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Business First

The New Start Up Visa

StartupVisa

The San Francisco Chronicle has recently released a report indicating that the Trump administration may soon rescind or delay the International Entrepreneur Rule. The I.E. rule, which is intended to increase entrepreneurship and innovation, and hopefully lead to job creation, is widely regarded as a type of company startup visa. The program will be overseen by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

The rule was initially put in place by the Obama Administration and is anxiously anticipated by the startup community. It was set to come into effect on July 17, however, it appears that Homeland Security is now intending to push back the date into 2018 as it finalizes plans to withdraw the rule permanently.

Business FirstInternet Today

Low-cost Amazon Prime For People In Need

AmazonPrime

Amazon's Prime membership program is highly popular among consumers but the cost can be prohibitive for some. The company has just launched a low-cost version to address this issue. This new offer will be provided to US residents who hold a valid Electronic Benefits Transfer card. The EBT card is often used for the disbursal of various government assistance funds. Now it can discount the use of Prime, though not cannot be used to pay for membership or make purchases on the site.

Prime's regular cost is $10.99 per month. The card can slash this to just $5.99. Despite the discount, membership will still come with full perks such as free photo storage, content streaming, Kindle library access, and many more. The goal is to take Prime closer to low-income households, breaking the notion that the Amazon membership program is a luxury. The company believes that it can provide value to this segment of the population, particularly when it comes to shopping for essential items.

Business FirstCrime and Justice

Patent Trolls Take A Hard Hit From Recent Court Ruling

PatentTrolls

Patent trolls were dealt a hard blow recently with a US court ruling that a company can only be sued for unlawful infringement on patent rights in the country where the business resides and is incorporated. For thirty odd years, patent trolls have been making a killing by trolling after enterprises that they deem guilty of the patent infringement sin. They're a special breed of entrepreneurs cum opportunists who thrive on suing alleged errant companies in order to earn hefty rewards.

For patent trolls, the days are gone when they can run after the big fish in the pond. The new challenge that the court just added meant chasing perceived Dirty Harries in their bailiwicks where they have full access to an unlimited legal arsenal. Unless the new law were repealed, patent trolls could soon become a dying breed.

Crime and Justice

WannaCry Virus Spreads To Asia

WannaCry

As people logged in to their computers, the worldwide ransomware cyber attack known as the WannaCry virus spread to even more devices on Monday, bringing a halt to school operations, hospitals and businesses. Aside from this new expansion, no new significant outbreaks of the WannaCry virus have been reported thus far and British officials say that the second round of these infections they once feared have yet to come to fruition.

British Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt noted that the criminal activity that has occurred so far with the virus was not quite up to par with what they had once thought possible.

Britain's health service, among the higher profile victims, was targeted in the online extortion scheme that has taken over both local and worldwide news. To date, however, the new infections of the WannaCry virus have been mostly detained to portions of Asia.

Internet TodaySoftware Sensations

Paypal The J.P. Morgan Of The Internet

Web

Paypal, the famous online payment website has expanded its services. Venmo, Paypal's newest peer-to-peer payment platform, provides an easy to use app that allows easy financial transactions.

Venmo and Paypal dominate the cyber world of peer-to-peer and b2b payments. The goal of these services, provide easy and flexibility. Today, people are using their mobile devices for all types of payments. Mobile devices, including cellular telephones, are the center from which housewives, entrepreneurs, and executives of all types conduct their business of all types.

Paypal's Venmo app allows users to request and make payments from a mobile device. The easy of use is a major key to Venmo's success.

Paypal's success started a decade ago. When consumers started shopping through websites like Ebay or Amazon they needed a secure way to ensure the transaction was both legitimate, legal, and safe.

Crime and JusticeSoftware Sensations

Have You Tried Uber Yet?

UberDriver

There's another lawsuit underway for the folks over at Uber. Apparently started a program they named "Hell". This program allegedly used some black-ops Uber internal software and tracked Lyft drivers, providing information to Uber execs on various statistics about Lyft drivers. Some of these statistics included how many Lyft drivers were out and about at any given time in certain local areas and a gauge as to how much the drivers were charging for rides. The software also allegedly could determine whether drivers worked for both Lyft and Uber (at the same time).

The lawsuit comes from a man named Michael Gonzales, the plaintiff, who drove for Lyft during this period of the "Hell" software usage. He's seeking $5 million in a class action lawsuit, which was filed in Northern California's U.S. District Court. The lawsuit goes directly at Uber, charging them with invasion of privacy of Lyft drivers. The California Invasion of Privacy Act as well as the Federal Wiretap Act were both cited for references in the lawsuit.

Business FirstHardware Innovations

Neuralink Company To Boost Brain Power

Neuralink Company To Boost Brain Power

World-famous entrepreneur Elon Musk has created a new company called Neuralink which will focus on developing the human brain through the power of technological augmentation. At last years' Code Conference Musk spoke about the idea of using surgical connections to the brain to allow an individual to interact with computers (including the mouse and keyboard) without having to use bandwidth. Since then, he has revealed on Twitter that progress has been made on this exploratory technology.

Business First

Can Uber Weather The Storm?

JeffJonesUber

It's no secret that Uber has been having problems recently, the most recent of which is the resignation of Jeff Jones, the company's president. Even the suggestion of a chief operating officer coming on board hasn't stopped the negative press about sexual harassment allegations. Uber passed on the company's best wishes to Jones and thanked him for his six months of good service.

The departure of Jones is directly linked to the company's recent problems, according to media and technology journalists Recode. The company has also had to endure a 'Delete Uber' campaign, which originated at the beginning of this year, soon after President Trump started talking about his immigration ban.

However, it isn't just sexual harassment lawsuits that Uber is having to endure. Earlier in March, an injunction was filed against Uber by Waymo, the Google self drive project. Waymo insists that when Otto was acquired by Uber, some of the employees had no qualms about taking trade secrets with them. Otto is a self driving trucking company.

Hardware InnovationsInternet TodaySoftware Sensations

Why You Need Nintendo's Switch Now!

NintendoSwitch

With the underwhelming performance of Nintendo's Wii U, it is natural to be leery about the company's latest console: the Nintendo Switch. Skepticism is warranted based on its limited launch library and bare bones functionality, but the games released thus far already provide an amazing gaming experience.

First, the downsides. The Switch's menu is full of empty square blocks that seem to be awaiting functionality in the future. While it is only natural to expect increased functionality as developers spend more time with the hardware, obvious features such as Netflix are currently absent. Any games you have are displayed, but the included eShop offers a total of nine games. If you are not interested in any of them, your options may seem lacking.

Quality is more important than quantity, however, and the Switch has one universally praised gem. Zelda: Breath of the Wild is an extremely versatile title with a large open world that caters to a wide range of playing styles, from combat specialists to stealth fanatics. There is so much to explore that you may not need another game for a long time.

Software Sensations

Tax Season Begins, And You Have Extra Days

IRSTaxReturns

You may groan, but inevitably tax season begins again on January 23rd, and this year filers have until April 18th to file. As always, the IRS has issued some useful reminders to taxpayers, including to keep copies of their tax returns for the last three years, and that the gross income from your 2015 return will be needed if you are changing to a different tax software product. IRS commissioner John Koskinen reminds taxpayers about the thousands of IRS employees that work hard to make the filing and refund process fast and efficient, especially given legislative changes such as the EITC refund date. The IRS has also been committed to working with state revenue departments and the tax industry, to try to reduce fraud and abuse throughout the entire system.

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