Tax season 2020: Most Americans don’t understand how tax refunds work, and it might cost them News 

Tax season 2020: Most Americans don’t understand how tax refunds work, and it might cost them

If you’re one of the roughly 96 million Americans expecting a tax refund in early 2020, there’s a good chance you don’t understand how they work. About half of taxpayers realize that refunds reflect money they already paid to Uncle Sam, according to a survey of more than 1,000 taxpayers from financial services firm Credit Karma. Almost all of the remaining respondents say refunds are payments from the government, rather than reimbursements for overpayment. Those findings highlight a lack of knowledge and a missed opportunity to shape your tax outcome,…

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How Much Do Federal Employees Earn? Trump Signs Pay Raise Order News 

How Much Do Federal Employees Earn? Trump Signs Pay Raise Order

President Trump has signed an executive order boosting the pay of federal employees by an average 3.1% beginning with the first pay period of 2020. The executive order, signed Thursday, implements a law Trump signed Dec. 20 granting the largest federal pay raise in a decade. Most federal workers will see the extra bucks beginning Jan. 5. Trump initially provided no pay raises in his 2020 budget but relented during the summer and proposed the 2.6% boost and a 0.5% locality pay increase was added to that. In four dozen…

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Data, Passwords Easily Extracted From Locked iPhones On iOS 13.3 Technology 

Data, Passwords Easily Extracted From Locked iPhones On iOS 13.3

A Russian cybersecurity company that makes digital forensic tools for law enforcement and business specialists has discovered a way to hack into locked Apple iPhone devices. The method reportedly works on most iPhone models ranging between iPhone 5s and iPhone X. It is also effective on iPhone devices running on iOS 12 through iOS 13.3. The cybersecurity company is called Elcomsoft. It’s newly expanded capability to extract data even on devices running on iOS 13.3, which many claims unlockable, is through the update rolled out on its iOS Forensic Toolkit….

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Best last-minute gifts for 2019: Gift cards, Netflix, Disney Plus and more News 

Best last-minute gifts for 2019: Gift cards, Netflix, Disney Plus and more

Gift cards and online subscription services are two of the best and quickest last-minute gifts you can get. They’re simple to buy — many are available on Amazon — highly flexible and can accommodate a wide range of budgets. Whether you’re looking to give a practical gift, like groceries, or something more entertaining, such as a subscription to Netflix, Disney Plus or Spotify, your last-minute shopping can all be done nearly instantly and from the comfort of your home. And you can still give most of these in person, with…

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Macy’s giving away free $10 rewards card for early Super Saturday shoppers News 

Macy’s giving away free $10 rewards card for early Super Saturday shoppers

The first 250 shoppers at Macy’s will get a free $10 Macy’s Reward Card. Most stores open at 7 a.m. Saturday but hours will vary, according to the sales circular. “Hurry in! Be one of the first 250 people to arrive at a Macy’s store Sat, 12/21 to claim your Macy’s Reward Card,” the sales circular states. The cards can be redeemed Saturday through Christmas Eve, store officials confirmed to USA TODAY. Saturday is expected to be the biggest shopping day of the year, rivaling, and even beating, Black Friday…

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We’Re Watching You Google and Facebook are set to be policed under a new technology regulator Technology 

We’Re Watching You Google and Facebook are set to be policed under a new technology regulator

The plan comes as a new report from watchdogs said there is a “strong argument” for the development of a new regulatory regime. The verdict from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is part of a study into online platforms and digital advertising ahead of government intervention in the sector. Its other findings include that Google and Facebook’s “dominance” in digital advertising risks driving up prices for flights, electronics and insurance. The CMA fears the tech giants’ large market share could allow them to increase advertising prices, which could be…

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These car safety systems lead to distracted driving, according to AAA study News 

These car safety systems lead to distracted driving, according to AAA study

Multiple systems that are designed to make driving safer and easier are placing drivers in danger, according to a new study. Adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping-assist technologies lull drivers into letting their guard down, which puts them at greater risk of crashing, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found. When used correctly, the technologies can make people safer. But many drivers place too much trust in the systems, according to the study released Tuesday by the AAA Foundation, which is partially funded by motor club and insurer AAA. The results…

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Amazon and Google Are Practically Giving Away Smart Speakers. Here’s Why. News 

Amazon and Google Are Practically Giving Away Smart Speakers. Here’s Why.

This holiday season, both Amazon and Google are selling their smart speakers for so little that they’re basically giving them away, or in some cases, partnering with other companies to actually give them away. Amazon’s Echo Dot and Google’s Nest Mini speakers usually retail for $50, and Google Home Minis usually retail for $25, but in recent weeks they’ve been included for “free” or at an extremely reduced price with the purchase of other items. Spotify is giving away Google Home Minis to its premium users. Tile is throwing in…

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Instagram’s AI now warns you if your caption is offensive Technology 

Instagram’s AI now warns you if your caption is offensive

Instagram today announced it’s rolling out a new feature in its ongoing attempt to curb bullying: AI that will warn users before they post a potentially offensive caption with their posts. Specifically, if the caption of your post has an offensive word in it, the AI flags it and warns you that the caption looks “similar to others that have been reported.” It then gives you the option to edit, “learn more” (which shows you a pop-up that reiterates the same info), and to share it regardless. This is an…

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Waymo One, Google’s self-driving pickup service now has an iOS app Technology 

Waymo One, Google’s self-driving pickup service now has an iOS app

Google’s Waymo One pickup service is now available on iOS, giving some users to chance to take part in Waymo’s early rider program. As reported by 9to5Google, Google’s Waymo One service was launched a year ago and has been available on Android since April of this year. It’s focused around Google’s self-driving car project, Waymo. The app allows users to call for a lift, much like Uber, however when your car turns up, there won’t be a driver inside. Instead, Waymo’s autonomous Chrysler minivans will pick you up and take…

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