Important Tech News – Check to see if your data was breached and if you qualify for free data monitoring

It is quite likely that your data WAS breached as over 100 million people were affected.

Equifax has been ordered to pay a $700 million settlement in response to their 2017 data breach. A whopping $425 million of that total is eligible to be paid out to consumers affected by the breach. First step: check if you’re eligible. If you are, then it’s time to file a claim. Lastly, you’ll need to decide: do you take (up to) $125 in cash or 10 years of credit monitoring. Depending on the number of claims, it’s likely that the more valuable option is the 10 years of credit monitoring. Make sure to file your claim by January 22, 2020.

Glendale Tech Week 2019

Innovation peaks in the silicon mountains.

SEPTEMBER 14-21,2019

Glendale, California boasts a thriving tech ecosystem that is home to over 1000 high tech firms that generate over $5 billion dollars in sales each year and employ over 41,000 people. Get in on the action during Glendale Tech Week 2019 and during our year round programming.

Link for 2019 tech week details

Tech News: French Parliament Approves Digital Sales Tax, U.S. Orders Inquiry

The French parliament has just approved a 3% digital sales tax aimed at closing the loopholes big tech companies use to bring down their tax bills.  

The plan: The tax on sales generated in France will apply to companies with global revenues over €750 million ($849 million) or French revenues over €25 million. It is expected to raise about €500 million a year.

A backlash: Inevitably, most of the companies affected are based in the US. It’s for that reason that the US government has ordered an inquiry into the new tax, with the potential to implement tariffs on French goods in retaliation.

First of many: The low tax yield from wealthy global tech firms is controversial far beyond France. The UK, Spain, Italy, and Austria are considering similar sales taxes, raising the question of how the US will respond if they take effect. Perhaps it might even prompt countries to finally agree on some common tax rules.

source: MIT Technology Review and Wall Street Journal

Congress drops proposal to ban IRS from competing with Turbotax

Tax-prep companies lobbied to ban the IRS from offering a competing service.

Lawmakers are planning to drop a proposal to prohibit the Internal Revenue Service from offering a free online tax-filing option, Politico and Pro Publica report. The provision was included in the Taxpayer First Act, which passed the House in April but has not passed the Senate. It was backed by the makers of private tax preparation software, including Intuit (makers of TurboTax) and H&R Block.

The IRS doesn’t currently offer a free online tax filing option. Instead, since 2003 the agency has had a standing deal with companies like Intuit and H&R Block to offer free versions of their products to customers with modest incomes and simple tax situations. In exchange, the IRS promised not to offer an online filing program of its own. Around 70 percent of all tax filers are eligible for the companies’ free versions.

The current arrangement has obvious advantages. Consumers can choose from several different tax-filing programs, all produced at no expense to taxpayers. The problem, critics say, is that hardly anyone is actually using the free private options. Only about 3% of eligible returns have been filed using the services over the last 16 years, according to Pro Publica. That’s partly because many eligible taxpayers don’t know about the program.

The companies have little incentive to publicize the option, and they take every opportunity to upsell customers on paid services that they may not actually need. Recently, Pro Publica even caught Intuit using a robots.txt file to prevent Google from indexing the free version of Turbotax, preventing many eligible users from finding it. (Intuit changed this after the Pro Publica story ran.) full article

The Evolution of Entertainment Tech & Engineering: Automated theatrical productions, immersive entertainment experiences, & controls aboard 2017 America’s Cup all use computer control technology

Computer controls are continuing to make a mark on entertainment applications. The platform has a long history of providing performance and flexibility, but is now also evolving to bring additional technology for productions such as Hamilton, lobby theaters for resorts, and controls used in the 2017 America’s Cup. Link to article