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Business First

H&R Block Debuts Tax Reform Checkup

PaycheckCheckup

There have been many changes in the tax reforms. IRS is encouraging everyone to do a quick tax reform checkup. That's why H&R is in the forefront by offering a free tax reform "Checkup service." It's an excellent program that helps you to track whether your tax obligations are smaller or bigger than usual. This will help taxpayers to change their financial or family situations in the next tax season.

There is a lot to do much ground to cover by taxpayers. The current reforms drastically decreased their taxes while increasing their paychecks. It requires taxpayers to check and fix their W4 forms.

A single taxpayer with one withholding allowance, with no children and a salary of $35000 was entitled to a $600  in refunds in 2017 returns. Changes in withholding tables in February saw a paycheck increase of 32$ in March. However, by next year, April the refunds will be 600$.

Business FirstSoftware Sensations

Square Acquired Weebly: What Does It Mean For Other Website Builders?

WeeblySquare

Weebly has a substantial amount of subscribers at 625,000. Merchant payment processor Square acquired Weebly for $365 million. Square intends on global expansion via this acquisition. A great portion of Weebly users lie outside of the United States, allowing Square to address a bigger audience of entrepreneurs. Revenues are expected to rise from $744 MM to $764 MM. The team members are also included in the merger. Most of the team from Weebly will be joining forces with the Square team.

The merger occurred during late April 2018. The merger is slated to help businesses all over the world. The services of both companies will line up well together. The CFO of Square stated that she feels both companies are culturally aligned. Backers of the acquisition include Floodgate, Sequoia Capital, Tencent, Felicis Ventures, and Y Combinator.

Business FirstEntertainment

Rupert Murdoch Asking For Financial Help From Facebook

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The executive chairman for News Corporation, Rupert Murdoch, is asking for Facebook, Twitter, and even Google to subsidize the news websites that show up on people's newsfeeds. Essentially, Murdoch wants someone to pay him for the news that his company, and others like his, would put out on people's feeds.

This change comes right after the announcement of Facebook's updated newsfeed policies that prioritize friends and family first over the likes of news sites and advertisement pages.

This effectively puts news corporations at an extreme disadvantage for having their news seen at all. As anticipated, Wall Street did not take well to the news at all. They expect users will spend less money overall making their market shares decrease over time.

Newsfeed Chief for Facebook, Adam Mosseri, did not really have much to offer in the way of a compromising solution. He was quoted in the press announcement as telling news and advertisement companies to "experiment" and see what "content gets more likes." A very shunted answer when announcing that they are basically cutting off the toes of news companies.

Business FirstInternet Today

Trading Offered On Yahoo Finance

YahooFinance

Finding investing tips and advice has long been popular with the 75 million users of Yahoo Finance each month, although until now you couldn't actually make any trades on the site. Now the app can be used by E-Trade, Fidelity and Scottrade clients to buy and sell stocks through an arrangement with Tradelt, allowing brokerage portfolios to be synced. Clicking on the tab that says 'link broker accounts' allows users to take the first step in the straightforward process.

Michael La Guardia, head of product at Yahoo Finance points out that the company is not expecting to make money from users of the service, and most revenue will still come from advertising as it does now. However, the new app will provide value for users, and encourage them to keep using the app. La Guardia also promises more features and services coming in the future.

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.

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.

Business FirstInternet Today

Google Fiber is Purchasing High Speed web Company Webpass

GoogleFiber

Google Fiber is expanding its' reach, after penning a deal to buy ISP Webpass, a thirteen year old firm that provides fast web connections to businesses and individuals throughout areas of America.

Google Fiber is owned by Alphabet and based in five American cities, however it intends to expand to over twenty in the near future. One city which has been targeted by Google Fiber is San Francisco, and this purchase will facilitate that move. Webpass is well established in California, because it has services operating in Oakland, San Francisco, Berkeley, San Diego and Emeryville. In addition, it is present in Coral Gables, Miami Beach, Miami, Boston and Chicago.

Webpass emailed its' current customers to announce the deal - which is predicted to complete over the summer. The email said that the normal daily operation of the service, and the prices, will remain the same for the foreseeable future.

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