Review Category : Top Stories

Eleven Things Not to Buy on Black Friday

Michael Nagle/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — The frenzy of Black Friday shopping is often about excitement and tradition, but don’t buy into all the hype. There are some things that may seem like a great deal, but aren’t.

Deals site DealNews.com recommends that you wait on buying 11 products until after Black Friday.

Like always, take any advice with a grain of salt, as these recommendations are based on DealNews’ historical data and anecdotal experience. And if you are in need of something immediately, sometimes it might be worth paying a little more to check it off your list.

1. Winter gear

These items, including coats and boots, often have deeper discounts during winter clearance sales in January and March.

2. Designer clothing

People who love designer clothing labels should stick to outlet shopping on Black Friday, according to DealNews, because high-end clothiers don’t really offer great “sales.”

Otherwise, shoppers could get not-so-great discounts of 20 to 30 percent off on designer clothing, which DealNews calls “yawn-worthy.”

3. Latest Amazon Fire tablets

While you can likely find deals on Amazon’s older Fire tablets, you likely won’t find many great discounts on the newest Fire lineup, according to DealNews. Last year, during Cyber Week, DealNews saw only two discounts on the then-new Kindle Fire HDX.

4. High-end laptops

While November may be a great month to buy laptops, shoppers should hold off on “powerhouse” computing machines.

“High-performance machines that boast a powerful CPU like Intel’s Core i7 models actually see better prices during the summer back-to-school sales,” DealNews’ features writer Marcy Bonebright states.

July and September can offer deals that are 9 percent cheaper (about $50 on average) than even November’s best deals, DealNews states.

5. Tools

While there may be great Black Friday deals on cheap household hand tools, last year, there were 16 percent more tool offers in December than those of November, according to DealNews.

6. Gift cards

“Discounted gift cards practically rain from the sky in December, especially those from iTunes,” according to Bonebright. “Last year, we saw so many gift card deals in December, we had to publish a weekly feature just to keep track of them all.”

7. Brand-name smart TVs

While Black Friday’s door-buster deals often feature deep discounts on flat-screen televisions, brand-name TVs tend to have better prices after the Consumer Electronics Show. During that January event, manufacturers reveal their new product lineups in Las Vegas. But, DealNews points out, last year the best 55″ name-brand TV deal came in September, which was 10 percent cheaper than November’s best deal.

8. Airline and vacation packages

While there are some “superior” hotel discounts on Black Friday, you might want to refrain from booking a flight or planning a vacation. DealNews recommends planning travel for January, which offers a higher number of deals.

9. Exercise equipment

“December consistently sees an uptick in both the quantity of exercise equipment offers and the quality,” writes Bonebright. Last year, DealNews marked almost 30 percent of December sports deals as Editors’ Choice, compared to just 15 percent in November.

10. Chocolates and flowers

November 2013 had the fewest offers in this category all year, according to DealNews. Better stick to the bigger gift-giving holidays of Christmas and Valentine’s Day, DealNews says.

11. Home and patio furniture

Most retailers discount these items heavily in the warmer months. The number of home furniture deals increase in July and August with patio furniture clearance sales “dominating” in August and September, Bonebright writes.

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Samsung ‘Eye Mouse’ Lets Users Control Computer with Blink of an Eye

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Samsung’s eye scrolling technology has been taken to a new level by a volunteer group of engineers who have developed a system that allows a user to surf the Internet, write and edit documents with the blink of an eye.

It sounds like a futuristic dream, but Samsung’s engineers on Tuesday showed off the result of their passion project, which they hope will allow people with disabilities to be better able to use computers.

Unlike similar technology, Samsung’s second-generation EYECAN+ doesn’t require the user to wear any equipment or be in any specific position. The system works when users are situated approximately 2 feet away from the monitor, according to Samsung.

The EYECAN+ device is a portable box that is positioned below a computer monitor.

First-time users will have to calibrate their eyes to the technology so it can remember their ocular characteristics. From there, users will be able to write and edit messages and browse the Internet while they’re seated or lying down — controlling the system with their subtle eye movements.

Samsung said they do not plan to sell the EYECAN+ and instead “will manufacture a limited quantity to donate to charity organizations.”

The technology and design of the breakthrough technology will soon be made open source, allowing other groups and companies free rein to commercialize the eye mouse, according to Samsung.

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Exclusive: ABC News Interviews Police Officer Darren Wilson

ABC News(FERGUSON, Mo.) — In an exclusive interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos, police officer Darren Wilson breaks his silence about the shooting of Michael Brown.

Wilson told ABC News that he did not execute Brown but was in fear for his life and was just “doing his job.”

This is the first time Wilson has made public remarks about the Aug. 9 shooting.

The interview comes a day after the grand jury’s decision not to indict Wilson in an incident that sparked national outcry.

Tune into ABC News’ World News Tonight at 6:30 p.m. EST to see the interview.

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Check Out Hugh Jackman as Blackbeard in First “Pan” Trailer

Warner Bros. UK/YouTube(NEW YORK) — Even wonder what Neverland was like before Peter Pan?

Well, Hugh Jackman, 46, stars as Blackbeard in Pan, a take on the magical world before Pan was the leader of Lost Boys and before Hook was Captain Hook.

The movie hits theaters next June and also features Garrett Hedlund as Hook, Rooney Mara as Tiger Lily and Levi Miller as Peter.

It shows Peter as an orphan and how he makes his way to Neverland. Hook also looks as sweet as can be, while Blackbeard is the fierce leader and antagonist in the film.

Check out the first trailer for the film below:

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New Beauty Tool Sterilizes Makeup Brushes, Cuts Drying Time in Half

Brush Medic(NEW YORK) — You wash your hair, body and clothes on a regular basis. But how often do you wash your makeup brushes?

Now, one product is vying to make the pesky task of cleaning your brushes an easier one.

It’s called Brush Medic, and it’s said to eliminate 99 percent of dirt and bacteria through a UV sterilizing system.

“It was really my wife’s idea who’s a makeup artist at a large cosmetic store,” says Billy Turner, co-founder of Brush Medic. “One night she was saying how it took way too long for the brushes to clean and dry, so we created something that would kill bacteria and take less drying time.”

How it works is you start by cleaning your brushes with soap and water. Or, try the Brush Medic Quick Clean Wipes. “They are alcohol free, so they won’t damage your brushes,” Turner says. Finish by placing them in the Brush Medic machine for a deep cleaning.

In addition to a bacteria free cleaning, the system promises a drying time that’s up to 10 times faster.

In the future, the company hopes to expand its reach to professional makeup artists.

“We are developing a larger product that we think would be great for commercial brands,” Turner says. “We’d like to spread the word throughout the makeup industry.”

One expert agrees that Brush Medic can be a useful tool for beauty buffs everywhere.

“Your makeup brushes should be cleaned every single day,” says green beauty expert Sophie Uilano. “If you don’t clean your brushes, you’ll absolutely break out.”

“The problem with brush cleaners is that they are highly toxic, so this is a fantastic solution,” Uilano says. “Brush drying time is also an issue, so it’s great that it cuts that too.”

The Brush Medic Pro will be available exclusively at indiegogo.com. Customers can preorder the system for a price of $199. A mini version is sold for $99.

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Rain, Snow May Disrupt Thanksgiving Travel Plans

Nuno André/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — What do you get when you mix rain and snow in the Northeast and 46 million people are expected to travel for Thanksgiving? A recipe for a travel disaster.

But those with plans to travel Wednesday — one of the season’s busiest days — can get ahead of the winter weather by leaving on Tuesday.

Most airlines have issued flexible travel policies for those holding tickets to fly to, from or through many East Coast Airports.

Tuesday, though not as busy as Wednesday, is still a heavily traveled day for the airlines. Air travelers who find themselves shut out of flights already oversold on Tuesday should aim for Thursday morning flights. Thursday is traditionally a slow day for the airlines.

Though policies vary slightly among individual carriers, if your flight is canceled or significantly delayed, you are entitled to a refund. Carriers will also allow a one-time change on flights that are not canceled for no fee.

Here is a list of airlines with flexible travel policies and links to individual sites:

A significant Noreaster is set to hit the East Coast Wednesday, with rain expected along I-95 from Orlando, Florida to Raleigh, North Carolina and rain from Washington, D.C. to Boston in the early part of the day, changing to snow in the early afternoon. New York and Boston could get between 2 and 6 inches of snow.

Airlines for America, an industry trade organization, has projected that 24.6 million passengers will travel globally on U.S. airlines during the 12-day Thanksgiving travel period.

This is a 1.5 percent increase from last year, or an additional 31,000 passengers per day. The busiest days are projected to be Sunday, Nov. 30; Monday, Dec. 1; and Wednesday, Nov. 26. The lightest travel days are Thursday, Nov. 27 and Friday, Nov. 28.

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Lawyers for Michael Brown’s Family ‘Strenuously’ Object to Prosecutor

ABC News(FERGUSON, Mo.) — Lawyers for Michael Brown’s parents said on Tuesday that they “strenuously object” to the prosecutor and the grand jury process that cleared a police officer in the shooting death of Ferguson teenager Michael Brown.

Benjamin Crump, the family’s lawyer, said that he had objected to allowing St. Louis County Prosecutor Robert McCulloch handle the case from the beginning and asked for a special prosecutor who did not have ties to the local police.

“Now after we watched him last night in his comments, we strenuously object to this prosecutor and this process,” Crump said.

“We have the local prosecutor who has a symbiotic relationship with the local police and the local police officers…We could foresee what the outcome was going to be and that’s exactly what occurred last night,” Crump said.

Michael Brown’s father, Michael Brown Sr., was standing beside Crump and Rev. Al Sharpton. Brown Sr. wore a red St. Louis Cardinals baseball cap like the one his son was wearing when he shot and killed by Officer Darren Wilson on Aug. 9. The dad also wore a T-shirt with the slogan “No Justice No Peace.”

“You have broken our hearts but you have not broken our backs,” Sharpton said. “We are going to continue to pursue justice.”

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Exclusive First Look at Jennifer Aniston’s New Movie “Cake”

ABC/Randy Holmes(NEW YORK) — It’s the start of Academy Award movie season, and Jennifer Aniston is starring in a new drama that’s already getting Oscar buzz.

In Cake, Aniston transforms herself — even going without makeup — to portray a woman suffering from chronic pain.

Watch the exclusive trailer below:

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John Hanson: The Forgotten First President

ABC News/Yahoo! News(WASHINGTON) — Here’s a Thanksgiving pop quiz: Who was the nation’s first president?

If you answered George Washington, pass the gravy and get ready for a history lesson. It was actually John Hanson, a founding father whose name is largely forgotten in the pages of American history — until now.

“They were both first presidents. We’ve had two governments,” said Peter Michael, a descendent of Hanson’s who is working to revive his memory as the first president of the Continental Congress under the Articles of Confederation, the precursor to the Constitution.

“George Washington was very famously the first president of our second government under the Constitution,” Michael told ABC News/Yahoo! News during a recent interview outside a replica of Hanson’s historic home in Frederick, Maryland. “But for eight years before the birth of that second government, we had an original government chartered under the Articles of Confederation. It had its presidents, the first of whom was John Hanson.”

Michael, who has authored a biography about his ancestor’s life and also presides over a memorial association in his honor, explained that Hanson played a central role in putting the United States on solid footing in the wake of the Revolutionary War.

“John Hanson and his Congress inherited a blank slate and had to create a government from whole cloth and they did — and successfully,” Michael said. “If they hadn’t, the United States might not have existed.”

Under the Articles of the Confederation, the young United States was governed under a single unified government, without separate executive and legislative branches. And Hanson, as an elder statesman at age 66, was nominated by his peers in Congress to lead the fragile new government in 1781.

“The American icons of the Revolutionary period — Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Franklin, [and] others — looked to John Hanson as the one [who] twice saved the nation and also to Hanson’s way with people,” Michael said. “When no one else could do it, he persuaded the six states with the western lands to cede the western lands.”

We also have Hanson to thank for Thanksgiving.

“Thanksgiving, as an observance, had been recognized since the days of the pilgrims,” Michael said. “But it fell to John Hanson to establish Thanksgiving as an official annual observed holiday. It became a paid holiday, and a day off, in the Franklin Roosevelt administration.”

Hanson served a one-year term as president and died a year later in 1783.

But in the decades and centuries following his death, Hanson’s memory would be largely forgotten to history. So forgotten, in fact, that his home in Frederick, Maryland, was demolished in the 1980s (a replica has since been built in its place) and his grave, in Prince George’s Country, Maryland, was paved over to make way for a parking lot. The burial site remains unmarked today.

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UN Kicks Off Campaign to Stop Violence Against Women

iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A 16-day United Nations campaign to stop violence against women kicked off on Tuesday and is using the hashtags #16Days and #OrangeUrHood.

It’s Intl Day to End Violence against Women! Join #16Days of Activism & #orangeurhood http://t.co/rU6c4uHJVm pic.twitter.com/MdIolWBEmE

— United Nations (@UN) November 25, 2014

On Monday night, the Empire State Building and U.N. headquarters in New York shined in orange light.

The sun has set & @EmpireStateBldg is orange to @SayNO_UNiTE to end #violenceagainstwomen! #orangeurhood #16days pic.twitter.com/CsqBNACrEB

— UN Women (@UN_Women) November 24, 2014

The @UN Headquarters is now shining orange to mark Int’l Day to End #ViolenceagainstWomen! #orangeurhood #16days pic.twitter.com/9nscEf7OOE

— UN Women (@UN_Women) November 25, 2014

Tuesday is the International Day to End Violence against Women.

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