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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

Thanks to today’s outage, the goobers at the IRS are giving people another day to file their taxes

All of the procrastinating Pollys and Peters who waited til the last minute to file their taxes can breathe a sigh of relief. Thanks to today’s outage of direct payment systems at the Internal Revenue Service, folks are getting another day to get those taxes in.

The IRS is now saying that people can submit taxes through the end of the day on Wednesday, April 18, 2018.

“This is the busiest tax day of the year, and the IRS apologizes for the inconvenience this system issue caused for taxpayers,” said Acting IRS Commissioner David Kautter. “The IRS appreciates everyone’s patience during this period. The extra time will help taxpayers affected by this situation.”

Here’s the IRS statement:

The Internal Revenue Service announced today that it is providing taxpayers an additional day to file and pay their taxes following system issues that surfaced early on the April 17 tax deadline. Individuals and businesses with a filing or payment due date of April 17 will now have until midnight on Wednesday, April 18. Taxpayers do not need to do anything to receive this extra time.

The IRS encountered system issues Tuesday morning. Throughout the system outage, taxpayers were still able to file their tax returns electronically through their software providers and Free File. Taxpayers using paper to file and pay their taxes at the deadline were not affected by the system issue.

“This is the busiest tax day of the year, and the IRS apologizes for the inconvenience this system issue caused for taxpayers,” said Acting IRS Commissioner David Kautter. “The IRS appreciates everyone’s patience during this period. The extra time will help taxpayers affected by this situation.”

The IRS advised taxpayers to continue to file their taxes as normal Tuesday evening – whether electronically or on paper. Automatic six-month extensions are available to taxpayers who need additional time to file can visit https://www.irs.gov/forms-pubs/extension-of-time-to-file-your-tax-return.

While death and taxes may be life’s only certainties, the deadlines (at last for taxes) have become less certain thanks to buggy software.

As we reported earlier, the IRS doesn’t think anything nefarious was behind today’s outage of the site that specifically handles pay transfers from checking or savings accounts. 


Source: TechCrunch

Jordan Peele turns Obama into foul-mouthed fake-news PSA – CNET

Jordan Peele and Buzzfeed sound the alarm on fake video news with an obscenity-laced announcement that looks like it comes from Barack Obama.
Source: CNET

Google AIY kits let you make your own smart gadget video – CNET

Build your own AI gadget with Google’s Vision Kit, a programmable camera to track faces and objects with artificial intelligence.
Source: CNET

ZTE said to be meeting with Google over US export ban

Yesterday was a rough one for ZTE. A year after pleading guilty to violating sanctions with Iran and North Korea, the U.S. Department of Commerce brought the hammer down and announced a seven-year export restriction on goods sporting U.S. components.

That applies to more than a quarter of the components used in the company’s telecom equipment and mobile devices, according to estimates, including some big names like Qualcomm. The list may well also include Google licenses, a core part of the company’s Android handsets. According to a Bloomberg unnamed source, ZTE is evaluating its mobile operating system options as its lawyers meet with Google officials.

Many of the internal components can be replaced by non-U.S. companies. ZTE can likely lean more heavily on fellow Chinese manufacturers to provide more of the product’s internals, but it’s hard to see precisely where it goes from here with regard to an operating system. There’s an extremely small smattering of alternatives open to the company, but none are great. Each would essentially involve the company working to build things, including app selections, from the ground up — and likely play a much more central role in the OS’s development.

As for Google’s role in all of this, ZTE certainly isn’t make or break for Android’s fortunes. Still, it’s a pretty sizable presence. As of late last year, it commanded 12.2 percent of U.S. market share, putting it in fourth place behind Apple, Samsung and LG. It’s certainly in Google’s best interest to maintain as many prominent hardware partners as possible — though, not if it comes with the added risk of upsetting the DOC in the process.


Source: TechCrunch

Epson shrinks its cartridge-free ink, but it’ll still last you two years

The latest Epson WorkForce Pro uses a smaller design and smaller ink tanks — but the ET-8700 still ships with enough ink to last the average small business two years. The all-in-one printer uses Epson’s cartridge-free ink design.

The post Epson shrinks its cartridge-free ink, but it’ll still last you two years appeared first on Digital Trends.


Source: Digital trends

New York launches a fact-finding inquiry into Coinbase, Binance and other exchanges

As cryptocurrencies continued shaking off their April hangover, the state of New York is trying to figure out what to do with this whole coin thing.

On Tuesday, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced something called the Virtual Markets Integrity Initiative, a state-level effort to examine the policies and practices of the major cryptocurrency exchanges. Schneiderman’s office emphasized to TechCrunch that the endeavor is a “fact-finding inquiry” and not an “investigation” as it’s not apparent there is any wrongdoing.

“With cryptocurrency on the rise, consumers in New York and across the country have a right to transparency and accountability when they invest their money. Yet too often, consumers don’t have the basic facts they need to assess the fairness, integrity, and security of these trading platforms,” Schneiderman said.

“Our Virtual Markets Integrity Initiative sets out to change that, promoting the accountability and transparency in the virtual currency marketplace that investors and consumers deserve.”

Schneiderman’s office is often early to defend consumer rights in the state of New York, so the cryptocurrency inquiry is very in line with the kind of work his office already does on behalf of New York state residents.

The attorney general’s office addressed a standard questionnaire to 13 cryptocurrency platforms, from the biggest names in the business to more obscure exchanges:

  • Coinbase, Inc. (GDAX)
  • Gemini Trust Company
  • bitFlyer USA, Inc.
  • iFinex Inc. (Bitfinex)
  • Bitstamp USA Inc.
  • Payward, Inc. (Kraken)
  • Bittrex, Inc.
  • Circle Internet Financial Limited (Poloniex LLC)
  • Binance Limited
  • Elite Way Developments LLP (Tidex.com)
  • Gate Technology Incorporated (Gate.io)
  • itBit Trust Company
  • Huobi Global Limited (Huobi.Pro)

The letter seeks basic information about the company’s operations, broken down across eight major categories. Those questions span from basic inquiries about ownership to anti-money laundering precautions to a request for a detailed breakdown of the fees that consumers might incur. You can read the full text of the “Virtual Markets Integrity Initiative Questionnaire” here.

Again, the letter is a broad, standardized fact-finding mission, not an investigation based on specific knowledge. Schneiderman’s office clarified that the initiative seeks to illuminate any potential for market manipulation, abrupt trade outages that go unexplained and problems customers have withdrawing funds, among other cryptocurrency trader headaches. Still, it’ll tap into some thorny issues (money laundering, anyone?) that some exchanges might not yet have a proper way of handling. Ultimately they hope to use that information to make these platforms more fair and transparent for consumers, regulators and investors alike.

While anxious bullish investors might see the New York inquiry as a threat, many of the relevant exchanges are taking it in stride so far (at least so they say), even applauding the inquiry’s effort to create more transparency that could pave the wave for thoughtful rather than heavy-handed regulation.


Source: TechCrunch

Researchers claim hackers can create havoc in the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive

A recent paper published by researchers from the University of New Haven in Connecticut shows that a vulnerability in OpenGL enables the team to alter the playing space and virtual environment on the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift.

The post Researchers claim hackers can create havoc in the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive appeared first on Digital Trends.


Source: Digital trends

IRS E-File system crashes on Tax Day, promises to reopen within 8,000 years

April 17 is Tax Day, and to celebrate, the IRS E-file system went down for several hours. The IRS Direct Pay system was also down, but they’re both back up now. Filers might enjoy a bit of an extension because of the outage.

The post IRS E-File system crashes on Tax Day, promises to reopen within 8,000 years appeared first on Digital Trends.


Source: Digital trends

Former DreamWorks exec Shawn Dennis joins GoldieBlox as president

GoldieBlox, a startup looking to get girls hooked on engineering and other STEM fields, has hired Shawn Dennis as its first president.

Dennis was most recently the head of brand and franchise development at DreamWorks Animation and also worked as the chief marketing officer at Mattel’s American Girl. She’s also been on the GoldieBlox board of directors since 2016 — founder and CEO Debbie Sterling told me she’s been “not-so-secretly hoping all along that one day Shawn would come and help me run this thing.”

Sterling said that while GoldieBlox is usually described as a toy company, she’s always had a vision for the Goldie character to become someone who would “inspire girls around the world.”

“I started it really as a social mission: I wanted to close the gender gap in STEM,” she said.

And yes, selling toys where girls can build their own machines is part of that mission, but so is the GoldieBlox YouTube channel and a partnership to produce chapter books with Random House.

Part of Dennis’ role at GoldieBlox will be to lead licensing and partnerships (apparently there’s an animated show in the works, as well) and to create what she described as “an ecosystem with girls at the center.” She added that things like YouTube are key for helping the company open “two lanes of communication,” so that it’s not just talking to parents but girls as well.

“It’s time again to reinvent what girlhood means,” Dennis said.

In addition to handling licensing, she said she’ll be managing much of the company’s day-to-day operations, freeing Sterling to focus on the long-term vision and on advocating for that vision. Dennis’ tenure at both DreamWorks (where she was involved in launching franchises like Trolls) and American Girl has given her plenty of experience with building brands for girls, but she added,” I will be running the business and building the business. I will not be the face of the company — that needs to be Debbie.”


Source: TechCrunch

Inside the Unnerving CCleaner Supply Chain Attack

CCleaner owner Avast is sharing more details on the malware attackers used to infect legitimate software updates with malware.
Source: Wired

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