It sounds like a nice idea, if you don’t own a calculator. The governor of Wisconsin wants to give his residents a tax break, using the revenue from a proposed Internet Sales tax to lower the state’s income tax. “I want to make clear, should federal Marketplace legislation become law, my intention would be for any resulting additional revenue be used to provide individual income tax relief for Wisconsin’s taxpayers,” Wrote Governor Scott Walker to members of Congress.
The Marketplace Fairness Act will permit state governments to collect sales taxes from any business that both grosses more than $1M in revenue and has a substantial operating base in their region. Earlier this month, a draft of the bill passed the U.S. Senate with overwhelming bipartisan support, but faces tougher opposition in the House, where Republican leadership is concerned that the law will be a logistical nightmare for small businesses.
Although, I wouldn’t get too excited. With 5 million residents in Wisconsin and an estimated $95M in savings, that’s about $16/per person, assuming it would be distributed evenly. If Forrester’s research is any indication, the sales tax would cost the average American roughly $167 per year, so it’s a net loss. If it’s unevenly distributed, a few already wealthy people will be slightly wealthier.
Still, it’s a nice gesture.
Read the original: Wisconsin Gov. Promises To Use Internet Sales Tax To Lower Income Tax
The Associated Press on Tuesday tweeted the following “Breaking: Two Explosions in the White House and Barack Obama is injured.” After AP confirmed the account had been compromise, Twitter suspended it just minutes later.
Here is the original tweet:
Attempting to navigate to the AP’s account or tweet currently gives an “Account suspended” message. Twitter will likely bring it back soon but for now the message displayed is as follows:
Multiple other AP accounts have confirmed that the original tweet is false and that the account was compromised:
That is a bogus @ap tweet.
— AP CorpComm (@AP_CorpComm) April 23, 2013
Please Ignore AP Tweet on explosions, we’ve been hacked.
— Sam Hananel (@SamHananelAP) April 23, 2013
The (at)AP twitter account has been hacked. A tweet about an attack at the White House is false. We will advise on acct. status.
— AP Stylebook (@APStylebook) April 23, 2013
Notice the timing of all these events. The original tweet went out at 1:07 PM EST. Official denials came in at 1:10 PM EST and Twitter suspended the account by 1:14PM EST, giving a total turnaround time of just seven minutes.
Yet this was enough time for the Dow Jones to drop like a rock (before quickly rebounding once it was confirmed that the tweet was false):
The Associated Press has since published its own story confirming the news. The report says the false tweet was made “after hackers made repeated attempts to steal the passwords of AP journalists.”
The @ap hack came less than an hour after some of us received an impressively disguised phishing email.
— Mike Baker (@MikeBakerAP) April 23, 2013
This is the latest development in a long saga of Twitter account hijackings. The company has been asked for years to implement two-factor authentication to help thwart such attacks, but it still hasn’t done so despite saying it would one day.
Top Image Credit: Saul Loeb/Getty Images
The White House has officially threatened to veto the controversial Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) [PDF]. CISPA is designed to facilitate information sharing between technology companies and intelligence agencies, but civil liberties groups worry it creates overly broad powers to spy on Americans.
A White House Memo makes it clear why they are opposing the legislation in its current form:
“The Administration believes that carefully updating laws to facilitate cybersecurity information sharing is one of several legislative changes essential to protect individuals’ privacy and improve the Nation’s cybersecurity. While there is bipartisan consensus on the need for such legislation, it should adhere to the following priorities: (1) carefully safeguard privacy and civil liberties; (2) preserve the long-standing, respective roles and missions of civilian and intelligence agencies; and (3) provide for appropriate sharing with targeted liability protections.”
Noting, importantly, that “However, the Administration still seeks
additional improvements and if the bill, as currently crafted, were presented to the President, his
senior advisors would recommend that he veto the bill.” (White House’s emphasis)
Congressional staffers tell TechCrunch that CISPA is expected to come to a vote this Thursday, after debate tomorrow. There has been noticeable tension between civil liberties groups and the big Internet companies, such as Facebook and Google, who have not actively opposed the bill (Facebook, at one point, supported it).
This veto threat is definitely a win for civil liberties groups.
-[Hat tip: Brandan Sasso]
With Pearson entering the final stages of merging its Penguin subsidiary with Random House, the multinational publishing behemoth has now agreed to sell its 50% stake in South Africa’s Business Day and Financial Mail (BDFM) to Times Media Group (TMG), which now takes its ownership to 100%.
BDFM is the publisher behind some of South Africa’s most well-known media outlets, including Business Day, Summit TV, BDLive and Financial Mail. Pearson’s subsidiary, The FT Group – which includes the Financial Times newspaper – is actually the shareholder, which also has a separate 50% stake in London-based The Economist Group.
“We have made this decision so we can continue to focus on the FT Group’s strategy of producing global business news and analysis,” says John Ridding, Chief Executive of the FT Group. “It will allow BDFM to accelerate its digital transformation under unified ownership and, most importantly, supports ongoing editorial independence of its titles in South Africa. We have had a long and fruitful partnership in South Africa and we wish BDFM and TMG every good fortune for the future.”
So by offloading BDFM, Pearson is looking to focus more on global media rather than local outlets, and is consistent with its other sales in recent times which include Recoletos in Spain back in 2004, Les Echos in France in 2007, and FT Deutschland in Germany a year later.
However, the FT Group will continue to work with BDFM through a content syndication, while BDFM journalists will also be eligible for training placements at the Financial Times.
The sale comes at a time when Pearson is looking to help create a major global publishing behemoth by bringing Penguin and Random House together, and the European Commission recently gave ts seal of approval to the merger.
The publishing giants first announced the plans back in October last year, but it could easily be October this year before the final rubber-stamp is given – the two companies have previously stated that they expect the transaction to be finalized some time in the second half of 2013.
Assuming the deal is seen through to completion, Bertelsmann – Random House’s parent company – will own a majority share in the newly formed ‘Penguin Random House’ with 53%, while Pearson will own the remaining 47%.
The real estate market in the U.S. is quickly picking up pace again, and last month, Zillow‘s mobile traffic hit a new record with 89 homes viewed per second (up from 75 homes the month before). Today, almost exactly four years after it first launched its Zillow for iPhone app, the service is relaunching its iOS apps with an updated homescreen and restructured navigation. On the iPad, Zillow has now also integrated its Mortgage Marketplace and financial calculators.
As Zillow’s CEO Spencer Rascoff writes today, the company believes that this new “streamlined interface [...] significantly improves the Zillow app experience for home shoppers.” Specifically, he thinks the “enhanced design allows users to more easily access all the information Zillow has to offer and to customize their experience based on their goals.”
The first thing Zillow’s users will likely notice is the new homescreen, which now finally separates searches for houses and rentals from the get-go. In earlier versions, Zillow would display rentals and houses that were for sale simultaneously until you filtered one of them out. Given that most people don’t look for rentals and a house to purchase at the same time, this always felt like an unnecessary step. Zillow has also recently put a lot of emphasis on its rental marketplace, so it’s just a logical step to highlight that in the navigation now.
This new navigation structure also extends to the new homescreen, which now looks quite a bit more modern and, as Rascoff writes, “enables shoppers to access the breadth of Zillow’s inventory and personalized shopping tools with just one tap.”
Both the new homescreen and navigation are available on the iPhone and iOS. Until now, however, only the iPhone version included an integration with Zillow’s Mortgage Marketplace for finding lenders and the service’s mortgage calculator. Now, the iPad version also features these tools.