. Af

Pay Raises in Store for Millions


iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Although the economy is finally showing signs of life after years in the doldrums, many workers say they're not seeing much difference, primarily because wages have remained relatively flat.However, things might be changing for millions, according to a PNC Financial Services survey conducted last fall.Mekael Teshome, PNC Financial Group economist, reports that close to four in 10 small and midsize businesses are prepared to boost paychecks over the first six m

Most Stayed Within Their Holiday Shopping Budgets


iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Most Americans stuck to their budgets last holiday season.Bankrate.com interviewed 1,000 adults about their holiday shopping habits and only about 16.5 percent said they spent more than they initially intended. Meanwhile, a quarter of the respondents came in under their allotted budget for gift-giving.Bankrate.com says those who spent more than expected were generally from higher-income households. Conversely, Americans who spent less were mainly in the low-i

Super Bowl 49 Viewership and Spending Could Set Records


NFL Media(NEW YORK) — What will 184 million Americans be doing Sunday, Feb. 1?If you're like most people, you'll be tuned in to Super Bowl 49, according to the National Retail Federation, which polled 6,375 consumers for its annual spending survey.Watching the game between the Super Bowl 48 champs Seattle Seahawks and challenger New England Patriots isn't all what Americans will be doing. The NRF says that each viewer will spend an average of $77.88 on various football-related sundries, be

Facebook and Instagram Experience Brief, Widespread Outage


Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Facebook and its Instagram service experienced a widespread outage for about 40 minutes early Tuesday.The social media company said the outage affected customers in the U.S., Asia and Australia.In a statement to ABC News, a Facebook spokesperson said, “Earlier this evening many people had trouble accessing Facebook and Instagram. This was not the result of a third party attack but instead occurred after we introduced a change that affected our

UPS Says No Pickup, Delivery Service Tuesday in Some Northeastern States


Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- UPS announced on Monday night that it would not pick up or deliver packages in six full states and parts of two others on Tuesday due to severe winter weather.The company said it would "work to ensure the safety of our employees while minimizing effects on service." It noted that "contingency plans are in place to ensure that shipments arrive at their final destinations as quickly as possible as conditions permit."The UPS service disruption will

Standard and Poor's Downgrades Russia Credit Rating to Junk


iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Standard and Poor's has lowered the rating of the Russian ruble to BB+/B amidst negative economic outlook.The agency notes a "significant change in our perception of Russia's monetary flexibility over the 2015-2018 forecast horizon and the effect we expect Russia's weakening economy to have on its financial system." The downgraded credit rating comes as the ruble has been hurt by the continuing decrease in oil prices and the ongoing tension with Ukraine.The ratings

Gas Prices Continue to Drop, Down Two Cents from Last Week


FeelPic/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Gas prices across the U.S. are down two cents from last week, the U.S. Energy Department says.According to the latest figures from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the average cost of a gallon of gas is just $2.04 this week. That figure is $1.25 lower than this date one year ago.Gas remains most expensive on the West Coast, where the average gallon costs $2.32 -- much higher than the Gulf Coast region, where the average price is $1.85, cheap

Facebook Releases New 'Lite' App That Uses Less Data


Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Facebook's data-hungry mobile app is now available in a slimmed-down size and is being targeted to Android users in emerging markets.Taking up just 252 KB, the Facebook Lite app is designed to work efficiently on a 2G network and areas with limited service, providing users with a stripped-down Facebook experience.Facebook told ABC News in a statement that the company is testing the app.Users of the app, which is available for download in the Google Play store, can expec

Wall Street Closes with Small Gains, CBO Says Budget Deficit to Decrease in 2015


JaysonPhotography/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Wall Street stayed mostly level on Monday, finishing the day slightly up, amidst reports detailing a shrinking budget deficit.The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 6.1 to 17678.70.The Nasdaq climbed 13.88 to 4771.76, while the S&P 500 closed the session at 2057.09, up 5.27 from its open.The Congressional Budget Office said on Monday that the budget deficit is projected to decrease in 2015, to the lowest point since President Obama took offic

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