- Rick Newman. “Here’s How Lousy Life is in North Korea.” Yahoo! Finance.
- This is heartbreaking.
- Rick Newman. “Surprise: Fannie and Freddie are set to Pay Taxpayers Back.” Yahoo! News.
- Associated Press. “Prosecutor: Barn with Carcasses ‘Unprecedented.'” Yahoo! News.
- Rip Empson. “Now Backed By Andreessen & More, OpenCoin Looks to Build a Better Bitcoin – And a Universal Payment Ecosystem.” TechCrunch.
- I’m a big fan of these endeavors. I think Bitcoin is too complex (at least at this juncture) for the average consumer and that there still needs to be some sort of oversight – which it looks like OpenCoin/Ripple intend to provide.
- Anthony Ha. “Swipely Expands Its Credit Card-Based Loyalty System with Reputation Monitoring and Campaign Tracking.” TechCrunch.
- I’m interested in tech driven credit card loyalty systems – I know they will be good for businesses, but they could also be good for consumers…simplifying the entire rewards process and aggregating rewards for various retailers into one pot.
- Sean Ludwig. “Top Bitcoin Exchange Mt. Gox Halts Trading Following Massive Price Decline.” VentureBeat.
- Kevin Fitchard. “Verizon Dives Deep Into the Budget End of Mobile with a New $35 Plan.” GigaOM.
- Charlie White. “Honeywell Wi-Fi Thermostat Adjusts to Your Decor Like a Chameleon.” Mashable.
- I don’t really care about the adjusting to my decor – but the article indicates that Honeywell is finally putting out a Nest competitor.
- “CiviCRM 4.3.0 Released, Hundreds of Improvements.” CiviCRM.
- CiviCRM is a really impressive membership management system for non-profits. It is similar to what businesses use – a customer relationship management (CRM), but focused specifically on non-profits. It is also open source/free. With the real of 4.3.0 a huge number of enhancements have been added, see the article for the full scoop.
- Isaac Wolkerstorfer and Greg Slovacek. “Introducing Asana Connect.” Asana Blog.
- Provides a much simpler way to integrate Asana with third party applications.
- Mitchell Fox. “The Future of Tax Season in America – Will Filing Taxes Get Easier?” VentureBeat.
- There is great potential for technology to expedite and simplify tax gathering Mitchell Fox notes and then explains specific ways in which technology is likely to bring us a less stressful tax season in the near future. All of the innovations he discusses are possible to create now – we have the technology – it is just a matter of actually implementing them. Here’s hoping someone does.
- Ashley Harrison. “4 Reasons Good Reader’s Death Signals the Rebirth of RSS.” VentureBeat.
- David Meyer. “Why Bitcoin Crashed, And How Ripple Might Avoid the Same Fate.” GigaOm.
- Ricardo Bilton. “Deliv’s Same Day Delivery Service May Finally Give Retailers a Fighting Chance Against Amazon.” VentureBeat.
- John Koetsier. “Teen Developer Funds Startup by Auctioning 10% of Her Future Income (Interview).” VentureBeat.
- This is a nifty idea, though a bit risky. I think Sarah Hanson is onto a great idea here (business wise).
- Rip Emerson. “Bake Sale 2.0: PledgeCents Launches a Crowdfunding Platform To Help Underfunded Schools Raise Money.” TechCrunch.
- Frederic Lardinois. “Hackers Point Large Botnet at WordPress Sites to Steal Admin Passwords and Gain Server Access.” TechCrunch.
- Derrick Harris. “CloudFlare is Trying to Fight DDoS Attacks By Designing Its Own Gear.” GigaOm.
H&R Block offered a online application called Tango for performing federal/state income taxes (e.g. TurboTax). It was a hot commodity in the tech. realm last year (ComputerWorld, PCWorld, etc.). I used it. Unfortunately, they decided near the end of last year to disable access to the site but promised access would soon return. Now they have quietly decided not to renew Tango for this year. Okay, no big deal. But they:
- Won’t allow you to login to your account to view old data.
- Export your data in a form that is importable to any other application (e.g. TurboTax or TaxCut).
In my opinion this is a huge breach of trust on the part of H&R Block. In my mind, while this action may not be illegal it is most certainly unethical especially considering the ease with which access to this data could be provided. I planned to do my taxes at H&R Block…but I’m having second thoughts now.
Here is the <sarcasm>helpful</sarcasm> tips H&R Block offers to its former customers:
- “How can I compare what I entered through Tango last year?
At the end of each tax season we remove the prior year interview from the Web site so that we can load the updated current year interview. Even if Tango had been released for the 2008 tax season, you would not have been able to compare line by line what had been entered in the prior year.” (why? its not like tax data consumes that much storage space)
- “How can I access my prior year(s) Tango return?
Unfortunately since Tango will not be released for tax year 2008 this will no longer be option. To obtain a copy of your prior year(s) return you will need to contact the IRS.” (snikes! that stinks, well thanks for the form…ohh wait, “Form 4506 can be used to request a full copy of a return; however, there is a fee…”)
- “Will I be able to print my prior year(s) Tango return that I saved locally?
Unfortunately, if you did not save a copy of your return in PDF format and you chose to save your data locally to your hard drive (versus our servers) we will not have a copy of your return.” (yes, we did let you save your data, we just won’t let you access it!)