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  • iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Stocks plunged on Friday with the Dow dropping more than 570 points over fears of a trade war between the U.S. and China.The Dow Jones Industrial Average sunk 572.46 (-2.34 percent) to finish the session at 23,932.76.The Nasdaq fell 161.44 (-2.28 percent) to close at 6,915.11, while the S&P 500 finished trading at 2,604.47, down 58.37 (-2.19 percent) for the day.Crude oil prices slumped 2.5 percent to about $62 per barrel.Trade:  China on Friday threatened to fight back "at any cost" after President Donald Trump proposed $100 billion in new tariffs. U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said on CNBC that there's the "potential of a trade war" with China, but "our objective is still not to be in a trade war." Facebook:  Shares of Facebook slipped 1.34 percent as it continues to battle its data privacy scandal. On Friday, the social media site announced new disclosure measures for political ads.
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  • WABC-TV(NEW YORK) -- Two suspects who in broad daylight stole nearly $350,000 from a Target in New York City are being sought by both the FBI and New York police.Two masked men entered the vault room of a Target department store in the Bronx in New York City at around 8:15 a.m. on March 26, authorities said.They stuffed what turned out to be almost $350,000 into a duffel bag and ran out of the store, hopping onto a blue-and-white motorcycle to get away, authorities said. No Target customer or employees were hurt in the robbery.The FBI and the NYPD's violent crime task force are investigating and consider the pair armed and dangerous.
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Amazon's Echo smart speaker starts up after a user calls for Alexa, the artificial intelligence that powers the device, but a recent patent suggests that the next step for the device may be listening in on any conversation -- not just after the "Alexa" command is said by its user.An algorithm proposed in a pending patent filed by the e-commerce giant in 2017 shows advanced artificial intelligence that would allow an Amazon device to listen to a conversation and analyze it for certain words that are said.A "voice sniffer algorithm" is what the patent calls the technology."The more words they collect, the more the company gets to know you," Daniel Burrus, a tech analyst with Burrus Research Associates, Inc., told ABC News. "They are building a personality profile on the user."The algorithm uses positive trigger words like, "prefer" and "bought" or negative trigger words such as, "hate" or "disliked," and then the device can "capture adjacent audio that can be analyzed" for keywords, gauging interest levels in various products."The identified keywords can be stored and/or transmitted to an appropriate location accessible to entities such as advertisers or content providers who can use the keywords to attempt to select or customize content that is likely relevant to the user," according to the patent.Amazon could offer "personalized offers on products, encourage [a user] to take action, or better persuade someone to buy a product," Burrus said of the pending patent.The data could also be made available to friends of the user for gift buying, according to the patent.The patent has not yet been approved by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), and tech companies often file hundreds, if not thousands of patents a year. However, not every patent is approved by the USPTO.Amazon was granted 1,963 patent applications in 2017, which was an 18 percent increase from the year before when they were awarded 1,672 patents, according to data from the USPTO analyzed by IFI Claims Patent Services, a company that provides patent data services.Though it seems like a lot, Amazon was not even in the top ten companies that were granted patents in 2017 -- International Business Machines Corp., IBM, was granted over 9,000 patents and Samsung Electronics was granted almost 6,000 patents, according to IFI Claims analysis.The move to analyze conversations as a means to discern users' interests may amplify Alexa's intelligence, according to Daniel Ives, a tech analyst with GBH Insights."This further builds on Alexa and more data intelligence and analysis through voice that is a major initiative for Amazon," he said. "This algorithm would possibly feed from Alexa into the rest of the Amazon consumer flywheel, ultimately helping drive purchasing and buying behavior of Prime members."The patent gives examples, including, "... in sentences such as 'I love skiing' or 'I like to swim' the words 'like' and 'love' could be examples [of] trigger words indicating a level of interest."The patent describes what may be interpreted as a device listening in on conversations, Peter Kent, an e-commerce consultant and expert witness on internet technology patents, told ABC News.However, the patent does say that "a user can have the option of activating or deactivating the sniffing or voice capture processes, for purposes such as privacy and data security," and users must indicate a "willingness to have voice content analyzed" for the trigger-word algorithms to work. The patent may also allow video cameras on devices to "capture image information to attempt to determine which user is speaking."An Amazon spokesman told ABC News in a statement that the company takes "seriously" the privacy of its customers."We take privacy seriously and have built multiple layers of privacy into our devices. We do not use customers' voice recordings for targeted advertising," the Amazon spokesman said in the statement. "Like many companies, we file
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  • Emilie Richardson/ABC News(RIVERDALE, N.J.) -- A single ticket in New Jersey won the Mega Millions jackpot of over half a billion dollars, according to a statement on the Mega Millions website.The holder of the ticket has yet to be announced, but the winner will bring an estimated prize of $521 million or $317 million in cash. New Jersey Lottery officials announced that the "one lucky ticket" was sold at a Lukoil station in Riverdale, a town in Morris County about 30 miles west of New York City.A man who said he won $200,000 a few years ago at the same station wished the winner of the massive jackpot luck and offered some advice."Save it, invest it," Pat Matano told ABC News on Saturday.Matano lives in the nearby town of Butler but said he buys his lottery tickets only at the Lukoil in Riverdale. "I pass about six stores to come here," he said.He won big in December 2014, he said, garnering a $200,000 prize of which he said he received about $154,000 after taxes.He said the first things that came to mind upon winning were to buy a jeep and pay medical bills outstanding from a major surgery he underwent.Matano, who is on disability, said it has been good to have the lottery money as a cushion. Winning "just lets you live a little more comfortably," he said.Another bit of advice to the Mega Millions winner, Matano said: "You'll have a lot of relatives, a lot of friends coming out ... Just do the right thing."The Mega Millions prize from Friday night’s drawing is the fourth-largest in the game's history, with the record set in 2012 at $656 million.The winning numbers were 11, 28, 31, 46 and 59, with a Mega Ball of 1.Also Friday night, two tickets, sold in Ohio and Texas, matched the five white balls to win $1 million each.
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  • Alex Wong/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Fox News host Laura Ingraham apologized Thursday to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student David Hogg for her tweet mocking his college rejections, but that hasn’t stopped advertisers from fleeing her show.At least 15 companies have said they intend to pull their sponsorship of Ingraham’s evening show. The companies include Nutrish, Expedia, TripAdvisor, Nestle, Hulu, Wayfair, Stitch Fix, Office Depot, Ruby Tuesday, Entertainment Studios, Miracle Ear and Liberty Mutual. Johnson & Johnson told The Huffington Post it had yanked its ads as well."The decision of an adult to personally criticize a high school student who has lost his classmates in an unspeakable tragedy is not consistent with our values," Wayfair said in a statement yesterday.The sponsor exodus follows a spat between the outspoken Parkland, Florida, student and the Fox News host, one of several involving conservative figures and the students who have advocated for greater action against gun violence in the wake of the mass shooting at their school last month.
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