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  • iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Lego has won its first copyright case in China, according to the company.
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(JACKSON, N.J.) -- A Saturday showdown in New Jersey touted as the world’s largest snowball fight was abandoned after a Nor’easter dumped around 6-inches of snow.Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, New Jersey teaming up with the Hallmark Channel set up the late morning cost-free rumble on Dec. 9 as an "attempt to break the record for the world's largest snowball fight" and expected thousands to participate in the “family-friendly event executed with kid-friendly plush snowballs while supplies last,” according to a release from the theme park’s website.According to the same release, Six Flags, which broke the Guinness World Records title in 2016 for attracting 400 people as the "most couples kissing under the mistletow" and boldly stated that Canada rein as snow fight world record holders with an 8,200 count in 2016 was bound to be broken on Saturday as Six Flags "aims to break the record with 9,000 participants," the statement read.But before would-be participants got a chance to toss their orbs at each other, a warning was added in boldface type informing the public that the icy war was off “due to inclement weather.”No specific makeup date was released.Attempts by ABC News’ to reach Six Flags representatives were not immediately returned.
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The world's largest music streaming service and one of the most popular social platforms in China are investing in each other.Spotify and China's Tencent Music Entertainment (TME) are expected to buy minority stakes in one another in cash, though the value of the deal and the shareholding sizes have not been disclosed.Spotify CEO Daniel Ek said, “Spotify and Tencent Music Entertainment see significant opportunities in the global music streaming market for all our users, artists, music and business partners. This transaction will allow both companies to benefit from the global growth of music streaming.”
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  • moodboard/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A recent study found that Americans spend more time in their vehicles once school starts for their children and will continue to do so in the midst of the holiday season.A 2017 Back to Driving Survey shows nearly 75 percent of parents resume driving during the course of the school year compared to the summer. A significant amount of that driving time includes school pick-ups and drop-offs, going to daycare, and commuting to other after school activities like sports and clubs."When you've got kids playing sports, in different after school programs... we're almost living in our car," says Certified Financial Planner Jeff Rose. Rose recently spoke with ABC News about the survey.The findings in the survey back up Rose's claim. Thirty five percent of drivers participating in the study think of their vehicle as a second home, especially when they consider how often their families eat and nap in their cars.Although close to three quarters (71.4 percent) of drivers are generally satisfied with their family vehicle according to the survey, Americans are still in search of an upgrade. Fuel efficiency and overall space are two luxuries people desire when searching for an upgrade.Putting money towards an upgrade could be a convenient move for families, but Rose warns there are a couple precautions people should take before buying a new car."Just make sure you're not buying more car than you can afford," he tells ABC News, adding, "You have to look at your budget and make sure it makes sense."Rose uses his own family as an example."We just went from a family of five to six just last year, and that totally changed the dynamic of our car needs. We went from being able to handle a smaller size SUV, and when we got our daughter, we couldn't fit groceries in there."He says families considering buying a new vehicle should ensure they are not putting their families in debt for the sake of adding one or two luxuries.Rose adds that each family has different goals and should consider those goals before making a purchase also, recommending, “If you have a growing family or you're expecting to have more children take that into consideration as well."The Back to Driving Survey examined 789 drivers licensed in the U.S. who have at least one child 15-years-old or younger living in their home. It is commissioned by the GM BuyPower Card.Jeff Rose is the CEO and Founder of Alliance Wealth Management, LLC, an investment advisory firm. He is also the founder of GoodFinancialCents.com. Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Companies are improving facial recognition technology and using machine learning to increase efficiency and make their products more user-friendly for consumers, according to CapTech Mobile Fellow Jack Cox.Cox recently spoke with ABC News about how people are familiarizing themselves with facial recognition following the release of the Apple's iPhone X.Apple's latest smartphone allows users to unlock their phone with technology that recognizes their faces, rather than having users type in a password or log in with their fingerprint.CapTech conducted a study on the accuracy of other companies that implement facial recognition and “were not extremely impressed with the accuracy.” Cox contends, however, that "the new technology Apple released is much more accurate… [and] coming into the future, you’ll see it’s becoming more and more accurate and being used in more and more places.”Like the iPhone X, Cox expects facial recognition to become more prominent and that it will assist in areas of security and surveillance.Cox says it is not just facial recognition that companies are exploring, but also machine learning.He says machine learning is being used across different industries to help companies make decisions and makes it easier for customers to use their products."We see companies wanting to leverage machine learning," says Cox. In banking, for instance, companies use machine learning to "employ better decision making, identify credit risks and opportunities," among other issues that banks are trying to attack with more efficiency.Another example Cox points to is the gaming industry. He says companies "use machine learning to identify trouble spots in the game where players were having difficulty and identify that spot to make the game more engaging for users.”With companies eager to implement both facial recognition and machine learning to improve their operations, Cox expects these devices and technologies to become more apparent in people’s everyday lives."We're going to see more augmented reality,” Cox says, adding it will represent “real world objects through the phone, such as seeing a chair in the room." Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Metropolitan Opera conductor James Levine responded Thursday for the first time since it was announced Sunday the New York City institution had suspended Levine as it investigates what it says are "multiple allegations of sexual misconduct" from the 1960s to the 1980s. In a statement posted on Facebook, the opera noted that the period of when the allegations were made included "the earlier part of his career at the Met." Levine will not be conducting or taking part in any other activities at the Met, the statement said. "While we await the results of the investigation, based on these new news reports, the Met has made the decision to act now," said Peter Gelb, Met General Manager. "This is a tragedy for anyone whose life has been affected." Levine responded to the allegations for the first time on Thursday night in a statement to The New York Times. "As understandably troubling as the accusations noted in recent press accounts are, they are unfounded," he said in the statement. "As anyone who truly knows me will attest, I have not lived my life as an oppressor or an aggressor."The suspension comes a day after the opera said it was launching an investigation of the conductor based on a 2016 police report filed in Illinois by a man who alleges he was molested as a teenager by Levine 30 years ago. The New York Post first reported details of the police report. According to the police report, the alleged abuse occurred when Levine, now 74, was a conductor at the Ravinia Music Festival in Illinois. Levine is now director emeritus at The Met Opera. The alleged victim, whose name was not published by The New York Post, filed a report with the Lake Forest Police Department in October 2016. "I began seeing a 41-year-old man when I was 15, without really understanding I was really 'seeing' him," the alleged victim, now 48, said in a written statement to police. “It nearly destroyed my family and almost led me to suicide. I felt alone and afraid. He was trying to seduce me. I couldn’t see this. Now I can.” Multiple attempts by ABC News to reach Levine's representative were not immediately returned Sunday. The Met Opera's general manager, Peter Gelb, said in a statement that the organization was aware of the accusations. "This first came to the Met’s attention when the Illinois police investigation was opened in October of 2016,” Gelb said. “At the time Jim said that the charges were completely false, and we didn’t hear anything further from the police. We need to determine if these charges are true and, if they are, take appropriate action. We will now be conducting our own investigation with outside resources.” And a statement posted Saturday on The Met Opera's Facebook page read, "The Met would like to let our supporters know that we are deeply disturbed by the news articles that are being published online today about James Levine. We are working on an investigation with outside resources to determine whether charges of sexual misconduct in the 1980s are true, so that we can take appropriate action."  Neither Levine nor a spokesperson for him has publicly commented. Levine rose to prominence as The Met Opera's music director. The lauded maestro has been with the Met for 40 years and led "more than 2,500 performances of 85 different operas since his company debut in 1971 leading Puccini's Tosca."Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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