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
Serial entrepreneur with too many ideas rattling around in your head? Then you’re going to like this one: a new mobile app called Elevatr will help you keep track of your inspirations, as well as develop a business model, in order to turn your passing thoughts into plans actually worth pursuing some day.
The beautifully designed app was dreamt up by New York-based David Spiro, a recent college of engineering and business school grad from the University of Michigan. He had spent time working with the standard tools for business model development, including the Business Model Canvas and Lean Canvas, while in school.
“It became very clear that entrepreneurship – and people inspired by the startup revolution – is more than those actually studying entrepreneurship,” Spiro explains. “I was really inspired to take those tools that I was taught to use, and create a mobile-first product that could apply to more than just those people who were in my classes,” he says.
Having shelved the startup idea he had been working on in college, Spiro finally decided to commit himself to the creation of Elevatr full-time, after first doing some consulting for a local angel following graduation in spring 2012. By the end of the year, he had an MVP ready to go after contracting with Fueled, a mobile app development agency in Soho that had previously built apps for JackThreads and Urban Daddy. Spiro now works out of Fueled’s offices, and has hired a small team (with help from AngelList), including CTO Rafael Amorim.
The product itself is simple. Elevatr is essentially a note-taking app that takes the structure of a traditional business plan and makes it more accessible to design and develop on the smaller screen of mobile devices. After tapping the button to add your idea, the app prompts you to describe the idea in 140 characters or fewer, just like Twitter.
That’s actually a challenge for some entrepreneurs, who can’t seem to condense their business’ idea to a single sentence, as we’ve discovered in the past, much less 140 characters. But Spiro thinks it’s a good first step, noting “if you can’t explain it in less than 140 characters, you probably don’t know what you’re doing.”
On the following screens, you’re walked through the other standard pieces to business-model creation, filling out details as to the target market, market size, competition, differentiation, features and uses, and so on. There’s also plenty of room for free-form note making in Elevatr, so you can really flesh out your ideas and plans.
At launch, the app is designed for personal use, but the team already has the intention to expand its capabilities in the near future. Next week, an option to export your ideas to a responsive website will be introduced, essentially turning your notes into a more fully developed online deck of sorts that you can share with others in order to get feedback. In addition, collaboration will be built into the app, which will allow you to invite others to view or comment on the content, given their permission levels.
Another idea for future expansion is to partner with other companies – agencies like Fueled, for example – giving them access to an administrative interface that would allow them to leverage the service to sort through a larger group of startup ideas, like those submitted as part of a contest, for instance.
That, and some other advanced features, may be paid options in the future, but currently the app itself is a free download here on iTunes.
Elevatr has a small amount of friends and family funding, but is now raising an angel round upwards of $500,000.
Read the original: Elevatr Is A Mobile-First Tool For Startup Business Plan Creation
Twitter is now a lawyer short as the company’s Nicole Wong, its legal director, will leave the firm to become the nation’s first White House chief privacy office, CNET today reported.
The role comes at an auspicious time. CISPA, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, passed the House of Representatives. The White House, before its passage, floated yet another veto threat at the bill, citing privacy concerns.
Thus, what battles Wong will fight are not hard to surmise; cybersecurity has never been a more discussed issue than now. China was accused of hacking recently by the United States government, the Wall Street Journal reported:
The Chinese government has targeted U.S. government computer systems for intrusion, the Pentagon said Monday in a more direct accusation of cyberespionage than the U.S. has made in the past. While American officials have long charged that China is a top perpetrator of cyberespionage, a new Pentagon report goes a step further, blaming some cyberintrusions directly on the government and its military.
Those are not small claims.
Intrusion of the sort mentioned above is a simple abrogation of privacy, but Wong will also likely face issues more subtle; how might the government wish to view privacy online for minors, such as those children that want to join Facebook before the age of 13, for example.
Wong joined Twitter in late 2012, making her tenure at the social network short. Previously, she worked for Google, a company that is not itself virgin when it comes to privacy kerfuffles.
A final note: free speech online is currently being hemmed in around the world; the privacy that the Internet can afford – anonymity, in short – is no small issue. The leadership of the United States on the issue isn’t to be underestimated in its potential impact.
Top Image Credit: Andreas Eldh
Go here to see the original: Twitter legal director to become first ever White House chief privacy officer
(Visit the Hot New Releases in Software list for authoritative information on this product’s current rank.)
Yet another iOS timer app has hit our radar, however, going by the name of Timeless. And we think you’ll like it.
Timeless is an incredibly simple app for iPhone and iPod touch, allowing you to set multiple timers using nothing but taps and swipes. This could be for if you’re cooking a meal, waiting for something to come on TV and everything in between.
When you get past the opening intro screen, the first thing you’ll see is the countdown timer, set to 00:00.
Each column, for hours and minutes, is scrollable and takes seconds – if you’ll pardon the pun – to set your desired time.
Given you can set multiple countdowns, you can add a tag manually to each one, so you know what is what. It’s probably worth noting the one obvious flaw here too – you can only set hours and minutes. It would be good to set a countdown for, say, 90 seconds.
For each timer, you can pause or resume at any point via the small button at the bottom center, while clicking the ‘bell’ icon lets you tweak vibration and audio alert settings.
You can also double-tap anywhere to start/stop each timer, which is a nice touch.
You swipe right to start a new timer, and swipe left/right to navigate between the various ones you’ve set up.
When a timer expires, you get a notification on your homescreen, as well as any audio alert you’ve set up.
Oh, and while this app has been out for a few weeks already, the latest update also sees a stopwatch feature brought in. To enable this, you simply have to hit the ‘Play’ button when the timer is at 00:00.
There’s a settings menu that lets you set the default sound/notifications and sound effects. And crucially, for an app that relies heavily on looks, you can change the color themes too.
Timeless is really all about the usability and the ‘look and feel’, and on this front it delivers. It’s the latest in a line of apps that combine simplicity and aesthetics to deliver something really great – check out Currency Converter too.
Timeless is available to download from the App Store now, costing $0.99 or your local currency equivalent.
Feature Image Credit – Thinkstock
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View original post here: TNW Pick of the Day: Timeless is a beautifully simple timer app for iPhone