Multiple States Are Investigating Intuit Over TurboTax Free File Marketing

An anonymous reader quotes a report from ProPublica: Multiple state attorneys general, including Josh Stein of North Carolina, have opened investigations of TurboTax maker Intuit, following ProPublica's reporting that the company charged millions of Americans for tax filing services they were eligible to receive for free, according to people with knowledge of the investigations. As part of the investigations, Intuit has been subpoenaed for records. At least four states besides North Carolina are...
Tags: Tech, North Carolina, Intuit, Irs, Turbotax, Josh Stein

Cloud Covered: 2019 in Google Cloud

As we get ready to ring in 2020 here at Google Cloud, we’re taking a look back on stories that captured the imagination, provoked new ideas, and helped us be more efficient at work. Check out our top-read posts from 2019. Build the cloud that's right for your businessJust like you choose the right mix of apps you want on your phone, businesses that are using cloud computing choose the apps and services that will work for them. There are a lot of options available on Google Cloud, and some of the...
Tags: Google, Mayo Clinic, Google Sheets, Google Cloud, Christine Cignoli

Trump Tax Perk Fuels San Jose Development as Google Moves In

(Bloomberg) -- San Francisco’s towers and Silicon Valley’s sprawling tech campuses have long overshadowed downtown San Jose in the Bay Area. But developer Erik Hayden says the time has finally come for the city -- thanks, in part, to a Trump-era tax break meant to help low-income communities.He and his partners at Urban Catalyst just unveiled their latest purchase in the city: a $24 million deal for a shuttered movie theater, which they plan to convert into an office development called Paseo.In ...
Tags: Google, News, California, Marriott, Silicon Valley, San Jose, Seattle, Donald Trump, Apple Inc, Bay Area, Facebook Inc, CBRE Group Inc, Hayden, University of Texas at Austin, Cushman Wakefield, Noah Buhayar

Tech Firms Join Forces to Create Smart Home Connectivity Standard

Amazon, Apple, Google and the Zigbee Alliance are teaming up on a new IP-based standard for smart home device connectivity. Connected Home over IP will be an open source project. A working group will define a specific set of networking technologies to enable communication across smart home devices, mobile apps and cloud services. The project will leverage development work and protocols from existing systems such as Amazon's Alexa Smart Home, Apple's HomeKit, Google's Weave, and the Zigbee Al...
Tags: Google, Amazon, Ecommerce, ZigBee Alliance, Amazon Apple Google, Alexa Smart Home Apple

The unbrandening

Josh Gross Contributor Share on Twitter Josh Gross is the managing partner at digital product studio Planetary and its child company, Regular, the low-cost, high quality studio for small businesses. Do you remember as a kid going to the grocery store with your parents and being just totally overwhelmed by the bright, loud packaging of products on shelf after shelf, aisle after aisle? I certainly do. Each product had a brand — ...
Tags: Startups, TC, Column, Advertising Tech, Tech, Josh Gross

‘Little America’ Trailer: Immigrants Chase the American Dream in New Apple TV+ Series

In the upcoming Apple TV+ anthology series Little America, no story is too little. The comedy anthology series hails from the Oscar-nominated The Big Sick team Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon, who executive produce the 8-episode series coming in 2020 as the first of Apple TV+’s 2020 slate. Watch the Little America trailer below. Little America Trailer Eight immigrant stories are collected in the comedy anthology series Little America, which is described as “a small, collective portr...
Tags: Apple, Utah, Comedy, Television, Movies, Drama, America, Gordon, Eisenberg, Lee Eisenberg, Alan Yang, Kumail Nanjiani, Nanjiani, Little America, Emily V Gordon, Appletv

Finland Is Making Its Online AI Crash Course Free To the World

Last year, Finland launched a free online crash course in artificial intelligence with the aim of educating its citizens about the new technology. Now, as a Christmas present to the world, the European nation is making the six week program available for anyone to take. The Verge reports: Strictly speaking, it's a present for the European Union. Finland is relinquishing the EU's rotating presidency at the end of the year, and decided to translate its course into every EU language as a gift to cit...
Tags: Tech, Eu, Finland, European Union Finland

Building a moon base is a huge task — but these tiny satellites will pave the way

The space race between the US and Russia ended half a century ago when US astronauts became the first to walk on the moon. Today there’s yet another race, prompted by China’s successful landing on the far side of the moon and involving private companies as well as national space agencies, to put humans back on the lunar surface. But building a moon base and actually living on the moon will require careful planning. First, we need to identify and map available lunar resources, including hydrogen ...
Tags: Startups, Space, China, Russia, US, Tech, Syndication

Why the Second-Hand eBook Market May Never Take Off

Europe's highest court on Thursday ruled that the exhaustion of copyright does not apply to e-books. "The court says that offering 'second-hand' e-books for sale qualifies as an unauthorized 'communication to the public' under the 2001 InfoSec Directive," reports World IP Review. Not only could this ruling have implications for the book industry, but for the digital film, gaming and music sectors too. From a report: The case involves a Dutch startup called Tom Kabinet, which has since 2014 been ...
Tags: Amazon, Europe, Tech, Eu, Court of justice of the European Union, The Hague, Kobo, Court of Justice, InfoSec Directive, Tom Kabinet

Flickr owner SmugMug emails subscribers with an urgent request: help us find more paying users

When in April of last year, the photo hosting service SmugMug acquired the photo-hosting service Flickr from Verizon’s digital media subsidiary, SmugMug CEO Don MacAskill said he was committed to breathing new life into the service, calling it “core to the entire fabric of the Internet.” MacAskill didn’t reveal at the time how much SmugMug — which is itself an independent, family-owned operation  — paid for Flickr. But it seems now that SmugMug may have underestimated its carrying costs. In a...
Tags: TC, Verizon, Facebook, Yahoo, Tech, New York Times, Flickr, Coo, Amazon Web Services AWS, MacAskill, Smugmug, Don MacAskill, Ben MacAskill Don, Caterina Fake and Stewart Butterfield

Adult Animation Is Pushing New Boundaries. A Look Inside Its Evolution from The Simpsons to BoJack Horseman

“Ever since The Simpsons came out, adult animation has basically been an arms race of different ways to copy The Simpsons ,” says the writer and animator Alex Hirsch . It’s not hard to see the ubiquitous influence of that iconic series, which premiered 30 years ago this week, across the last three decades of American adult animation. Family Guy , King of the Hill , Bob’s Burgers and many others have all featured some variation of the slovenly dad, the beleaguered wife,...
Tags: Apple, Amazon, Television, News, Nbc, South Park, Uncategorized, Disney, Fox, Netflix, Moon, Sony, San Diego, Archer, Kenya, Nick Kroll

Ransomware Goons Had a Great 2019, With At Least 948 Reported Attacks

Ransomware operators are closing out a year of extorting local governments, hospitals, and schools across the country with a bang, with at least four more U.S. cities falling victim to sophisticated scams this month alone and a recent report tallying the total number of incidents at nearly a thousand.Read more...
Tags: Security, Science, Technology, Crime, Government, Cybersecurity, Ransomware, Cybercrime, Tech Policy

San Francisco is changing its facial recognition ban after it accidentally made the iPhones it gave to city employees illegal (AAPL, FB)

San Francisco voted to amend its facial recognition ban to allow the use of iPhones with Apple's signature FaceID facial recognition system within the city, as well as other products with facial recognition features.  The city banned city agencies from using gadgets equipped facial recognition technology back in May, but it became apparent that government-issued iPhones came equipped with Apple's Face ID, illegal under the new law.  Even if Apple's facial recognition feature was turned off, th...
Tags: Apple, Massachusetts, San Francisco, Trends, Oakland, Somerville, Board of Supervisors, Brookline, San Francisco Board of Supervisors, London Breed, AAPL FB

Verizon brings total 5G availability to 22 cities, adds Hoboken and Memphis

Verizon is in the midst of a massive 5G rollout. Its mobile 5G network is now available in select areas of several cities, including Chicago and Denver.
Tags: Android, Mobile, Verizon, News, Trends, Chicago, Memphis, 5g, Hoboken, 5GQualcommSponsorship, Galaxy S10 5G

Virginia Has Big Plans For Electric School Buses In 2020

Dominion Energy, the utility that supplies the Commonwealth of Virginia with most of its electricity, is about to begin an ambitious plan to roll out electric school buses in the state that will store electricity when not ferrying kids to school. "Earlier this week, it was announced that phase one, which begins in 2020, will start with 50 electric school buses built by Thomas Built Buses in partnership with Proterra and Daimler Trucks," reports Ars Technica. From the report: The buses will be Sa...
Tags: Virginia, Tech, Daimler Trucks, Dominion Energy, Proterra, Thomas Built Buses, Electric School

Roomba screams when it bumps into stuff [UNMUTE]

Roomba: [AUGHHHHHHH!!!!] Do unmute this one for maximum enjoyment. The Roomba That Screams When it Bumps Into Stuff [ Michael Reeves, May 2019, via]
Tags: Video, Technology, News, Funny, Tech, Robots, Roomba, Michael Reeves

Lyft said their names are offensive. Candice Poon, Cara Dick, and Mike Finger disagree.

The ride-sharing company Lyft flagged certain users' real names as offensive content, and told a number of individuals including Candice Poon, Cara Dick, and Mike Finger that they were ordered to get new names by December 21, or be banned from Lyft. Hey @Lyft/@AskLyft,Community guidelines are great and all, but it’s ironic asking us for respect in the community when you flagged my REAL last name as a violation — Candice Poon (@candicepoon) December 19, 2019 Th...
Tags: Lyft, Post, Business, Technology, News, Oops, Real Names, Mike Finger, Candice Poon Cara Dick Mike Finger, Nicole Cumming Cara Dick, Dick DeBartolo, Nicole Cumming, Cara Dick, Candice Poon, Candice Poon Cara Dick, Dick DeBartolo Dick DeBartolo

Google will hire roughly 4,000 full-time customer support staffers following criticism about its 'shadow workforce' (GOOG, GOOGL)

Google announced in a blog post Thursday that it plans to significantly expand its in-house customer support operations in 2020 by hiring more full-time employees. The move would be a big change for Google, which relies heavily on contract workers for various business functions. The announcement comes several months after lawmakers criticized the company for using contractors to avoid paying benefits typically extended to full-time workers. Google plans to open a new facility in Mississippi th...
Tags: Apple, Google, Mississippi, India, America, Trends, Philippines, Sundar Pichai, Signal, Googlers Google

A Data Leak Exposed the Personal Info of Over 3,000 Ring Users

The log-in credentials for 3,672 Ring camera owners were compromised this week, exposing log-in emails, passwords, time zones, and the names people give to specific Ring cameras, which are often the same as camera locations, such as "bedroom" or "front door." BuzzFeed News reports: Using the log-in email and password, an intruder could access a Ring customer's home address, telephone number, and payment information, including the kind of card they have, and its last four digits and security code...
Tags: Tech, BuzzFeed News

Facebook is Building an Operating System So it Can Ditch Android (slashdot)

Facebook doesn't want its hardware like Oculus and Portal to be at the mercy of Google because they rely on its Android operating system. From a report: That's why Facebook has tasked a co-author of Microsoft's Windows NT named Mark Lucovsky with building the social network an operating system from scratch, according the The Information's Alex Heath. "We really want to make sure the next generation has space for us," says Facebook's VP of hardware Andrew 'Boz' Bosworth. "We don't think we can tr...
Tags: Google, Facebook, News, Microsoft, Alex Heath, Msmash, Mark Lucovsky, OS Facebook, Andrew Boz Bosworth We don

Tech trends 2020: New spacecraft and bendy screens

From new spacecraft to bendy screens, what to watch for in tech in 2020.
Tags: Tech

Ghostery launches Midnight for privacy and ad-blocking beyond the browser

Ghostery has launched a new tool called Midnight, which brings the company’s ad-blocking and privacy protection features to all your desktop applications. When Ghostery first announced Midnight earlier this year, President Jeremy Tillman told me that the company (acquired by browser company Cliqz in 2017) created Midnight because desktop apps — particularly email clients — were starting to “use a lot of the same web tracking technologies outside the browser.” So the company says Midnight will...
Tags: Spotify, Microsoft, Privacy, Advertising Tech, Tech, Vpn, Ghostery, Tillman, Cliqz, Jeremy Tillman

Easy, last-minute holiday gift ideas for your clients

Here is a list of small, inexpensive and easy-to-find holiday gift ideas that your real estate clients are sure to appreciate.
Tags: Amazon, Technology, Marketing, Lifestyle, Radio, Macy's, Agent, Starbucks, Year End, Wayfair, Williams Sonoma, Select, Chili's, Bloomscape, Applebee's, Gift Tree

Google Serves 11 Million Fact Checked Articles Per Day via @MattGSouthern

Google is highlighting the work it’s done to surface more fact-checked content in search results.The post Google Serves 11 Million Fact Checked Articles Per Day via @MattGSouthern appeared first on Search Engine Journal.
Tags: Google, News, Seo

SpaceX Is Lobbying Against Amazon's Internet-Beaming Satellites

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Motherboard: When Amazon confirmed it was planning to launch 3,236 broadband internet-beaming satellites into low-Earth orbit, much of the media reported it as if it were a done deal -- the latest, inevitable step in the corporation's quest to conquer commerce, the cloud, and beyond. Amazon officials said the massive satellite constellation, called Project Kuiper, would one day provide low-latency, high-speed broadband to tens of millions of underserved p...
Tags: Amazon, Spacex, Fcc, Tech, Federal Communications Commission, Ajit Pai, Project Kuiper, SpaceX Amazon, SpaceX Is Lobbying Against Amazon

Your Location Data Isn't as Anonymous as You Think

We all know that our phones and apps keep tabs on our locations—and it feels like most of us have come to terms with the fact that way too much of this data makes it into the hands of companies that want to advertise to us. The problem? No one really thinks about how that data is actually being stored, or how…Read more...
Tags: Ios, Android, Security, Privacy, Lifehacks

Robocall Fines Rise To $10,000 Per Call Under Newly Passed Law

After months of negotiations, Congress approved a landmark bill on Thursday to stop the flood of illegal robocalls. The president is expected to sign it into law within the next few days. The Verge reports: The Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence Act, or the TRACED Act, empowers the federal government with new abilities to go after illegal robocallers. Once TRACED is enacted, the Federal Communications Commission could fine robocallers up to $10,000 per call. It also wou...
Tags: Congress, Senate, Tech, House, Federal Communications Commission, Trump, T Mobile, AT T Verizon, Mike Doyle

Hulu is down

Less than one month after a major Hulu outage, Hulu is down again. We’ve been seeing reports on Twitter of Hulu streaming issues. It appears the issues have been ongoing for the last for few hours. At this point, Hulu does not seem to have a clear idea of what’s going on. Thanks for tweeting us, Kara — sorry for the hiccup! Please know that you're not alone as we've received similar reports regarding this issue. We've got all hands on deck working to resolve this, so we hope to...
Tags: TC, Media, Tech, Hulu, Kara

Robocall-crushing TRACED act passes Senate and heads to Oval Office

Somehow during all the partisan furor of the last few days, the Senate found a moment to vote some bipartisan legislation into law — presuming of course it survives the President’s desk. The TRACED act pushes carriers to kill robocalls before they ring, and gives the FCC some extra juice to pursue the wicked ones perpetrating them. “We’re delighted the Senate acted quickly to pass this legislation to shutdown illegal robocalls,” wrote the bill’s co-sponsors in the House Energy and Commerce Co...
Tags: Mobile, Fcc, Government, Senate, White House, Tech, House, Justice Department, Robocalls, Oval Office, House Energy and Commerce Committee, Robocall

Federal study: Facial recognition systems most benefit middle-aged white males

The US National Institute of Standards and Technology today released its 2019 report on facial recognition. And there are no surprises here, it’s just as dystopian as we’ve been warning you about all year. On the group’s conclusions, Patrick Grother, a NIST computer scientist and the report’s primary author, said: While it is usually incorrect to make statements across algorithms, we found empirical evidence for the existence of demographic differentials in the majority of the face recognition a...
Tags: Startups, Tech, Artificial Intelligence, United States, NIST, US National Institute of Standards and Technology, Patrick Grother

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